Children at Oak View Academy have wellbeing in the box

PHOTO: Wellbeing Workers Skylar Mai Mundy and Bethany Long with children from Year 2.

Children at Oak View Academy are being encouraged to share their worries through the use of Wellbeing Boxes. 

All pupils at the Winsford primary school are encouraged to write their problems down and post them in the special boxes.

Then Year 5 pupils Skylar Mai Mundy and Bethany Long, Oak View’s new Wellbeing Workers, set aside time to help the children work through their concerns in sessions overseen by Learning Mentor Liz Colenso.

Skylar, aged 10, said: “It’s for when people feel worried and don’t want to just tell a teacher, they can come and put a worry in the box.  

“We do drop-in sessions every Friday at first break. If there are worries in the box, two people from the class come to the office and we will take them to Mrs Colenso and we’ll help them work out their worries or help fix something.” 

Bethany, aged 9, added: “I like helping people but I also volunteered because I wanted to improve my own confidence in talking to other people, and it has worked.”  

The Whitby’s Lane academy is one of 13 schools in the Winsford Education Partnership who are working together to find new ways to help children learn about emotions and how to regulate them.  

Mrs Colenso said: “The Wellbeing Workers’ role is to support children in school who need someone to talk to or to help solve a problem.

“The girls have made worry boxes that visit one class a week in school. Each Friday, with my support, the girl’s run drop-in sessions.  

“Children who have left a note in the worry box have an opportunity to come along and share their worry with the Wellbeing Workers.  

“The girls have been preparing for this by observing drop-in sessions run by myself and they have been practicing with one another using active listening skills.  

“The drop-in sessions aim to provide a safe space for children to share their worries and to be given ideas about who else they could talk to at home and at school. 

“The girls also promote wellbeing tools which help children to understand and express their emotions.  

“They have also run a competition to create a piece of fiction or non-fiction writing about emotions. This competition is being run throughout the Winsford Education Partnership. Winning entries will be published in a book.”  

Oak View Academy is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which manages schools across Cheshire and Shropshire including Delamere Academy, near Northwich, which is ranked the highest performing primary in West Cheshire according to the latest performance tables.  

Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, said: “The emotional wellbeing of our children is just as important as their physical health.  

“We want every child to be the best possible version of themselves and health and happiness are essential to this.”