Sunday, 24 April 2016

The nurture room

"Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and young people visited Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School to see some Early Years Collaborative work in action..."

"During the visit, Ms Campbell saw how the nursery and school is helping children develop their communications skills to support learning and build their confidence and resilience. With help from Puppet Animation Scotland, teachers have been trained to use puppets to help children to vocalise their feelings and emotions."

"This work is currently being tested using Early Years Collaborative improvement techniques and is already showing improved interactions from the children who have participated."

What they mean by improved interactions is that children learn to use words like anger, frustration, sad, embarrassed, excited, upset, scared. These might be useful skills to have when children progress and start filling in psychological surveys and questionnaires, but as an aid to building confidence and resilience I am not so sure. Young children grow in confidence by `doing`, not `introspecting`. In the presence of understanding adults, children should not need to worry about their feelings and have to spend hours explaining them. Behaviour is something else.

Last week the primary school produced a podcast talking about the `Nurture Room` which is a special room where children go to share their feelings. One child described the room as a very quiet place you can go to when something is wrong. The windows are big and lots of sunlight shines in. There are two sofas, cushions on the floor and puppets, if you need a rest or to `chill`. There are lots of games, so you will hardly ever be bored.

Of course, some children have special needs but that is another matter entirely. The point is schools are more and more mainstreaming nurture and wellbeing.

Parents, on the other hand, are being encouraged to read and story tell with their children to improve literacy, attachment and brain development. For many children, it won`t do anything of the sort because that will depend on what happens in school.

This is just another example of role reversal.

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