‘Mental and Emotional Health and Wellbeing’ has been a core curriculum subject within Scottish Education’s ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ for over a decade now.
Over the same period of time, the Emotion Works resources and training packages have been researched and designed, piloted and refined to provide Scotland with a comprehensive programme that helps teachers and practitioners deliver learning experiences for emotional wellbeing that are tailored to their role as educators.
Our approach is now being used in schools and nurseries in almost every local authority in Scotland, along with a growing number of settings across the rest of the UK and beyond.
We’re working hard as a small organisation to share our programme more widely, which is greatly helped by the ‘word-of-mouth’ practitioner endorsements that we hear at our training sessions, practice sharing events and on social media platforms…
Emotion Works has developed a programme that is flexible and adaptable. It can fit around the needs of each setting from a wee rural school to a large city establishment. No matter where each child lives Emotion Works is there to support each child to become a Confident Individual and a Successful Learner.
More formal feedback from our customers tells us that there are very high levels of satisfaction with the resources, training and membership support they receive. Teachers and practitioners tell us that they feel better equipped, more confident and more effective at teaching emotional literacy, and also when supporting pupils with additional support needs.
As part of our capacity building approach we have had the pleasure of attending a number of school showcases where impressive learning and family involvement is evident. Also, as part of our accreditation process we often hear reassuring reports about how our programme helps teachers and pupils in quite dramatic change around ways.
A year ago I took to a Facebook forum page (Scottish ASN and Nurture Teachers) to find help on how to support a troubled little soul in my P3 class. I had been working very hard with him on ways to manage his emotions and difficult situations, which were arising daily. The health and well-being programme in the school just wasn’t enough. I felt like I was failing him and the other pupils in my class, and I felt stuck.
A lot of the members on the Facebook page provided supportive messages, ideas and quite a few mentioned Emotion Works. I had never heard of Emotion Works and began to do my own personal research into the programme. During this research I realised this was exactly what I was looking for; something visual, clear and simple for children to understand. I started to implement aspects of the programme into my daily teachings when I won a competition for a year’s membership to Emotion Works and gained access to the website. I watched all the training videos and looked at all the examples of work. I thought to myself – finally, something that I can use to really home in on understanding the various aspects of emotions at the right levels for all my learners.
I attended a Saturday morning training event which I used to deepen my knowledge and understanding of the programme and discussed ways in which I could take it forward with my target pupil, class and wider school. A few months later, I attended another training event to feedback how I had implemented Emotion Works, shared some success stories and explained how I planned to take it forward.
Roll on a year and our whole school staff have now been trained in Emotion Works, we have an Emotion Works committee group, I have ran two parent information sessions which were very well received, I have my practitioner accreditation and that little troubled soul from the year before is now talking about his emotions, sharing his own ideas and strategies with other children and understands that discussing our emotions with people around us is a healthy and helpful thing to do.
Principal Teacher, North Lanarkshire
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We decided to roll Emotion Works out over the whole school to give our children a consistent language of emotions and a model of support which can be used across all areas of learning, in the playground and also at home. We started last September when we did a simple assessement with our P1-7s about their emotion word knowledge. We then trained all teachers and support staff, incorporated the programme into our planning and shared our work with parents at a fab showcase in May. When we re-checked our pupils emotional vocabulary in June we discovered that this had increased by 400%!! Depute Head, Renfrewshire