Our children have this week been completing wellbeing questionnaires in school. We were inspired to do this by ‘The Big Ask’ which is a national survey for young people from 4-17 across England. Now that the children have had a few weeks to settle back into a more normal existence we thought it was the ideal opportunity to find out how they are feeling about various aspects of their lives.
We have analysed the children’s anonymous responses in our staff meeting this week and, not surprisingly, there are some clear patterns emerging from them.
The first thing we can report is that there was an overwhelmingly positive response from the children to the questions about how safe they feel in school and how they feel about their friendships. We were obviously delighted to read this.
It was also evident from their responses that the children are still adjusting to life in school after lockdown. This is not surprising, and our main focus for the rest of this term will continue to be their wellbeing. We fully understand that children will only make good progress if the conditions for learning is right and we are looking forward to increasing the challenge in school after the summer break. Until then we are very much focusing on building the children back to where they were before covid hit.
It was interesting to read a significant number of children reflected on the lack of things to do in the local area. We felt that this reflected the impact of the lockdown restrictions on them over the past 15 months. As things continue to open up we will do our best to point out local events and opportunities in our weekly newsletter, which we hope will be useful.
The final major theme that emerged from the results was that the children recognised that their mental health wasn't as good as it was pre-lockdown. Whilst we are pleased that our work in school has helped the children develop their vocabularies for describing their mental health, we are obviously concerned to read this. It has made us more determined than ever to continue our conversations with the children about mental health and to continue to give them strategies and ideas for things to do when they are feeling that their mental health needs a boost.
Overall we found this to be a very valuable activity and it certainly will shape our work in school over the coming weeks and months.