Ysgold Y Strade is a bilingual Comprehensive School in Carmarthenshire educating 1123 pupils aged 11-18.
The leadership team at Ysgol y Strade identified that stress was having a significant effect on pupils’ health and emotional wellbeing. Also that social issues between pupils were causing worry and anxiety, which led to an inability to concentrate in class. They decided to prioritise improving these issues and gave staff training on helping pupils to deal with their emotions.
The school invested in Emotion Coaching for a member of teaching staff who was keen to develop knowledge and understanding of this issue through action research. This training developed into effective networking between Ysgol y Strade and another nearby secondary school.
Hannah Davies, Head of English, reports on how the school has implemented Emotion Coaching:
Hannah says that during a time where the emotional wellbeing of all is of fundamental importance, Emotion Coaching really has shown the way forward for us at Ysgol Y Strade.
During our Estyn inspection in 2019, we were commended for the importance placed on emotional wellbeing within the school; the methods used to help and support both staff and pupils were placed as an example of effective practice as seen on their website https://www.estyn.gov.wales/effective-practice/improving-pupils-emotional-wellbeing.
Initially I created a wall display of the steps within Emotion Coaching in a central area of the school as a visual for staff and pupils. We then decided to filter this training out to staff and pupils. Here are the steps taken by the school over the last few years:
Emotion Coaching training for all staff.
Emotion Coaching training for a group of 6th form pupils to create a wellbeing committee.
Emotion Coaching PSE days for year 8 and 9.
Emotion Coaching booklet and power point presentations for year 7 registration sessions conducted by the sixth form pupils in the wellbeing committee.
We have also been to Ysgol Bro Dur to present how we use Emotion Coaching at our school.
Referrals to the wellbeing officer have significantly reduced. Staff who are associated with the wellbeing posts are seeing fewer pupils who are unable to deal with emotional difficulties that hinder effective learning.
A learner’s voice video, has been part of the action research evaluation process. This clearly shows that the training has had a positive effect. Pupils express that staff are much more aware of how to deal with situations.
Staff are very positive about the effect of Emotion Coaching, particularly with pupils of lower ability and less motivated pupils. The mindset of trying to understand the background and emotion behind the behaviour is particularly powerful in discussions with pupils.