As parents we all harbour the same anxieties, hopes and aspirations for our children. We know that confident children who thrive and perform well share certain characteristics:
The pressures of school academic targets coupled with today’s busy home lives often mean we lose sight of what children actually need to thrive and be happy human beings.
Some children demonstrate high emotional arousal which makes them feel anxious, timid or withdrawn or they may behave in a reactive angry manner. It is normal to feel like this from time to time but sometimes, this takes over our lives and we need support. When a child (or adult) behaves in what seems like an irrational way it is not really them but the emotional part of their right brain hijacking any left brain thinking through having too much cortisol in the brain, which leads to stress. This emotional reaction can be triggered by feelings of uncertainty, fear, feeling out of control, disappointment, being overwhelmed, or simply a change in routine. To make this easier for children to understand we sometimes call the emotional side of the brain ‘the chimp’ and the left, analytical side of the brain ‘the owl’. We know that although this ‘Chimp’ can be very useful it can also hinder us from behaving appropriately in a given situation , maintaining healthy relationships with others and being able to access learning.
Some children demonstrate high emotional arousal which makes them feel anxious, timid, or withdrawn or they may behave in a reactive, angry manner. It is normal to feel like this from time to time but sometimes this takes over our lives and we need a little support.
Kaleidoscope is a 7 step programme aimed at helping children manage their ‘chimp’ by building self belief, resilience and resourcefulness. This takes place in a supportive, safe, nurturing environment away from fear of failure. These learnt strategies of relaxation, mental rehearsal and colour expression all assist children in self soothing, taking calculated risks and persevering with an ‘I can’ attitude.
The Head Teacher; Lindsay Gould and other members of staff; Cheryl Williams, Kelly Maslen, Becky Felice, Tasnim Bond, Elaine Gay, Sammy Watkin and Lyndsay Maguire all work with small groups of children who have been targeted as needing a little extra intervention for a short period of time. Parents are fully included in the decision to begin Kaleidoscope sessions and will always be talked to and receive a letter allowing them to fully understand what will happen and why their child has been chosen to take part. In Kaleidoscope we use lots of natural materials such as sand, animal, puppets, water, pebbles, mirrors and gemstones. There are no worksheets and children do not read or write during any of these sessions.
Kaleidoscope was created by Anne Kaye; it is based on the work of Margot Sunderland (Director of the centre for Child Mental Health in London)
Dr Steven Peters (Psychiatrist to Professional Sportspeople); Theo Gimbal (Colour and Light Therapist). To base line our work we use both Prof Dr Ferre Leavers’ Wellbeing and Involvement Scales plus Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Charts and Adrian Faupel’s (Education Psychologist, University of Southampton) Assessment and Intervention checklists.