A growing concern surrounding the mental and emotional wellbeing of young people, has led to an increase in the need for appropriate interventions to be put in place. Scotland’s schools have a responsibility to support and develop the mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of pupils, as part of what is referred to as ‘Responsibility of All’ (Mental Health Strategy, 2017). Schools play an important part in granting pupils the opportunities to share and learn about strategies available to help them manage their mental and emotional wellbeing. Despite this focus, young people appear to have a limited knowledge surrounding the importance of what it means to mentally and emotionally healthy (Dogra et al, 2012). Social media has become of significant importance in shaping the social, mental and emotional development of our young people, (O’Keefe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). However, despite the positive outlook, research has shown that online presence can also be linked to a reduction in face-to-face interactions and an increase in stress, anxiety and disruptive behaviour, (O’Reilly, Dogra, Whiteman et al, 2018). The inability of pupils to communicate and effectively manage their emotions, can lead to pupils being unable to concentrate and engage with learning, (Bucholz and Sheffler, 2009). Making sure that children and young people feel supported in their learning is fundamental to raising attainment for all (Mental Health Strategy, 2017). Therefore, granting pupils with the opportunities to recognise and manage their emotions can help children to feel secure, supported, and ready to learn.
This Practitioner Enquiry aimed to identify whether pupils sharing their emotions had a positive impact on pupil readiness to learn, by granting pupils the opportunity to recognise and share their emotions with others through ‘emotional corners’. Using ‘emotional corners’ after break and lunch time allowed me to identify whether pupils sharing their emotions helped them feel more focused and ready to learn.