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Our next Parent Workshop will be on Monday 22nd April at 9.30am. This is the first of a four part course for parents about Autism. In session 1 we will be exploring what is Autism.
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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

Emotional Regulation and Wellbeing

A child’s wellbeing could be the key to their future happiness. Research suggest that primary school staff can have an effect on the emotional wellbeing of their pupils that can last five years or more (Clark et al, 2018).

 

The curriculum and strategies used to support development of Emotional Regulation & Wellbeing

What learning looks like in Willow pathway within this AoL:

  • We support children to develop positive relationships with staff through intensive interaction, TACPAC and by using a range of alternative and augmentative communication strategies, including Makaton, objects of reference and PECS
  • We use Oakey Boost sessions to support the transition into school and enable children to regulate with a familiar adult
  • Visual timetables are used to prepare the children for what is happening and reduce anxiety
  • Regulation tools are offered to a child to enable them to mutually regulate with an adult. Children have access to these tools throughout the day and are taught how to use them
  • Staff use simple language and model labelling emotions such as OK, happy, sad and angry

 

What learning looks like in Elm pathway within this AoL:

  • We support children to develop positive relationships with staff and their peers through play interaction, outdoor learning and TACPAC sessions
  • Individual visual timetables are used to support children to understand their day and adapt to changes, reducing anxiety during transitions
  • Regulation tools are used and children supported to request tools through their preferred means of communication
  • Staff use simple language by modelling and commenting on theirs and children’s emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, excited and silly

 

What learning looks like in Cherry pathway within this AoL:

  • We support children to develop and maintain positive peer relationships with sustained play and interactions. Children work in small groups which builds their tolerance and understanding of one another
  • Individual timetables are used which enable the children to anticipate changes to routines as well as changes to where they will be doing their learning (e.g. when classes are grouped differently for particular subjects)
  • Children are taught to label their emotions and request regulation tools through the Zones Approach for which there are explicit lessons
  • Staff model and comment on their own emotions and behaviours as well as using curious language to help support children to do the same (e.g. “You are crying, I wonder if you are sad”)
  • We support children to understand the causes and effects of emotions and behaviours and how this relates to individuals and others. Through Restorative Approaches, staff support children by creating more opportunities for positive interactions following times of conflict

 

Strategies and teaching tools used to support development of Emotional Regulation and Wellbeing:

  • Oakey Boost – staff interact with children using equipment that motivates them or that gets them active after their journey to school.   Language is used by the adult to share the emotions, e.g. I am tired, let’s do some jumping. Opportunities are created to help soothe or alert the child.  Some children begin Oakey Boost with a check in with an adult by placing their photo on the zones board.
  • Adults as role models- Language is modelled by staff to support children to regulate. Staff play with children and encourage peer to peer play, sharing and turn taking, creating small group games and imaginative play. Opportunities are created to help soothe or alert the child. 
  • ER tools - Some children use words or symbols to express emotions and which regulation tool would support, asking for help, a break or a coping strategy from an adult. Children progress to independently selecting an ER tool when needed and using it to self-regulate. Tools include, chew toys, weighted blankets, fidgets, balloons and bubbles. Staff are aware of children's emotional world through regularly reviewed Pupil Profiles and Positive Behaviour Plans
  • Sensory Breaks - A Sensory Break is a designated portion of time that may allow a child to deescalate from crisis or enable them to accept the sensory stimulation of the classroom setting. Sensory breaks are also beneficial for pupils that benefit from additional movement or deep pressure input opportunities to help with focus, attention, and learning. 
  • Restorative approaches ~ RA involves the discrete teaching of the causes and effects of emotions and behaviours and how this relates to the individual and others. Staff leading teaching of RA use visuals and model language around emotions, events, outcomes and the recovery period. This approach creates opportunities for positive interactions when there has been a conflict.  
  • Play interaction - this may be structured 1:1 or in a small group and is offered in every pathway. Through play, children learn how to interact with the world and with others, focussing on how to manage their own behaviour and emotions. In Cherry pathway, play interaction teaches children a repertoire of  games and the value of participation, as well as how to accept winning and losing
  • Intensive Interaction - a 1:1 session to develop early communication skills through mirroring by a staff member to encourage responses and interactions through positive feedback to a child.  
  • The Zones Approach lessons – The Zones of Regulation adapted curriculum begins with naming emotions and the zones, leading to sessions about the impact of our behaviour on others and regulation tools. It is delivered in short sessions, between 10- and 20-minutes whole class sessions, twice a week (Cherry Pathway).  If a more bespoke approach is needed it can be adapted and delivered 1:1. 
  • TACPAC - TACPAC creates sensory alignment and helps with sensory impairment.  It is used to create a positive connection between a child and an adult. As it is 1:1 work or paired work with another child (depending on needs of individual), adult can model the language of private and public which reinforces their SoSafe! learning. Communication is also supported through TACPAC with pupils requesting using visuals or words.  Individual children may request TACPAC as one of their ER tools 

 

Resources, training & CPD for staff & families:

 

Staff CPD: 

  • Behaviour Induction for all new staff 
  • Team Teach Training for new staff
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Zones of Regulation
  • Restorative Approaches
  • Team Teach Refreshers for all staff and refreshers for Trainers

 

Parental workshops: 

  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Emotional Regulation

 

Strengths we celebrate about teaching & learning within this AoL:

 

  • Staff have a good understanding of Positive Behaviour Support and Emotional Regulation, and what these look like in practice
  • Staff have a strong understanding of the needs of their pupils 
  • Staff teams work closely with external agencies to support the Emotional needs of their pupils
  • Daily use of ER language and modelling by staff of labelling emotions and self-regulation.  
  • Pupils are making progress in their OPAL ladders. 

 

Areas for development & refining within this AoL:

 

  • Refine the Zones approach for ER to ensure it is accessible school wide 
  • Develop staff understanding of sensory breaks, sharing strategies and ideas within and across pathways.
  • To share knowledge and strategies with parents to ensure children are being supported consistently between school and  home

 

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