Family & Education

New Sinai scheme shows ambition to cater for 'the whole child'

A new wellbeing programme called Thrive has been introduced this term


Sinai Primary in Kenton has introduced a new wellbeing programme to help pupils who are feeling anxious about school.

Called “Thrive”, it offers a breakfast club and afternoon sessions twice a week. It now has its own designated room kitted out with sofas.

“We are creating a social, emotional and mental health curriculum,” said the teacher in charge of it, Kelsey Ainhorn.

For children who may be struggling in class, the breakfast club provides a “quiet space with some relaxing music,” she said. “It’s somewhere where they can go before they start school and helps set them up for the day. If they have any worries, they can chat to me before they start the busy school day.”

Around a dozen or so children come to the afternoon sessions. “A lot are struggling in class, they come to me to get the tools to thrive in the classroom,” she said. The goal is to equip them so they will be able to cope by themselves.

In the first half of term, the children looked at how to understand themselves better, what made them happy or angry and how to regulate their emotions. “This term, we are looking at flexible thinking — how do we respond if things don’t go our way and problem-solving,” she said.

“I try to create engaging lessons to tackle these sometimes hard and thought-provoking topics and give the children time to reflect on how they can take these skills back into the classroom.”

The need for such a programme became more pronounced during the pandemic and post-lockdown.“Teaching English and maths is not enough any more for a school,” Mrs Ainhorn said.

“We live in this crazy world — we need to cater for the whole child, not just the academic side.”

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