West Malling CE Primary School

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West Malling CE Primary School

– and The McGinty Speech and Language Centre

"Let your light shine”, Matthew 5. 16

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Social, Emotional & Mental Health

Creative Education - Free online courses



There is also a group called "Contact": a charity for families with children with Send - Helpline 0808 808 3555


Lastly, Educational Psychology Family Helpline, which was started during lock down, for families referred by school team. Please contact Babs Bartholomew or Gay Adam if you would like to discuss this. 

SEMH/ Language of feelings & Play:


If we were in School and McGinty centre at the moment, our Monday Language groups would be focused upon our social and emotional skills development. We would be visiting stories and role play scenarios to reflect on how we could ask to join in others' playground or in class imaginative play and how to invite friends to play our game ideas. We'd be practising what we could say and some different traditional games we could play with others (eg "I'm playing "Duck , Duck, Goose"- you can play, too!"; "Do you want to play "BINGO"/"What's the time,Mr Woolf?"  with me?" etc.)

We would also be looking at how we might respond if a friend says "No!" or doesn't seem to be including us, particularly practising saying how we feel, using "I Statements", rather than lashing out in anger or frustration or dissolving into great distress, maybe (eg "I feel sad - they not ask me"; "I feel cross when they don't let me play with them" etc). And how to tell our peers that with a strong voice but without losing control.

To help a bit in this direction, being able to say how we feel negatively sometimes- that's OK - but then thinking of the tools we can use to move back to calm (green zone: "Zones of regulation"). 

Here are some resources and activity ideas which may be of some help in helping your children self-regulate and to express their emotions , both in play situations, and in other contexts, too.

Your children have played this game, with varying degrees of support, before, often stopping to visit a story or Zones visual to help discussion of feelings and when we might feel like that, when landing on certain parts of the game board. 

Poppy children are becoming really good at suggesting how others might calm down, using self-massage, music, the smell of essential oils, a song, breathing techniques and heavy pressure activities as "Brain breaks", when they see others feeling "yellow" (getting a bit tense, cross or irritated)  or "red" ( moving to a meltdown, tantrum, weep or losing it). Your children have also experienced lots of positive visualisations or meditations, often as Sensory Circuits cool-downs and calm-downs, but also at other times of anxiety or high emotions. There are some short "mindful" brain break suggestions below that an adult could read slowly and in a reassuring, calm voice. 

The real challenge, once these tools are well rehearsed and becoming second nature, is , of course, to be able to use them to calm oneself, especially near the heat of the moment!

So as much practice of various "tools" to help calm as possible, is wonderful, as this should develop resilience in your children and ensure that they develop their own preferred, and most effective for them as a unique individual, methods to action in the future. 

We hope the activities below may help you here. Some are also sorting activities (see Poppy Maths Sets & Sorting challenges!)