As well as accessing exciting opportunities out in the community, it is important to us that our young people learn essential life skills in a classroom environment. Alongside literacy, numeracy, science, and Daily Living Skills, our young people have access to an Area of Learning 'Keeping Me Safe' in which they learn different topics such as identifying parts of their body, recognising emotions, and practising behaviour while out in the community. 

The below images show young person Abdullah focusing on the topic 'Understanding Emotions' within the Mental Wellbeing Learning Programme. This term, Abdullah and his class are learning their emotions through a number of ways. At the moment they are reading a story which talks about a particular emotion, how people look when displaying that emotion, and what they can do to deal with it. 

Maria Benito Rozalen, one of our Learning Specialists, said:

Feelings and emotions are a big part of our lives and developing coping strategies is very important to keep a healthy mind and body.

This is why it is so vital we teach our young people the importance of both expressing and recognising emotions. Modules like this provide young people with the toolkit they need to develop communication, empathy, understanding, and self-awareness. Recognising emotions in others can help them recognise the same emotions in themselves and adopt strategies for dealing with those emotions. 

The initial two weeks are focusing on anger, looking at photos of people who are angry, talking about what can make different people angry, and copying angry movements. As part of the module, the young people are taught ways of coping with these emotions with the aim of providing them with the autonomy to recognise anger in themselves and know what they need to do to calm themselves down. Maria has been teaching them breathing exercises and counting, using sensory toys and experimenting with other coping strategies. 

Maria added:

We recognise emotions are very difficult to understand since they are very abstract, complex and we all experience them differently so we try to expose our young people to different experiences related to emotions, using the vocabulary etc. to help them recognise what they are feeling.