In this briefing paper, Barry Carpenter looks at who are the children whose mental health are particularly vulnerable, and discusses how the creation of a curriculum around Emotional Well Being, may reduce this significant barrier to achievement. The paper also looks at Mental Health as a pervasive Complex Need in children of all abilities.
This is another rich resource from the prodigious Tina Rae. Complete with CD, this book is packed full of ideas and strategies for building emotional resilience. The age range focus is helpful too, 9 – 14 years. It targets the awkward transition into adolescence, and does not lay responsibility at any particular age phase of education.
The introduction sets out the need in children for direct intervention; such shocking statistics as self-harm has increased by 68% in a decade. Rae then builds the case for resilience as a key tenet to help young people cope with change. She considers a ‘Whole School Approach’ to developing resilience and why it is important. Key approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness are explained in straightforward, accessible language.
The real strength of this book, which will appeal to classroom practitioners, is the 20 sessions around ‘Bouncing Back and Coping with Change.’ The objectives for these sessions are laid out in full and clear guidance, including success criteria, given for the sessions. Each session plan is carefully constructed and accessible. As I read each one I could envisage how to teach it in practice – a true test of their viability . There are photocopiable resources to support each of the sessions.
At every juncture in the sessions there is ample opportunity for the young person to engage deeply, and reflect personally. The sessions take emotionally complex issues and bring them to daily reality in tangible, viable and practical ways. I have often wondered in recent Government proclamations on Emotional Well-Being in Children, what was meant by grit; now I understand thanks to the activities on ‘developing grit to succeed.’
At a time when the mental health issues of our young people are at the forefront of society and awareness, when schools are addressing new policy responsibilities in this area and building curriculum responses to the new designated area of Social, Emotional and Mental Health (Code of Practice on SEND, 2015), this book is both timely and welcome. It is a treasure trove of ideas and resources to create Mental Wealth in our young people.