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Pupils learn it’s good to share their feelings

07 November 2019

Learning that it’s good to talk about anything that worries you was a lesson from a new mental health initiative at Kisharon School.

Following staff training from Jewish mental health service, Jami, children are exploring their emotions and learning how to deal with them.

Teacher Adina Collins said: “Children with special educational needs can be more aware of their feelings and sometimes will show emotions like excitement in an extreme way. Explaining how to recognise that tingly feeling in your tummy which is excitement makes children more aware and better able to cope in the future.”

Learning about anxieties, the children created their own worry-eating monsters. Pupils were given the opportunity to talk about their worries with staff while those who are non verbal could communicate using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), a tool for those with autism or communication boards.

Sixteen staff were trained by Jami and all collaborated to devise the most effective ways to get across wellbeing messages to the children. Stories are always welcome and, learning how to deal with worries, the children were read The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside, a story about a girl who learns that sharing her worries will help her to feel much better.

Pupils are learning about five basic emotions, sadness, happiness, anger, fear and peacefulness over the current academic year.

Adina said: “Overall, the response from the children has been very good. It’s very important the children feel positive about themselves.”

PHOTO: Pupils with their worry-eating monsters

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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.