We have started a new initiative at East Marden Primary School called Purposeful Play. Purposeful Play is a structured activity that runs during recess and lunch times each day and involves a physical or creative activity. Students and teachers have been leading these sessions in the music and drama room as well as in the gym. Having structured activities has worked to influence positive behaviour and as a result has been a key intervention in reducing behaviour issues at playtimes. The positive feedback from the students about Purposeful Play has been overwhelming!
“I like that we get to do lots of dancing” (Hailie-Grace Mudge, Year 1)
“I like that we meet different people” (Nikki Willis, Year 1)
“The kids listen to us and they love to do the dances we teach them” (Kirsten Knowles-Bobridge, Year 5)
“Everyone enjoys it and the younger kids look up to us” (Maddie More, Year 5)
“I like playing musical statues. I love to come here at recess and lunch” (Adele Emery, Reception)
Purposeful Play will continue next term in the new music and drama room and the gym. We look forward to incorporating more activities into play for our students next year.
Waves of Intervention
All students have the opportunity to flourish at East Marden Primary School through three distinct waves of intervention. Wave 1, also known as our PERMA plus ensures all students, families and staff address nine elements of flourish wellbeing (Seligman, 2011). When children require additional or tailored support these students are identified as needing wave 2 or wave 3 interventions. When wave 2 or 3 interventions are needed the Student Wellbeing Leader works collaboratively with teachers to help facilitate family engagement and make referrals to appropriate services. The Student Wellbeing Leader’s role is not therapeutic therefore they always engage in the referral process when more specialised support is required.
We use Dr Martin Seligman’s PERMA plus dashboard as our Wave 1 intervention framework. All aspects of Wellbeing for Learning is linked with PERMA plus, this includes:
- Positive Emotion, (feeling good)
- Engagement, (being absorbed into tasks/experiencing flow)
- Relationships, (being connected to others)
- Meaning and (living a purposeful life)
- Accomplishment) (feeling a sense of accomplishment)
- + Physical Activity, Nutrition, Sleep and Optimism
Developing Emotional Intelligence
Developing Emotional Intelligence is a central focus for East Marden Primary School and is referred to in the Learner Wellbeing Site Improvement Plan (2017-2019). It is part of our Wave 1 proactive and preventative intervention for all students.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a term created by psychologists, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer and further developed by Daniel Goleman. At East Marden Primary School we have taken these principles and defined Emotional Intelligence as the ability to:
- Recognise, understand and manage our own emotions.
- Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others.
The following areas will be taught explicitly and embedded at East Marden Primary School and provide a foundation for our Learner Wellbeing Framework. Developing students’ emotional Intelligence will work to support their academic learning outcomes because as we know children who have good wellbeing are more engaged and successful learners. The inclusion of Emotional Intelligence into our Learner Wellbeing Framework also ensures that a common language is used by all staff and students and provides continuity throughout all of our policies and practices.
Self-awareness – Do I know my own triggers and what upsets me the most?
Self-management – Do I know how to recognise strong emotions within myself and others?
Self-regulation – How can I regulate myself and manage my impulses? What proactive strategies can I use to get back on track?
Self-motivation – How can I keep myself motivated?
Empathy – How can I be empathetic to others? How can I consider my own feelings when I am angry or hurt?
Social Skills – How can ‘reading’ and relating to others help me with my learning?
This term our Year 7 students in Room 27 and 28 have undergone an intensive Peer Mediation training with the Pastoral Care worker Kalai Jesudoss and the school counsellor El Mastrangelo. Through this process students have volunteered to be East Marden Primary School’s 2017 Peer Mediators.
What is the role of a Peer Mediator?
Peer Mediation is a conflict resolution program that is facilitated by Year 7 students for other students who are experiencing difficulties in solving an issue during play time. They are skilled to take a neutral position and help both parties to find a win-win solution without the intervention of a teacher. As the term has progressed Peer Mediators have learnt the value of this model and understand the positive impact they have already made to our school. Peer Mediator Evan Walker (Room 27) says “from the start of the year we have been seeing less and less students on the friendship benches”. While Elise Harding (Room 27) explains that she has been able to “help with problems among friends because some students were feeling excluded”.
Do Peer Mediators Replace teachers?
Peer Mediators do not replace teachers but they are able to help students who want to mutually work out their problems with peer support. During Peer Mediation training students are taught how to decide whether a problem needs to be referred onto a teacher or if a situation is too complex for them.
Where can you find them?
Every recess and lunch Peer Mediators work in pairs and roam around the school wearing bright orange vests. They can be found in all play areas and will approach students who are sitting on the Friendship benches.
Please talk with your child about the role of the Peer Mediator and encourage them to approach our wonderful Year 7 students. Alternatively children can sit on one of the Friendship benches if they need support or just want to have a chat to someone.
First Weeks of School
One of the ways we try to nurture our students at East Marden Primary School are by strengthening their social and emotional capabilities. We as educators and as parents can develop a child’s social and emotional wellbeing by building positive relationships with them. Opportunities for communication with caring adults is critical in maintaining genuine relationships.
Take the time this week to really connect and listen to your child.
Here are some open questions and statements that are sure to get the conversations flowing:
- Tell me about the game you played at school this week?
- I wonder which friends you have made in your new class.
- What is something interesting you know about your new teacher?
- Share with me one interesting thing you learnt this week.
- What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
- Who did you enjoy talking with the most this week?