Being an Attachment Aware School
At Chiltern Primary School we believe that the best place to start addressing mental health and wellbeing is with the attachment relationship between an adult and child. This relationship helps a child develop its understanding of itself and the world; it lies at the heart of human development. In turn, unmet attachment needs and trauma are the root cause of much mental ill health, so it’s important for us to be able to address these issues.
There is lots of research into attachment that shows that the roots of a child or young person’s social-emotional wellbeing are found in their first attachment to their primary care-giver. The nature of that attachment determines not just their ability to form relationships but their capacity to learn. Secure attachment relationships correlate strongly with higher academic attainment, better self-regulation and social competence.
A growing number of children and young people have emotional and behavioural needs and whilst these children and young people can be hard to reach, they need our greatest nurturing and care.
Research indicates that an awareness of how to support children and young people’s emotional needs and development can promote better learning and health outcomes. National policy and guidance, like the Marmot Review 2010, confirms this.
Chiltern Primary School is an Attachment Aware School and is committed to working with our children and families to establish attachment-like relationships with our children, particularly with challenging and vulnerable children, in order to improve their chances of learning and achieving.
At Chiltern Primary School we use Emotion Coaching because it provides another dimension to behaviour management strategies and creates opportunities for longer-term solutions to children's well-being and resilience.
What is emotion coaching?
Emotion coaching was first introduced by John Gottman and his colleagues in the USA. Emotion coaching is about helping children to become more aware of their emotions and to manage their own feelings particularly during instances of misbehaviour. It entails validating children's emotions, setting limits where appropriate and problem-solving with the child to develop more effective behavioural strategies.
In effect, emotion coaching techniques instil the tools that will aid children's ability to self-regulate their emotions and behaviour. It enables practitioners to create an ethos of positive learning behaviour and to have the confidence to de-escalate situations when behaviour is challenging.