Student wellbeing at Mitcham this term has focussed on building an awareness of the importance of mindfulness to support self-regulation.
At Mitcham we have two Wellbeing rooms, quiet respectful places which students can visit, regroup their emotions, have access to an adult to assist with this, and receive sensory and emotional support before returning to class. Students who use these rooms say:
- "It feels like my safe place at home and is a good place to calm down".
- “There are so many things to help me calm down and the room is perfectly nice".
- “It’s calming and it’s got all these things to help people calm down sometimes”.
- “I can go there and it helps me calm down”.
- “I like the sensory tiles and toys”.
- “When I go there it helps me calm down”
- “It’s quiet, I like the sensory tiles and trampoline, it helps me calm down”.
- It helps me calm down when I’m upset. I like the interoception exercises, puzzles and games.
Some of the strategies we use are:
- Interoception exercises, students focus on stretches and notice where they feel this in their body, they then repeat the exercise focusing on a particular muscle and notice where they feel it in their body this time.
- Learning to recognise big feelings, and strategies to slow down, breathe and regulate their emotions.
- Talking about what happened and how they feel, how they can restore the situation and what they can do in similar situations.
- Mindful techniques (colouring, short mindful practices).
- Sensory tools
- Puzzles and games
Students who have been using the room are creating an inspiration board around the word ‘Be’ and also discussing what they are “Grateful” for.
We also support the development of social skills and friendships by offering structured groups at lunchtime where students can join us in the yard to play board games. Students practise the skills of joining in groups, taking turns and learning how to win and lose gracefully.
There will be a display of wellbeing resources used at school for parents to look at during Open Night. We hope you have a chance to visit this display that will be located in the Courtyard.
Julie Ascher-Ellis and Susan Bowler