Children as young as FOUR are being given lessons about sex assaults, mental illness and cyber bullying at Britain’s first ‘kindness school’
- Lessons are being rolled out daily at Ewyas Harold Primary School in Hereford
- Year six pupils have already had a class with rape counsellors on sexual crimes
- The school, which has 101 children, is the first official ‘kindness school’ in the UK
- The Kindness Movement focuses on mental and sexual health and online safety
Children as young as four are being given lessons about sexual assaults, mental illness and cyber bullying at the UK’s first ‘kindness’ school.
The lessons are being rolled out daily at Ewyas Harold Primary School in Hereford which has already called in rape counsellors for a lesson with year six pupils.
Pupils at the school – rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and in the top one per cent in the UK for its SAT results – have daily assemblies and classes tackling mental and sexual health.
Ewyas Harold Primary School in Hereford has begun lessons on sexual assaults, mental illness and cyber bullying. Educational phrases have been penned around the school
Headteacher Laura Wallace (pictured left in black with chair of governors Ann Jenner) has helped spearhead the new lessons. The school is the first to be designated an official ‘kindness school’
Taking as its guide the Kindness Movement, the school is working to show how being kind to each other can help foster a positive learning environment (pictured is a display at the school)
Headteacher Laura Wallace (pictured) said: ‘Wellbeing is part of this academic year’s school development plan and has become a whole school focus’
Headteacher Laura Wallace said: ‘The rape lessons are only for Year 6 pupils, who have started learning about sex education.
‘We tell pupils that when they see someone, they don’t know what battles they are facing so they should smile and say ‘hello’.
What is a ‘kindness school’? Education which focuses on mental health and wellbeing
A ‘kindness school’ is one which focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of its students and the wider community.
It is based on the Kindness Movement, which provides an educational resource for primary school teachers to introduce the topic of kindness in classrooms.
The movement was inspired by Robert Acker Holt, who passed away in January 2018. Kindness was at the heart his life’s work.
The organisation claims that kindness schools are ‘places that are committed to teaching kindness and empathy’.
Chosen schools are required to carry out lessons on kindness and empathy. They are provided with resources including books, logos and plans.
A number of schools have signed up to the programme including Ewyas Harold Primary School in Hereford and Wandsorth Preparatory School.
‘We have kindness books and a buddy bench where pupils can sit if they don’t have anyone to play with.
‘Other pupils are encouraged to play with them if they anyone sitting there. Children make friendship bracelets for each other.’
The school, which teaches 101 children aged from four to 11, has joined the Kindness Movement which focuses on mental and sexual health and online safety.
Four-year-old pupils are given lessons on recognising when they are a victim of sexual assault – referencing the NSPCC’s PANTS programme.
It uses Pantosaurus, a friendly dinosaur character, to help teachers and parents talk to their children about staying safe from sexual abuse.
The school also called in rape counsellors from West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre to give a talk to year six pupils about sexual crimes.
Ms Wallace said: ‘We can do all we can for physical wellbeing, and while that is all well and good, mental health is a massive, massive issue.
‘If we start explaining that to children at the age of four, including self-esteem issues, we will have a generation where it’s acceptable and they know how to deal with issues in life.
‘We might look at e-safety and how to stay safe online. Or we might talk about depression and what it looks like, how it manifests.
‘There is also the NSPCC’s PANTS programme, which features the Pantosaurus saying ‘what’s in your pants belongs only to you.’
One of the inspirational quotes written on a window at the school reads: ‘Do more of what makes you happy’
The Kindness Movement provides an educational resource for primary school teachers to introduce the topic of kindness in classrooms (pictured is a display at the school)
Pictured left to right: Estelle Smith (parent governor), Ann Booth (parent governor), headteacher Laura Wallace, chair of governors Ann Jenner and Sue Jones (school governor)
Taking as its guide the Kindness Movement, the school is working to show how being kind to each other can help foster a positive learning environment.
The movement provides an educational resource for primary school teachers to introduce the topic of kindness in classrooms.
Ms Wallace continued: ‘Wellbeing is part of this academic year’s school development plan and has become a whole school focus, due to the great importance of children having a healthy mind.
‘Developing personal confidence and the willingness to take on new experiences and challenges are among the core aims of our school.
‘Exceptionally high standards and expectations of both education and behaviour ensure that every one of our pupils achieve.
‘We advocate an ethos of mutual respect and tolerance. We also believe that teaching a sense of kindness, appreciation, respect and compassion is a vital part of childhood education.’