St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School in Knowsley started using Mind Moose 10 months ago and are already feeling the benefits. Moira Kenneway, the headteacher at St Aidan’s, made the decision to use Mind Moose having recognised the need for conversation surrounding mental wellbeing. “Our learning mentor has been using it as an intervention with some of our most vulnerable children in Years 2 to 6 to help him to find out more about each child and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings,” she says. “We have also used it as a whole class resource in Years 1 and 5 and found huge levels of engagement and reflection from the children.”
The learning mentor at St Aidan’s, Andy Williams, has been using Mind Moose both within small groups, and on a one-to-one basis, and has found the activities to be a good way to introduce structure and direction within his sessions with pupils. He has seen the greatest impact with individual students; the activities encourage the children to write down their thoughts, which has made them feel more comfortable beginning a conversation about their feelings and what is happening in their lives.
Andy has found Mind Moose particularly useful amongst children facing adversity outside of the school environment, encouraging them to talk about any issues they are facing without appearing intrusive. ‘’Mind Moose is a great ice-breaker in terms of getting children to talk about themselves, something they are not always keen to do,” he said.
Mind Moose has helped children to develop positive coping strategies whilst discouraging negative thought and behaviour patterns. “Mind Moose has also helped children develop a positive outlook, as they can see qualities and people around them that they may not have realised,” Andy says. Some of the activities have proved especially helpful with looked after children, helping him to talk through difficult situations and giving him valuable information he can use to support the child and share with others.
Pupils have begun to acknowledge ways that they can stay calm in distressing situations, from difficult homework to challenging environments outside of the classroom. A Year 6 pupil found completing Mind Moose activities a good way to remain composed at home. “I feel calmed down by the activities. If I’m angry at my mum, now I know how to stay calm, but before I used Mind Moose, I couldn’t stay calm” she said.
The progress is clear and both pupils and teachers at St Aidan’s school are looking forward to continuing to use Mind Moose; “We are really enjoying using Mind Moose at St. Aidan’s.” says Moria, the head; “We would highly recommend Mind Moose, it is fantastic.”