Wellbeing & Mental Health
A pioneering wellbeing curriculum is at the core of Cumnor’s ethos and why we led the way as the UK’s first school to introduce ‘iSpace Wellbeing’; an exciting, child-friendly approach to children’s wellbeing education. Voted ‘best for innovation’ by The Week Independent Schools Guide 2021.
Developed by Paula Talman, the School’s Director of Compliance, Health & Welfare, our wellbeing curriculum offers a language and toolkit to help children, teachers and parents start the conversation about mental health. iSpace which stands for ‘I stop, I pause, I calm everything’ is themed around a galaxy of planets and is built on three core beliefs about what an effective wellbeing curriculum needs to be – preventative, consistent and fun to teach and learn. This approach aims to enhance confidence, capability and creativity and to boost emotional intelligence, resilience and self-worth. Our children are taught that it is ‘okay’ not to feel okay, and that talking about our emotions can help us to become more resourceful and overcome challenges.
iSpace is incorporated into the daily routine for all children from Nursery to Year 6, supported by a staff Wellbeing Team and Ambassador Awards for those children showing a keen interest in wellbeing lessons and putting their learning into practice. The success of iSpace, which is now being adopted in schools across Sussex, Surrey and London has swiftly been followed by #iWonder for Year 7 and 8 pupils, helping teens to understand their emotional, physical, social and mental health.
But we haven’t stopped there and continually look to support new innovations in wellbeing. That’s why we’re now piloting the Wellbeing Compass app as part of #iWonder. The app’s primary aim is to help young children to continually review their wellbeing, gather self-care tools and develop coping strategies both in school and at home.
We are delighted that two of our pupils were recently interviewed for CBBC’s Newsround as part of their coverage marking World Mental Health Day. This year, more than ever, it has been vitally important for children to be able to talk about how they’re feeling and know how and when to ask for help.