Lorna Hughes

Primary Teacher

Thornlie Primary

  • Health & Wellbeing

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

Rationale

One of the key areas within the Curriculum for Excellence (CFE) is Health and Wellbeing (HWB). Educators have a responsibility to ensure that learning within HWB provides children with information they will need for “mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future” (Scottish Government, 2020).

Children’s HWB can be affected by many factors that can lead to barriers in learning. Cremin and Arthur (2014) state some of these factors including: the socio-economical state of the family and social/emotional learning difficulties. It is important that educators develop positive relationships with children to gain an insight into the holistic child and identify these factors.

The Scottish Attainment Challenge (2015) highlighted that supporting children and getting it right for each individual need was a priority. Each child should be presented with equal opportunities. Scottish Government (2013) stated that children who live in areas of deprivation are more likely to suffer from social and mental health problems. By narrowing this gap, there is hoped to be a reduction in social, economic and mental inequalities for all learners. Educators can do this through the implementation of the SHANARRI Wellbeing indicators, the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) (2020) Framework, fostering positive relationships and continually assessing the holistic child. This is furthered by Education Scotland (2014) that details that by improving a child’s Health and Wellbeing it can have a positive impact on other curricular areas such as Literacy and Numeracy.

Health and Wellbeing is a priority of my establishment and it is highlighted within the School Improvement Plan linking to the current national educational issue. There is an emphasis on pupil’s wellbeing making this enquiry relevant and informative. Mindfulness is an initiative that can be used within the classroom to positively impact a child’s learning across all areas of the curriculum, it can enhance concentration skills, ability to listen and focus. If carried out consistently and well it is hoped that the results will be reflected when the Scottish Government review the Attainment Challenge.

Aims

The aim of the enquiry was to gather information on the implementation of a personal reflective journal for children and the effect it has on the classroom environment and children’s wellbeing.

The enquiry sought to find out if children were more focussed on their tasks after participating in their mindfulness reflection time. The children involved in the inquiry have a wide range of needs and can have challenging behaviour. This can have an undesirable impact on pupil’s focus and concentration in the afternoons.

Download Practitioner Enquiry