The theme for this week’s PSHE focus has been ‘change.’ As we begin to look ahead to moving classrooms, phases, year groups and schools, children (and adults) can sometimes grow restless and may begin to worry about the prospect of change. This is why our team supports the process carefully by talking about what can be gained from embracing change and how we can focus our energies on what we are looking forward to. Aspects such as friendships, new opportunities and growing new skills are all part of looking forwards.
Mr Manley and Mr Dallas led our inspirational assemblies and talked through the different ways in which we might approach change. Questions were posed to help children think through their own actions: Are you a risk taker? Are you curious? Are you reflective? What would you choose to do to make a difference?
Celebrating the skills we have learned and making sure we reflect on the knowledge we have gained is also part of the process. With regards to friendships, we can sometimes begin to push people away when we don’t mean to. It is true that friendships can change over time but it’s also true that when we are a little worried, we can sometimes say things that we don’t mean which in turn can cause hurt or upset. Children learn to regulate emotions by watching the adults around them and we also teach children explicitly about the way that change can sometimes make them feel.
I wrote recently about making mistakes and this became a focus for one of our weekly assemblies. The next part of the process is learning to say sorry which is an important skill that helps us mend relationships and grow as individuals. It takes courage and empathy to admit our mistakes and seek forgiveness from those we have hurt.
When we talk to children about saying sorry, we start with reflection so that we can spend time focusing on what went wrong in the first place. This may be in the moment or it might take a little longer to work through. This important step helps to form an understanding of the impact of the actions that have caused harm.
When children say sorry, we have to be careful not to rush them.Taking responsibility for actions is a difficult life skill. We know that practising this skill in the safety of a school or home environment is an essential part of supporting our children’s development.
We encourage children to use their words carefully and with thought. During an apology, this centres on being clear, genuine and heartfelt. The outcome is always to focus on gaining trust and reset the balance so that respectful relationships and friendships can be rebuilt.
There is then the opportunity to make things better, to reset or restore the balance. This will look different in each circumstance and we work together to find the best solution.
Forgiveness is the final part of the process and while it can be an incredibly tough skill to master, it can have the most powerful results. Letting go of negative emotion is certainly the hoped for outcome but the act of forgiveness itself enables our children to build their skills of compassion.
With warm wishes,
Head, Felsted Prep