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FREE Wellbeing Blocks

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Children’s wellbeing must be a priority for the start of the new year.

Following what has been at best a disrupted, and at worst a traumatic year, you may wish to start this new term with your class by engaging in a block of materials focussed on well-being. In this case, why not 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.

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!

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, if ever there was an occasion when all our instincts should be saying ‘slow down’, this is it! Children need and deserve some time to get used to being back, to process what they have been through and to consolidate their learning. The brightest child in the country, as well as the most average, will benefit from a chance to express themselves through art, movement, drama and music. The fact that they are also getting back in the zone of their English and Maths learning is a welcome plus factor. But the main aim is and should be their recovery towards stronger mental health and readiness to learn.