EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE WELLBEING CURRICULUM
Our job in schools isn't just to teach children about reading, writing and maths. It is also teaching them about what makes life worth living. This curriculum can be their first step.
Why do we need it?
Now, more than ever, we must be mindful of children's wellbeing, safety, emotional and mental health.
The pandemic may have caused learning gaps.
But tackling the long lasting gaps in children’s wellbeing is more important.
This was the main, motivating factor in the creation of this curriculum.
What is the EYFS Wellbeing Curriculum?
It is an approach designed to give children in the Early Years the knowledge and skills they need in order to survive and thrive in the changing, fast-paced, modern world.
11 session outlines for EYFS. The knowledge is carefully structured to enable children to understand the wellbeing messages.
Each session is linked to one of the eleven themes: Flourishing, Happiness, Relationships, Resilience, Connections, Health, Change, Community, Feelings, Breathing, and Nature.
A consistent approach for helping children understand how their mind works. When children have a strong understanding of how their mind is the operating system within the hardware of their brain, it allows them to be much more open to embedding the key wellbeing messages.
How are the sessions designed?
Each session has been designed as an approach – not a lesson. This is a deliberate decision because it gives teachers the freedom to shape their sessions to be personal for their children, rather than just following a set of rigid lesson plans.
Every approach has the relevant content knowledge teachers will need to communicate to the children. How it is communicated to the children is in the hands of the teacher because they are the ones who know the children and how they learn best. The knowledge section has been written addressed to the children to make it easier for teachers to be able to communicate specific parts of knowledge.
The next part of each approach includes strategies to help children process their new knowledge, use it for their own means, be able to communicate it to others, and conduct their own investigations and thinking around each theme.
For EYFS, these strategies have been divided up into: Extending Understanding and Embedding Activities.
You will know where to pitch the activities for children and you can use these suggestions to form your own approaches, investigations and activities.
10 Benefits this approach will offer your school
1. Develop a consistent approach for growing, developing and embedding wellbeing.
2. Franchise positivity across your community.
3. Set children on a trajectory of good health, happiness and opportunity.
4. Teach your school community how to take personal responsibility for their own wellbeing.
5. Create a compounding and compelling school culture founded on continuous improvement.
6. Enable children to be well placed for future challenges.
7. Help children build a stronger identity and belief in themselves.
8. Enable children to understand how their brain works and use this knowledge to their advantage.
9. Allow your school to shape its own unique path on the journey of wellbeing.
10. And most importantly, take the first step on a trajectory of teaching children why life is worth living to the fullest.
How do you deliver the approach across your school?
You can choose how you deliver this project in your school. As there are eleven themes, you could deliver one every month of the school term, or you might choose to compress the sessions into a term (or eleven weeks) – it is your choice. My only advice if you choose to compress the timespan is to make sure you revisit the ideas over the rest of the school year.
I have designed the sessions to be delivered over the course of the academic year. It will be up to the class teachers to shape their approach to be specific for their children.
There are no time constraints for each approach. Teachers can spend as little or as long as they like exploring and investigating the ideas and concepts within this project. The important part is making sure teachers take ownership and feel empowered to take their wellbeing curriculum project in the direction they believe is the best for their children.