Personal Development

At Finstock Church of England Primary School we understand the impact personal development opportunities have on our children's lives. By nurturing our children’s personal development skills, we strive to prepare them for their future beyond school, teaching them to understand how to engage with society and provide them with plentiful opportunities to do so.   

Our curriculum extends beyond the academic and supports pupils to develop in many aspects of life.  We aim to provide the essential knowledge that our children need to be educated citizens, offer opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs and spiritual awareness. This also includes high standards of personal behaviour, having a positive caring attitude towards other people, and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures.  ​​

Safer Internet Day 2024

For Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 6th February, we kicked off with a whole school assembly discussing how technology has changed through time. The children found it hilarious learning how mobile phones used to look and what dial up internet was!

We discussed how the online world can be a positive influence for learning and connection with others. We also thought about how being online can influence us negatively. The children were about to recount times they had been online and pop-up adverts had appeared and how this can make them feel scared and be unsure what to do.

We then discussed what to do and who to speak to if something happens online we are unsure of or worried about.

Oak Class

We read through Mo and Jaz’s story.

Mo and jaz

In the story, Mo and Jaz felt uncomfortable when their video changed. They went to their Dad and told him what had happened. We discussed if this had ever happened to us and what we would do if it did. 

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Cedar investigated influencers and discussed whether the messages they were sharing were positive or negative. This prompted a lot of discussion around product placement and advertising with influencers recommending unhealthy energy drinks and also negative body image and the problems this can cause.

We also discussed internet safety and the importance of not sharing any information with people you haven't already met in real life. 

Finally we went discussed safety and what to do if unsure. Cedar were very good at identifying situations where they may need the support of a trusted adult.

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"We should ask an adult  for help if someone we don't know asks where we live or what school we go to."

"Energy drinks can be dangerous for young people. He (the influencer) has young viewers. He shouldn't be promoting it."

Children's Mental Health Week 2024

Oak and Cherry Class

We began the week with a focus on 'Time to Talk'. We began to understand what is meant by mental health. To aid our understanding, we read the story 'The Colour Monster' and thought about if we had ever felt these big feelings and what happens when we feel them. We created our own feelings jars and had these resources available in provision.

Throughout the week, we have read the story 'The Boy, The Fox, The Mole, and The Horse'. We thought about what we can do when we feel sad. We thought about how we can ask our friends for help. On stars, we drew a picture of what makes us special and what we can do to feel calm and relaxed.

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What helps when you feel low?

"I can read a book"

"Talk to Mum, Dad, or a teacher"

"Tell your friends"

"Crying helps calm us" 

"We need to look after ourselves"

Throughout the week we have been practising mindfulness and grounding techniques, including "5,4,3,2,1". This involves finding 5 things we can see, 4 things we can touch, 3 things we can hear, 2 things we can smell, and taking 1 deep breath. Grounding techniques help us feel more connected to ourselves and our bodies and help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

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We began our learning by looking at the importance of recognising our feelings. We roleplayed various emotions and discovered that different people display emotion in different ways. This helped us to come to the conclusion that it is important to talk about the way we are feeling. 

"A problem shared is a problem halved"

We used Charlie Mackey's book "The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse" to further explore the idea of talking about emotions and sharing problems. The children identified groups and individuals they cold approach if they were struggling with their emotions.

We then came up with our own image, in the style of the illustrator, to show emotion before then looking at ways in which we can calm ourselves should an adult not be present.

"The breathing will be really useful for anger management"



Mind Marvels

Cedar Class

Cedar Class took part in a session with 'Mind Marvels'. The group specialises in mindfulness and mental health for children. We went through a number of activities ranging from identifying different areas of the brain, identifying how we are feeling and then on to some mindfulness exercises that the children could use themselves. Cedar class practised breathing,  mindful exercises and finished with a bit of mindful massage! Needless to say, when the group left, the class was VERY calm, relaxed and ready to learn.

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Pupil voice

'It was really nice, I felt so calm afterwards'

'This will be really useful outside of school too!'

Oak Class

For our first Mind Marvels session we introduced the wellbeing charter. We discussed what emotions are and how we can tell what people are feeling. We played a game looking at expressions to discuss how a person feels and then discussed body language and how this can impact our feelings.

We stood like superhero’s to help us feel more confident and brave. We found our feeling buttons in our tummy’s and pictures it as being different colours for how we are feeling. We practiced breathing exercises and learnt mindful massages to help keep us calm.

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Pupil Voice

'I liked the balloon and breathing with it. I felt calm.'

'I liked relaxing with the music on. I felt happy and could think.' 

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World Music Day

Cherry Class

To celebrate, Cherry Class discussed our favourite nursery rhymes. Our favourite at the moment is '5 little ducks'. We practised singing as a group and then added some percussion instruments to the song!

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We spent lots of time in our outdoor music stations, creating music and songs. 

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Pupil Voice:

My favourite song is Old Macdonald! I love to sing! - Jaxon

I like Old Macdonald! My favourite is the drumkit. - Fin

Oak Class

To celebrate world music day, Oak Class discussed their favourite songs. We had a variety: 'How Far I'll Go' from Moana, 'Final Countdown' by Europe, 'Another One Bites the Dust' by Queen, and 'Gold Dust' by SHY FX. We thought about the differences between the genres of the songs and practised counting and playing instruments to the beat.

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We then learnt to play Another One Bites the Dust on the glockenspiels! It was tricky and we learnt the names of some of the notes playing 'AAA AAA CAD' to the beat. We performed this to Cherry class who thought we were amazing! 

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Pupil Voice:

It is important to do World Music Day because we get to learn about lots of different songs and listen to them all. My favourite is the final countdown! The glockenspiel made a dinging noise and I was really good at it. - John

I love to sing Moana. I liked using the wood sticks to bang in time to the beat. The music we listened to was exciting and fast. - Tiago

Cedar Class

To celebrate music day we discussed our favourite types of music and listened to music while we worked. We listened to the score for the movie 'The Piano' by Michael Nyeman and, at Luthers' request, Rackmaninov's piano concertos. We also listened to Alp horn music and the Koto from Japan. We examined the importance of music. In discussion the children described it as a universal language and recognised how it can play with our emotions. The children also said it was useful fro emotional regulation. At the end of the day we had a go at singing in rounds. Cedar managed to sustain four different groups!

At the end of the day Luther performed for us playing a complicated piece on his cornet. What a treat!

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Pupil Voice:

'Music can be an important part of peoples culture.'

Theo Giddings

'People can express themselves through music and it can also be used to tell a story'

Luther F-A

Music can define a culture or country. It can represent thier history or background. It can be someone's calling or purpose.'

Jack N

'Music can affect your emotions. It can help you get more or less relaxed or excited.'

Charlie F