What does emotional support work involve?
- Recognising how we are feeling
- Talking about and learning how to manage our own feelings
- Identifying the situations and experiences that make us feel a certain way
- Knowing how to cope when we are feeling upset or cross and what we can do to make ourselves feel better
- Being aware of how other people feel and having the confidence to deal with a range of social situations
- Building and maintaining friendships and positive relationships with other people
- Developing high self-esteem and a belief in our own abilities
Why is it important?
- When we feel good about ourselves and feel in control of our emotions our ability to learn and achieve improves
- Emotional wellbeing aids concentration, memory, communication and thinking skills
- Being emotionally literate helps us develop resilience and overcome difficulties and makes us better able to cope with anxiety
- Understanding how we feel in social situations means we are in a better position to learn with and from our friends and gain pleasure from their company
- Happy individuals make a happy school community
How do we support and develop the emotional skills of our young people?
There are three members of staff who have been trained to be a part of the Emotional Support Team (EST) at Mountjoy School. We liaise with our Assistant Head Teacher: Sarah Helton and class teachers to select the pupils who would benefit from participation in an EST programme. Our role is to plan and deliver a series of enjoyable activities for individuals or small groups that are appropriate for their specific ages and stages of development. We aim to provide a supportive and encouraging working atmosphere in which we can address the personal issues that are affecting the emotional and social development of individual pupils.
Our 30 minute (approximately) sessions take place on a weekly basis over a course of half a term or a term and use games and activities that we have specifically devised for our EST work. We ensure that sessions are fun and meaningful for everyone involved. Our EST work forms part of our young people’s ongoing personal development and complements the day-to-day work that goes on throughout life in school.
This is Monty the Mountjoy monkey. He is our special EST puppet and has become a significant feature of some of our EST group sessions. He has become a confidant, a comfort and a key player in our role play games. He lives in our school nurture room.