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How Laughology’s PSHE lessons help children to support themselves and others.

Understanding how to support others, as well as developing our own support network, is an important part of our Happy-Centred School Programme. In this blog post we’ll look at why these skills are important and how you can develop them in your school.

Why is an understanding of support important?

Ah, empathy, a tricky skill to learn, yet so important to understand. For some children, empathy comes naturally, they seek to understand the emotional needs of others and offer support to their peers quite readily. For others, supporting a friend’s decision or emotional state can be a little more challenging, particularly when it’s over a game of football or, when they’re younger, the choice of tool in the sandpit. If a child’s own emotional needs are challenged, they can find it difficult to see things from another person’s perspective.

Listening to others opinions, as well as giving their own, is also a skill that can need explicit teaching. An understanding of what exactly ‘support’ means is crucial – we can’t ask children to support each other if they’re not entirely sure what this support actually looks or sounds like. All too often, when disagreements between friends occur, the ability to listen goes out of the window and the urge to have our voices heard becomes more important.

Supporting ourselves as much as each other

But as much as giving support to others is a vital life skill, so is the importance of building our own support networks and seeking support for ourselves. Not knowing who is there to help us in times of need can be overwhelming, especially for young children. Our Happy-Centred Schools programme ensures that children are taught how to recognise the support they have around them and how to ask for help should the need arise. It also seeks to give them the tools they need to support themselves.

As humans, we can only give so much before our cup is empty and it needs refilling from those around us. With a knowledge of how to both give and receive support, children are able to head into the wider world with a bank of skills they can apply anywhere. It heightens their emotional intelligence, which, in turn, stands them in good stead for relationships they build in the future.

Teaching Support Skills Using the HCS Programme

From the foundation stage all the way through to Year 6, we teach the children to build and develop their support skills through powerful questioning and related activities. This approach ensures that they develop their understanding and are then able to put it into practise.

Below are some examples of the questions for children to consider.

Foundation Stage

  • What support do we need and why do we need it?
  • How can I make myself heard and listen carefully to others?
  • Who are the people who can support me when I need help?

Key Stage 1

  • What does support mean?
  • How can I build a good support system?
  • Can I reflect on the positive relationships in my life?

Key Stage 2

  • How do I know when I need support?
  • Can I use the right tools to support myself?
  • How can I support others and make a difference?
  • How can I support my local community?

More information on the Happy-Centred School programme, some of our free resources.


Steph Caswell

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