As part of our holistic offer at The Elland, we offer a range of therapeutic interventions, delivered by a team of trained practitioners on a daily basis, to support our students in dealing with emotional issues which are barriers to them engaging in learning.
The Elland academy work with Fortis Therapy & Training: a team of dedicated, qualified therapists, counsellors, and trainers based in Grimsby, Scunthorpe, and Hull.
There is a full-time person centred therapist based at The Elland Academy, offering 1-1 short term therapy, longer term psychotherapy and brief therapeutic interventions.
Kieran, our therapist is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and completed his BSc in Psychology (Hons) before moving on to complete a PgDip in Counselling and Psychotherapy, both at York St John University. Throughout the course he gained experience working as a counsellor at Doncaster College as well as working for a self-referral counselling charity in York.
Person-centred therapy puts the child at the heart of therapy, and explores any issues or concerns that they face, encouraging skills so that the student can navigate their own lives independently. Everyone can benefit from counselling, students even more so. Common themes that young people may face may be low- self-esteem, anxiety, depression, grief and struggles to manage a diagnosis that they have received. These issues and concerns can manifest in a range of challenging behaviours as students attempt to communicate their needs.
Mindfulness helps children remain grounded and savor the present moment. It’s also been shown to help them connect with their natural empathy and better understand their feelings so they can manage them more effectively. This enhances children’s sense of self-worth and gives them more space to express their innate creativity and compassion.
At The Elland Academy we practice mindfulness daily using Mindful breathing, Mindful seeing and Mindful listening techniques.
Practiced mindfulness can help children in the following ways:
- Mindful children experience less stress, anxiety and sadness
- Mindful children are better able to cope with change and other stressors.
- Mindful children have better sleep habits
- Mindful children feel more connected to the people around them
- Mindful children are more compassionate
- Mindful children have more confidence in themselves and their decisions
- Mindful children tend to perform better academically
- Mindful children understand, feel and express gratitude more freely
- Mindful children are better able to focus and concentrate
- Mindful children are more resilient
- Mindful children are all around happier and more content
Emotional Literacy Support
Emotional Literacy is the term used to describe the ability to understand and express feelings.
Emotional Literacy involves having self-awareness and recognition of your own feelings and knowing how to manage them, such as the ability to stay calm when angered or to reassure oneself when in doubt.
We do a detailed assessment which takes into account the views of parents / carers, teachers and the pupil themselves. The assessment is designed to discover where pupils’ strengths and weaknesses are in the area of emotional literacy, in order to provide a better understanding of these competences and, where necessary, to highlight areas for intervention.
The five key areas of emotional literacy are:
- Social skills.
Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation® curriculum (or “The Zones” for short), are lessons and activities designed by Leah Kuypers, licensed occupational therapist, to help pupils gain skills in the area of self-regulation.
Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self- management, and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library….
The lessons and learning activities that we deliver are designed to help the students recognize when they are in the different zones as well as learn how to use strategies to change or stay in the zone they are in. In addition to addressing self-regulation, pupils gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading other people’s facial expressions, perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their behavior, calming and alerting strategies, and problem solving skills.
A critical aspect of this curriculum is that everyone knows and understand The Zones language). This creates a comfortable and supportive environment for the student to practice his or her self-regulation skills. It also helps pupils learn the skills more quickly and be more likely to apply them in many situations. Pupils are supported during this process by doing the following:
- Use the language and talk about the concepts of The Zones as they apply to them in a variety of environments. Make comments aloud so the pupil understands it is natural that we all experience the different zones and use strategies to control (or regulate) ourselves. For example, “This is really frustrating me and making me go into the Yellow Zone. I need to use a tool to calm down. I will take some deep breaths.”
- Help the pupil gain awareness of his or her zones and feelings by pointing out your observations.
- Validate what zone pupils are in and help them brainstorm expected ways to self-regulate so their behavior is expected for the context.
- Share with the pupil how his or her behavior is affecting the zone you are in and how you feel.
- Help the pupil become comfortable using the language to communicate his or her feelings and needs by encouraging the student to share his or her zone with you.
- Show interest in learning about the pupil’s triggers and Zones tools. Ask the pupil if he or she wants reminders to use these tools and how you should present these reminders.
- Ask the pupil to frequently share his or her Zones Folder with you and talk about what he or she has learned.
- Make sure to positively reinforce pupils for recognizing their zone and managing their behaviors while in it, rather than only pointing out when pupils are demonstrating unexpected behaviors while in a zone.
It is important to note that everyone experiences all of the zones—the Red and Yellow Zones are not the “bad” or “naughty” zones. All of the zones are expected at one time or another. The Zones of Regulation is intended to be neutral and not communicate judgment.
Learning Outside of the Classroom
Learning outside the classroom is about raising young people’s achievement through an organised, powerful approach to learning in which direct experience is of prime importance.
Pupils at The Elland Academy Primary have the opportunity to partake in a wide variety of Trips and Visits that supplement their learning inside the classroom, along with weekly sessions of the Forest Schools programme and therapeutic horticulture.
Meaningful learning occurs through acquiring skills through real life hands-on activities
This is not only about what we learn, but most importantly, how and where we learn. It is about improving young people’s understanding, skills, values, personal and social development and can act as a vehicle to develop young people’s capacity and motivation to learn.
Real-world learning brings the benefits of formal and informal education together and reinforces what good educationalists have always known: that the most meaningful learning occurs through acquiring knowledge and skills through real-life, practical or hands-on activities.
There is a wealth of evidence which clearly demonstrates the benefits for young people’s learning and personal development outside the classroom. In summary, learning outside the classroom:
- tackles social mobility, giving children new and exciting experiences that inspire them to reach their true potential. These real world experiences raise aspirations, equipping young people with the skills they need to become active and responsible citizens and shape a fit and motivated workforce.
- addresses educational inequality, re-motivating children who do not thrive in the traditional classroom environment, such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds or with Special Educational Needs. Young people who experience learning outside the classroom as a regular part of their school life benefit from increased self esteem, and become more engaged in their education both inside and outside the classroom walls.
- supports improved standards back INSIDE the classroom, raising attainment, reducing truancy and improving discipline. Learning outside the classroom is known to contribute significantly to raising standards & improving pupils’ personal, social & emotional development.