Two Dorset first schools are teaching their children how to look after theirs and other people’s hearts.
Together they have launched a new HeartSmart initiative, which encourages children to be kind and caring to themselves and their friends.
To introduce the new scheme, the children enjoyed a visit from HeartSmart robot Boris who explained the importance of being kind and feeling safe.
Headteacher at St John’s First School, Katharine Anstey, said: “This initiative puts the mental health of our children at the very heart of our teaching.
“If children learn about looking after their emotional wellbeing from an early age, and just as importantly look out for others, they are more likely to enjoy their learning and flourish.”
Jo Hancock, head of Witchampton CE First School, added: “The children absolutely loved their visit from Boris and learning about what we will be doing as part of HeartSmart.
“There has been much in the news about mental health in young people and as schools we play an important part in educating children on how to be healthy – both mentally and physically.”
As part of the HeartSmart initiative teachers from both schools have had training on how to use the specially provided resources.
They will now tailor their PHSE (personal, social and health education) lessons to encourage kind and positive words and help build character, emotional health and resilience in the children.
CEO of Wimborne Academy Trust, Liz West, said: “This is a very creative way of enabling children to adopt a positive attitude and be emotionally healthy.
“I think it is fantastic that two of our first schools are adopting this approach because children are never too young to start looking after their mental health.”
St John’s and Witchampton are two of 11 first and middle schools that make up Wimborne Academy Trust. The others are: Allenbourne Middle, St Michael’s CE Middle, Emmanuel CE Middle, Lockyer’s Middle, Verwood First, Hillside First, Merley First, Colehill First and Hayeswood First.
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