All P3 to P7 pupils took the PASS survey in October, having allowed some time for them to settle back into the classroom environment at the start of the school year. We then ranked pupils based on their PASS results and selected those with low scores on factors such as ‘Preparedness for learning’ and ‘Feelings about school’ to target for the Engage programme. We selected a total of 23 pupils who ranged across P3 to P6 (although we had to consider class bubbles when determining the number of pupils to include from each year group).
The programme started in November, with three days a week spent supporting pupils with English and maths, and the other two days focussing on their mental health and wellbeing. The wellbeing programme focused on providing the children with the knowledge and strategies to deal with anxiety and to build resilience. It included using emotion flash cards, breathing techniques, use of a ‘positive thoughts’ diary, a jar of affirmations and mindfulness activities. When the school had to close again in January, we used our online learning platform to upload activities for pupils to complete remotely and videos for them to engage with.
After the pupils returned to school, we tested them again with PASS and found that most of these pupils were happier and more content to be back at school. Out of the 23 pupils in the programme, we were delighted that 19 pupils’ PASS scores had improved. You can see an example of one pupil’s pre-test and post-test PASS scores in Figure 1.
The pupils we selected for the Engage programme were in a state of crisis, with difficulties at home and social and emotional issues. The quantitative data that PASS provided gave us tangible evidence to back-up our teacher judgement, so we were confident that we had targeted the right pupils for the programme and could make a difference for them. This was a new initiative for our school, and it has given us the reassurance that it is worth investing in the wellbeing of our pupils.
Holy Trinity Primary School is one of our Advocate Partners