Lara Hughes

Primary Teacher

Our Lady & St. Francis Primary

  • Health & Wellbeing

What Happens When you Introduce a Personal Reflective Journal to the Classroom?

Rationale

Health and Wellbeing, along with Literacy and Numeracy, is one of the core areas within the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) that is a responsibility for each member of staff within the school (Scottish Government, 2020). In Scotland, all adults who work within a school have a duty to support and develop the mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of pupils, this is referred to as the ‘Responsibility of All’ (Mental Health Strategy 2017). If children are not able to listen, concentrate or participate in the classroom environment their emotional, social or physical well-being is not being met. Educating a child on how to reflect on their emotions, to unwind, and manage their mental health not only increases their concentration within the classroom but provides them with skills that they can use in later life.

In my probationary year I have been working in a school in which the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) (Scottish Government, 2020) decile score is low. I appreciate the importance of planning lessons that are accessible to each pupil individually whilst also benefitting the learning of the class as a whole. The Scottish Government (2013) states that children living in deprived areas are more likely to suffer from social and mental health inequalities- I feel a personal responsibility to minimise these inequalities as best I can. The importance of this underpins each lesson I plan and deliver. I aim to ensure that each child feels included, valued and nurtured and to develop a culture of respect that permeates beyond the bounds of the classroom. Education Scotland (2014) describes the aim of the Scottish Government to reduce social, economic and mental inequalities amongst children by narrowing the attainment gap in achievement, attainment and Health and Wellbeing. There is a known correlation between the Health and Wellbeing of a child and their attainment in other areas such as literacy and numeracy for example. This impact is the reason that the school I am currently in include Health and Wellbeing in their School Improvement Plan. It is predicted that this practitioner enquiry will see an improvement in the mental health and social wellbeing of the pupils, which will have a positive impact on children’s learning in other curricular areas.

Aims

The aim of this enquiry is to find how reflection strategies impact on learner focus and engagement within the classroom. In my class I have pupils with a wide range of abilities and behaviours which can often have a negative impact on the learning and development. It is anticipated that the reflective strategies that will be implemented throughout the 5 week period, will have a positive effect on pupils focus, behaviour and learning.

Download Practitioner Enquiry