In September 2019, Dulwich became a pioneer of the iSpace Wellbeing for children throughout the school. This is an exciting, child-friendly approach to starting the conversation about mental health and wellbeing and has been designed to enable children, parents and teachers to integrate wellbeing into their everyday lives. The programme offers strategies and tools to overcome challenges and to thrive despite failure.
Pupils in Years 7 and Year 8 were introduced to #iWonder which dovetails with the PSCHEE curriculum. Dulwich was fortunate in being one of the very first schools in the country to trial this programme. An iSpace and Wellbeing Co-ordinator to enable continuity with this new initiative across the school has been appointed.
All our children participate in weekly lessons based on the iSpace curriculum. The lessons are designed to make learning about mental health fun. We use the combination of a new language, quirky characters and a variety of engaging exercises to help our children develop strategies and tools to overcome challenges and thrive despite setbacks.
When surveyed in December 2020, 94% of our children said they’d used breathing to settle their emotions at times of anxiety or anger, 85% felt able to talk about their feelings; 94% understood how to look after their body and mind, 81% got on better with their family, and 70% felt they’d spent less time worrying – quite something, during a global pandemic!
94% of our children said they had used iSpace Breathing to settle emotions like anger and fear
We practice the breathing in school most days, and in assembly and form time. During lockdown our lessons have often begun with a moment of calm using the deep breaths and the following mantra:
I STOP, PAUSE, AND CALM EVERYTHING
The iSpace breathing has become a natural thing for the children to do in moments of stress/anxiety.