The Importance of Teaching Emotional Wellbeing from Nursery level

Durham International Nursery & Pre-Prep School Nairobi prides itself on supporting children’s emotional Wellbeing from a young age.

“A state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully (with others), and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” – World Health Organisation.

At Durham International Nursery & Pre-Prep School, it is firmly believed that a child’s wellbeing should be supported if a child is to achieve their full potential – both inside & outside of the classroom. The pressures that modern society places upon young people have become more and more prominent in recent years. A growing understanding of Mental Health and the breaking down of stigmas have allowed for positive changes in how schools support their children’s mental health. A child’s physical health has, for a long time, been recognised as key to a child being healthy and now mental health is recognised as being equally important.

The school has created a bespoke curriculum, which incorporates the key elements a child needs to be aware of if they are to understand their emotional wellbeing. Included in the curriculum are strong links to the school’s core principles of Moral Integrity, Ambition, Responsibility and Kindness; this is the MARK of a Durham School education. Each half term the children focus on one of the areas below – to help the children remember what they have been taught the topics are an acronym for the word SCHOOL.

Strive for a growth mindset (S) The first half term of the academic year is used to teach children about the importance of looking after their wellbeing by encouraging a growth mindset. The children explore the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset. A growth mindset is one that encourages children to have the confidence to persevere and overcome a problem whereas a fixed mindset is a negative state of mind that could prevent a child from trying. This term is also used to make children aware that making mistakes is nothing to be frightened of and that mistakes can be seen as a positive as they help you learn.

Choose to aim high and don’t give up (C)

During this half term the children are made aware of how a change in their mindset can lead to success. The children are encouraged to identify how they can make their MARK at school and in the wider community. In order to achieve their ambition children are taught the importance of resilience. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, setbacks, disappointment and change – all life experiences that the children will encounter as they develop into young people.

Help yourself and others (H)

The focus this half term is on encouraging the children to be kind to each other and be empathetic to each other’s feelings. The children are taught to recognise how their friends are feeling and how they can support each other. It is difficult to overstate just how important kindness and empathy are in life.

Only one you (O)

This half term the children are taught to recognise just how special they are and that each and every one of them is unique. This is done through teaching children about self worth and how they should value themselves as individuals. The aim of this is to improve self-esteem, self-respect and self worth – which all play a fundamental role in a child’s motivational levels and success throughout life.

Own and understand your feelings (O)

The final term of the academic year is used to teach the children how they can take responsibility for their emotional wellbeing. They are taught strategies and techniques to regulate their emotions such as mindful breathing, movement and self-awareness.

Let’s reflect (L)

This half term offers our whole school community to reflect on what we have learnt throughout the year. The children are encouraged to discuss what they have been taught and reflect on how it has impacted their lives. Our school staff work closely with the pupils to ensure that they have a secure understanding of all that they have covered and the concepts taught. Durham International Nursery & Pre-Prep School is committed to ensuring that the children who attend their school are equipped with the skills they will need to succeed in what is a rapidly changing and evolving world. The school aims to ensure that it’s pupils have “Confidence for life” and, through the above, it is clear they have every chance of achieving this aim.