Worry & Stress
We all suffer from worry and stress in varying forms so this month we’re looking at activities that not only have a link with SMSC but can go a long way to reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.
Last month I briefly mentioned the new category, Personal Development, in the new Ofsted Framework due to come into force in September 2019.
This alone is probably the biggest change we have seen since September 2011 and has far reaching consequences should there be a lack of provision.
The idea of this category is to look beyond the academic to develop and promote values and characteristics designed to improve life chances and unlock potential in each individual.
Ofsted acknowledges that the impact of this will not be evident for several years, however, evidence of the quality and intent of what the school provides will be needed. Interestingly, SMSC remains separate and will be looked at as it is now by Inspectors.
GridMaker already has SMSC, British Values and PSHE on the system, and when the RSE criteria is finalised we’ll have a grid for that too.
Because GridMaker allows all of these values to be monitored under one activity at the same time, in about one minute I might add, getting the staff involved by adding one or two activities per week cuts down on everyone’s workload and as the picture of provision emerges on GridMaker, it’s very easy to see gaps in provision.
We’ve been helping schools with SMSC for over 10 years. Take a look at GridMaker yourself by requesting a free trial.
I've added this month's contributions to the Newsletter Grid. To take a look at a full report just click 'Save to PDF'.
April is Stress Awareness Month
I can still hardly believe that I found this little gem - a free online programme for primary and secondary schools about habits and how they can help us be healthy and productive and reduce stress.
It is an American non-profit production, however, if it’s useful, take a look. https://programs.howidecide.org
National Pet Month
More than a Pet
Most of us have a four legged friend, hamster, horse and all in between, however, it’s been proven that having a bond with an animal has many benefits including an impact on well being. (This cutie is mine)
Story Time - Woof!
While a ‘bring your pet to school’ day would be complete chaos, the Kennel Club created the Bark and Read Foundation in 2011 to support and promote the amazing work of charities that take dogs into schools as reading volunteers to help tackle the UK's literacy problems.
This has got to be the best and most heartwarming reason to train a dog for special purpose - so many people suffer from PTSD and the comfort of owning a service dog who has been specially trained to spot signs or trauma must be life changing.
SMSC is everywhere and forms a large part of self-evaluation and action planning in schools.
With a template that caters for the Self-evaluation of SMSC provision, iAbacus makes the whole process simple and insightful.
National Gardening Week
27th April is the start of National Gardening Week and there’s nothing more peaceful than a beautiful garden - gardening is very therapeutic and providing the lawn mower isn’t broken, another great way to relieve stress.
School gardens are popular and some even profitable - this article explains some of the benefits the writer found when implementing a garden at her school.
29th April - International Dance Day
Dancing - spontaneous, sequenced or otherwise, gets those endorphins flowing promoting a sense of wellbeing and joy.
The Greatest Dancer
The Greatest Dancer finished it’s first season on BBC One in February and the winner - a 14 year old girl called Ellie who overcame her nerves and let her talent shine. Inspiring proof beyond doubt that getting lost in the dance can conquer all.
25th April is International Penguin Day and who doesn’t appreciate the antics of such a wonderful creature, however, penguins can be brave too.