Finding Your Way Programme for Schools
Do you know why humans have emotions? What's their purpose and where do they come from? Before we can help children understand their emotions we need to understand them ourselves. To be a 'good enough' role model to children we also need to ensure we are dealing with them in a positive way ourselves. The Finding Your Way programme helps everyone learn about emotional health and wellbeing in a fun and safe way. It teaches why we have emotions, where they come from and how to deal with them more effectively through life on our journey to emotional intelligence. It truly is a simple, safe and fun mental health lesson for all!
A Whole School Approach
Our programmes are tools to help schools deliver a whole school approach to emotional health and wellbeing through learning about core human emotions and developing the key skill of emotional intelligence from EYFS through to Key Stage 2.
The Lesson Plans
A series of lesson plans have been written by experienced primary teacher and owner of Head First Education, Nick Russell. The lesson plans sit alongside each of the Finding Your Way picture books for teachers to use in their classrooms enabling a consistent whole school approach to delivering emotional health and wellbeing. In this way emotions can be taught in an inclusive, fun, creative and safe way to all year groups starting in nursery and running through to year 6, building on the child's learning year on year as their brain develops and their emotional intelligence increases.
- A simple and consistent approach to educating children about the six core human emotions of sadness, fear, happiness, surprise, anger and disgust through a series of lesson plans and six core texts which can be memorised and referred back to throughout the primary education years.
- For all children to learn about and understand their own feelings, why they need them and what motivates them, and others, to behave the way they do.
- To help children develop the key skill of emotional intelligence for their long-term mental health through supporting the delivery of the World Health Organisation definition of good mental health: 'A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’
- To support teaching aims across the national curriculum programme of study for EYFS, KS1 and KS2, underpinned by opportunities to improve reading and literacy skills along the way!
Whole School Programme Includes:
- 210 detailed lesson plans written by experienced primary teacher, Nick Russell
- Focusing on the 6 core emotions of sadness, fear, happiness, surprise, anger and disgust
- 6 core text all linked together by the Lifeland map at the front of each book
- 5 lesson plans per book per year group written to be delivered over a full week, or one per week throughout the term
- Age and development appropriate emotional education for each year group
- Specifically tailored to meet national curriculum objectives
- Starts education from Nursery/Reception running all the way through to Year 6
- Designed to run across the whole school throughout the year to fit neatly within the six half terms
- Tested, fun, safe and easy to deliver for any teacher
- Includes 42 books, a full set of the six Finding Your Way emotional education picture books for each year group
- Plus 7xA4 copies of the Lifeland map and Big Feeling Poster
The plans can also be purchased separately for each year group from EYFS through to KS2.Contact Us
A Note from the Author
All children, in every walk of life, will struggle with their feelings from time to time. Modern family life is complex and it could be argued that children have to deal with more stress and emotional pressures than ever before. Ignoring or suppressing feelings can result in children becoming angry (aggressive) and or fearful (anxious/depressed). Yet parents, carers and teachers sometimes struggle to know how to effectively deal with the emotions that children display.
The Finding Your Way school programme has been written specifically to help children understand their feelings and behaviour, and what they can do to become more emotionally resilient. Following years of working in schools, my inspiration for this series came directly from the creative therapy techniques I use in my sessions, and are based on my first hand experiences of working with children. The books are written from the child's perspective and encourage us all to take a more creative and playful approach, especially when dealing with life's more serious problems in order to help reduce their anger, fear and sadness.
'It seems crazy to me to wait until a child is in crisis and in need of my services before offering them help, hence why we've taken my work into the classroom. There is always a reason children display emotions and challenging behaviour and we can all help them communicate how they are feeling more effectively. Educating children about their emotions is key, once children are able to understand what emotions are and why we have them they can start to manage them better, because they will feel less fearful and alone in their experiences. As a society, we are losing our ability to talk to children and recognise when they need emotional help and support. It's time for us to change and help them find their way.'
Kay Brophy, Psychologist and Family Practitioner, member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and The Association for Family Therapy (AFT)Learn More
School Case Study
As the message spreads of what we are trying to achieve with this project, one thing you might like to hear is about how it has worked so far.
Sundorne Infant School and Nursery was one of the first schools to take us on board with Year 2 Leader Joanna Lovett able to observe the results at first-hand. This is what she had to say:
"We piloted this project with our Year 2 children last year and have expanded that to include Year 1 and Year 2 this year."
"It has proved extremely useful in helping children understand emotions and be able to hang that on a picture and a map that characters journey around - it’s a nice context, moving through the emotions from the negative to the positive."
"The children really buy-in to the characters in the storybooks and we do lots of role play. It helps with their English, the children talk about what’s going on and can refer back to the core emotions to see how we are better able to regulate our own behaviour and solve any disagreements."
"We have a brig drive on mental health and wellbeing at the school, this has been a fantastic project and teaching aid which both the school and our pupils have found to be hugely beneficial."
It has been a privilege to work with you. The support and help you have given our pupils and their families has been invaluable.
You have helped me a lot with my feelings and anger problems.
Child, The Grange Primary
It was really helpful and I really enjoyed coming to see you.
Child, The Grange Primary
We have learned skills to deal with our problems which has helped us to cope better, I feel a lot stronger now, you've been amazing.
Parent, Sundorne Infants
My daughter can now talk to me if she has any problems, I'm really pleased about that, thank you.
Parent, Belvidere Secondary
It's been fun playing with you, I am happy in school now.
Child, Sundorne Infants
Thank you so much for everything you have done. Me and my family are very grateful to you.
Parent, Sundorne Infants
Thank you for everything you have done for us, it has been lovely working with you.
SENCo, Church Stretton