The ‘school that smiles’.

26 September 2016 | By Amanda George

Rhian Kenny is Head Teacher at Ysgol yr Hendy and in this blog she tells us about how the new academic year started with a person-centred focus.

Ysgol yr Hendy is a dual stream village primary school where children are educated through the medium of Welsh and English. The school has undergone many changes in the last two years and our motto has become, “Gyda’n gilydd cymaint mwy” which translates as “Together so much more”.  We had begun the use of Person Centres Planning with children with statements and at school action plus level and realised the impact it could have for all children and staff., particularly children from vulnerable and deprived backgrounds. I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive staff, we have a common shared belief in the importance of developing the emotional health and well-being of our pupils and this is reflected in the atmosphere of our school.

We had a wonderful training day at the start of this school year led by Gill Goodwin who with her anecdotes and friendly delivery made us all fell at ease. Together we went through the process of writing appreciations, what makes a good day, what makes a bad day and what can be done to support me. This process was so empowering not only was I given the privileged opportunity of finding out far more about my staff, a few things popped up such as wet play times and we problem solved how to address the issues.  My staff learnt much more about me and what support I need when things are getting tricky.  We left with a copy of our appreciation sheet and mine sits proudly on my wall. We have uploaded our profiles to a server so we have the opportunity to read about each other.

Since the training staff have been working with ALL pupils to create a one-page profile and have commentated that it has been a wonderful way to start the term and like us pupils have really responded to their appreciation sheets which have been delivered in many different ways. The atmosphere in the school has become even more positive and as one pupil commentated it is a ‘school that smiles’.

Having had 2 TIAs in the last year I appreciate the importance of good physical and emotional health. This training has been such a positive experience for staff and pupils alike. We are human beings and not human doings and I thoroughly recommend this training as an experience and not as a tick box exercise for health and well- being as well as pupil and staff morale.

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