Feeling Better - CBeebies
Manorfield Primary School students have been setting a great example on the CBeebies television programme, Feeling Better, designed to educate young children about a range of emotions and how to deal with them, in both oneself and others
Mental health issues are as important as ever to recognise and prepare for across all stages of education: in a recent national survey, one in ten young people aged between 5–16 were reported as having a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder, while the Mental Health Foundation found in a 2014 survey that one in six adults experience symptoms of a common mental health problem every week. This goes to show that we need to lay strong, positive foundations for dealing with feelings at a young age. The early years of education can set a vital precedent for the rest of our lives.
This is why we were tremendously excited to get involved with Feeling Better on CBeebies, which is the most watched children’s TV channel in the UK. The brand new programme was launched as a way to help children recognise, explore and process a huge range of emotions, with episodes on feeling sad, nervous, and lonely as well as feeling curious, confident and brave. We had children from Reception right the way to Year 2 involved with filming, where they were asked questions such as: What makes you happy? How would you show if you were angry? What is the kindest thing you’ve ever done? Manorfield Primary School students ended up being featured in virtually every episode thanks to both their confidence in expressing ideas and their ability to articulate them.
We’re incredibly proud to watch the episodes and see our students sit and discuss topics that even some adults have problems talking about: in every episode and for every emotion, they not only displayed bravery in talking so openly about what effect certain emotions had on them, but also generosity and wisdom in suggesting approaches to help deal with the not-so-good feelings. Students (and parents) are still excited to have been involved in the filming, which was a great experience for all in talking about difficult things out in the open, without fuss and with an emphasis on how normal it can be.
The BBC approached schools around the country for the filming, but they were particularly keen on those who carry out Philosophy for Children (P4C) courses. P4C focuses on introducing deep thinking and enquiry into schools at a young age, with trained teachers leading children to think and reason as a group. Manorfield has a Gold P4C Sapere award, meaning that all new teachers undergo two days of training, whilst other teachers are trained further in order to facilitate the group discussions. We were glad that this hard work and commitment to every aspect of our student’s education was recognised by the BBC, and thrilled to see our students put their learning to such brilliant use. In fact, we’ve been asked to film a new series this coming summer, Ferne and Rory’s Vet Tales, with CBeebies: Manorfield students are ready to lead the way again.
You can find out more about Feeling Better and watch the episodes here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/shows/feeling-better