Share this

FREE Wellbeing Blocks

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Children’s wellbeing must be a priority at this time.

Children will not be immune to the terrible news coming over our TV screens, newspapers and social media. Some children will already have only a precarious mental balance, and many more may find themselves anxious or uncertain. Why not take a break from high-pressure learning, and use our fabulously creative Wellbeing Units. Categorised under maths and English, these materials provide a rehearsal of key skills in each subject but within the context of a wide variety of creative arts, drama and music activities.

Time spent on well-being is not wasted! It is axiomatic that a child who does not feel loved is ineducable, and a child who is mentally frail is in the same boat. This is no less true today than it was when Rousseau first stated it, some two hundred and fifty years ago. So, allowing children time to rehearse key skills in maths and English through the medium of the expressive arts is an ideal step on the path toward being ready to learn.

English
A block of work designed to allow children to express themselves in a safe way – paper sculpture, painting, modelling, composition, movement, music and drama. We use poems and stories to stimulate work specifically planned to enhance children’s wellbeing, to improve confidence and extend their mental space for learning.

Year 1 Autumn: Colours and Monsters
Year 2
Autumn: Umbrellas and Rainbows
Year 3
Autumn: Feeling and Growing
Year 4
Autumn: Escapes and Dreams
Year 5 Autumn: Ideas, weird and wonderful!
Year 6
Autumn: Positive Me!

Maths
A one-week unit focussed on key skills and fun maths, including paper sculpture, painting, modelling, drama, movement and music. Children practise tables and number facts and reinforce understanding of mathematical ideas in an unthreatening context, expressing feelings through art and music.

Year 1 Key skills through expressive arts: Autumn block
Year 2 Key skills through expressive arts: Autumn block
Year 3 Key skills through expressive arts: Autumn block
Year 4 Key skills through expressive arts: Autumn block
Year 5 Key skills through expressive arts: Autumn block
Year 6 Key skills through expressive arts: Autumn block

Please note that these blocks were previously on the site for Spring, but there is little repetition or overlap! Any child in your class in September 2021 would have used the previous year’s blocks, if they had been used at all. So in English there is no overlap between the year groups. In maths there is some between year 4, 5 and 6, specifically in relation to nets and hieroglyphs (Y4and Y5) and Celtic knots (Y6).

Why are we doing this?

But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near…


Although teachers always feel time-pressure to move along, sometimes better outcomes can be achieved in the end if we allow children a bit of ‘down-time’ when the focus is on nurturing their creativity and allowing them a freer rein for self-expression. This also enables teachers to give the most needy or frail children a bit of extra time to consolidate their learning, which can, in turn, benefit the whole class community. At the end of the day, improving mental well-being will always assist good learning and the brightest child in the country, as well as the most average, will benefit from a chance to express themselves through art, music, drama, movement and role-play.