Excellent practice example documented and shared

We were so impressed by Fiona Berrow’s assembly example at our latest mainstream teacher’s practice feedback session, we decided to go back and visit her at school to document the process of learning and teaching she carried out with her P5/6 Class on the lead up to their fantastic assembly delivery.

Fiona is the P5/6 Class Teacher at Raploch Primary School. She began her training with Emotion Works in September last year at an Introductory training session for Primary Teachers. She then attended the follow up practice sharing and feedback event where she detailed the work she had been working on with her class.

Fiona explained that she introduced her class to the different cogs in the 5-part model over a three-week period. Her activities within the classroom were then used as the basis for her class assembly, where her pupils presented information about the first 5 emotion cogs across 5 different assembly activities.

Following the practice sharing feedback session, Emotion Works research intern Kathryn Mackay organised to visit Fiona at her school to find out more. Fiona showed us lots of examples of work arising from the class activities, and explained how the learning was then shared at the whole school assembly.

Pupils drew round each other and then wrote and drew about the body sensations they experience when feeling happy, sad, angry and frightened. Fiona found using imagery and metaphors to be very helpful for generating ideas for this task.

Class activities included brainstorming sessions about emotion words and body sensations which were then displayed in posters and body shaped displays; a class based imovie project led to the creation of emotion-packed movie clips; and the Emotion Works story boards were used to compose emotion stories linking the different cogs together, which were deliberately left with unresolved endings to share with the rest of the school and to ask for their help. The assembly was a great success and the rest of the staff and pupils in the school left with lots of interest in taking things forward in their own classrooms.

In terms of the on-going impact of learning on her own class, Fiona told us about how she now uses Works when behavioural issues or conflicts arise within the classroom. She explained that because pupils now have an understanding of the different cogs and the links between them, she is now able to refer to them during everyday conversations to help ‘unpack’ and make sense of emotional incidents. This seems a particularly helpful way to address issues more openly and calmly, and can help to resolve conflicts more easily. Similarly, one particular pupil with ASN is also benefitting from using the cogs to help with personal reflections on his behaviour and his social perspective taking with peers.

Kathryn wrote up and pulled together all of the photos and notes she took of this fantastic example of Emotion Works practice and we have now compiled all of the information into a 36-page practice example booklet. 500 copies have been printed and we are starting to share it with our Starter Pack resources at our face-to-face training.

So far we have received a phenomenal response from trainees expressing how impressed they are with the work, and how they find the booklet to be an incredibly helpful source of ideas about how to get started teaching about the first 5 emotion cogs.

We would like to thank Fiona Berrow, her P5/6 Pupils and Head Teacher, Karin Stuart, for allowing us the opportunity to visit Raploch School and document this excellent work.

You can download an electronic copy of the Raploch Assembly booklet in our ‘supporting practice’ area