Many of the Young People referred for OUtreach teaching in recent years have been diagnosed with Mental Illness of various kinds. It can take some months away from school to recover. Those in school who are anxious or unhappy will find difficulty in concentration.
At the Scottish Learning Festival I came across some useful resources for schools in supporting the Mental Health of all pupils.
The Centre for Confidence and Well being offers the possibility of In-service training for teachers, and resources can be accessed on line at www.centreforconfidence.co.uk
The Samaritans have produced a DVD resource which can be used in Staff training or with classes. ‘Developing emotional awareness and Learning’ is well worth a look for lesson plans and ideas for PSD classes.
‘Glow’ will be invaluable for pupils who have to take time away from school through illness. The implications are exciting in supporting inclusion.
I listened to Charles Leadbeater at the Scottish Learning Festival and was excited by his notions of :”Learning with rather than teaching to pupils ;the learner as participant not an empty vessel; and community being crucial to the learning process”
I reflected on my work with a P.1 pupil who had cognitive difficulties. Her barriers to learning were compounded by social and emotional deprivation and her family had difficulty in providing an environment to offset some of the disadvantages she was born with.
Unfortunately working and learning with parents is time consuming and costly. Leadbeater says that we may have exhausted other avenues for further development in education except in “Personalisation and collaboration.” A redistribution of resourcing and flexibility of provision might reach pupils currently missed.
TESS (3/10/08), reporting on several speakers at the Learning Festival says the emphasis needs to be on “Relationships”.
Martin Rouse called on schools to focus on “relationships,respect and recognition” while Professor Teese said that Scotland should be strengthening relationships within its schools.