At Armitage, we have a whole range of programmes to help support children's social and emotional development. Look at the categories below to find out more about what we offer.
After every break time and lunchtime all children across the school take part in relaxation exercises. Most exercises involve listening to relaxing music. Whilst the music is playing a variety of exercises can be done; controlled breathing, self massage, peer massage etc. These exercises allow the children to regain focus and give them time to settle after what may have been an over exciting break time. The children really enjoy elements of relaxation and find themselves feeling calm and focused when it is time to work.
"Hi, I’m Mr Allan. I’m a Learning Mentor. It’s my job to support you when you need a little extra help. That might be help with learning, or feelings, or friends, or anything else. I will make time for you if you want to talk, whether you have a problem or just want a chat. Oh, and if something breaks, bring it to me and I will try and help you fix it."
As a Learning Mentor, I offer support and guidance to children to help improve their learning and well-being. Some of the reasons I might work with children are:
To improve confidence and self-esteem.
To help children to overcome problems that affect their ability to learn.
To practice social and communication skills.
To foster special talents and interests.
To help children express themselves and talk about their feelings.
The support I offer is closely tailored to individual children, to meet their needs and build upon their strengths, and can involve wide range of different activities.
These include therapeutic arts and crafts, roleplaying, circle time, boardgames, literacy and numeracy support, support in tests and examinations, sensory work, woodwork, science, Lego therapy, computing and out-of-school trips.
"Hello, my name is Dave and I am an art therapist working at Armitage Primary School. If you are struggling with feelings or emotions that are difficult to understand, then art therapy might help you. Using the art materials can be a good way of trying to work out what is going on and we can use the art work you make to think and talk about your experiences, which may change the way you feel."
What is Art Therapy?
The aim of Art Therapy is to help your child think about their thoughts and feelings in a safe way with help from Dave, the Art Therapist. When children find it difficult to talk about their thoughts and feelings, it can affect the work that they do in the class room. By using different art materials to make art, your child may find it easier to communicate without words to describe how they feel. The art work can then be used as a starting point to talkabout how your child may be feeling. This can help your child grow and change in a positive way. Your child does not have to be good at art to take part and Art Therapy is not a punishment or a reward.
What happens in Art Therapy?
Dave, the Art Therapist, may give a theme to the sessions or your child may be free to make anything they wish. There will be a range of art materials to choose from including paints, oil pastels, coloured pencils, felt tips, collage materials and clay. Your child will spend some time using the art materials to make art and some time will be spent thiking and talking about the art work. This may help your child understand how they feel and why they feel this way.
Is Art Therapy Private?
Yes, your child's art work will be kept safely by Dave until all the sessions have finished. What your child talks about in Art Therpay is private. However, if Dave is concerned that your child or someone else may be at risk, he will discuss this with key members of the school team. Dave will talk to your child about this first. As an Art Therapist, Dave will have regular supervision where he will talk about what happens in the sessions with his supervisor. This is to make sure that your child's needs are being met.
How Can Parents Help?
You can help your child by making sure that they attend school every day, especially on the day the Art Therapy sessions are taking place. Your child is free to talk about what happens in the Art Therapy sessions but only if they want to - try not to pressure them into talking about it. Your support will help your child greatly. Please let Dave know about any changes in your child's life and please feel free to get in touch if you have any concerns.
Yoga therapy and mindfulness
"Hi, My name is Mrs.Wilberforce and I'm a Mindfulness and Yoga teacher at Armitage. Our feelings and emotions can be difficult to understand at times, especially if something upsetting is happening to us, using Mindful techniques and practicing Yoga gives your mind and body a rest, allowing your brain some space to work out how you feel. They also provide you with skills so that you can help yourself to manage those emotions and change the way that you feel. Yoga Therapy uses a mixture of ideas and techniques to help you to understand and manage deeper emotions. If you're struggling with the way you're feeling, come and see me and together we can explore a way to make you feel better.
Sessions of around 50 minutes are taught by a Children's Yoga Teacher. Yoga helps children to focus and co-ordinate through physical poses. Self regulation is also enhanced through breathing exercises and deep relaxation. Yoga is not a religious practice and is suitable for everyone and every type of body! Yoga teaches respect and kindness for each other and for the world we live in.
These sessions of 45-50 minutes aim to enhance a child's awareness of the world around them using their senses. Often, a child's emotions can become too extreme and all encompassing for a number of reasons. For example, extreme sadness following a bereavement, or overwhelming worry about school or home; extreme anger or shyness may also be the presentation. By focusing in greater detail on 'now', a variety of techniques such as breath-work ,grounding and deep relaxation, the mind is given a break from extreme emotions and this begins a healing process.
Many support staff have been trained in the delivery of LEGO Therapy sessions.
What is LEGO Therapy?
LEGO therapy has been proven to be an effective way for children to develop turn taking, persistance and problem solving and to practice their social interaction and communication skills. Improvements in social skills enable our children to sustain lasting friendships and reach their highest potential.
How does LEGO Therapy work?
Children come together during sessions and they focus on collaborative LEGO building projects to prompt interaction among the children and help them come up with their own solutions. Children are required to work well together to achieve the end goal – the final LEGO model!
The different roles
Children work in groups of three, each with a distinct role. They are usually required to keep to their assigned roles for the duration of a session, but take it in turns to play the different roles from one session to the next.
The Architect holds the building instructions, and is responsible for letting the others know which bricks are required (supplier) and how to put them together (builder).
The Supplier holds the LEGO bricks necessary to assemble the LEGO model, and is responsible for supplying the builder with the correct pieces and at the correct time.
The Builder is responsible for taking the individual pieces from the supplier, and putting the pieces together, according to the instructions given by the architect, to create the model.
The team works together to assemble the LEGO project: joint focus, sharing, problem-solving, close collaboration and communication amongst the children naturally reinforces social contact and good behaviour.
During LEGO therapy sessions, social conventions can be directly instructed or prompted, based on the needs of the children. For example, if two children are physically fighting over a LEGO brick, the adult can redirect the peers to use language, negotiation, and compromise to settle their dispute. Emphasis is placed on promoting positive social behaviour.