Over the past few years the EFA team have been invited to work with Southampton University’s School of Education to deliver workshops on a Health & Well-being days for PGCE students.
Following on from the EFA workshops delivered at the Health & Well-being day on the 12th December 2014, there was sufficent interest to host a Primary EFA course for a group of PGCE/ Teach Direct students.
The students gave up their saturday mornings from 25th April – 30th May 2015 to attend the six sessions of Primary EFA. We would like to wish all 10 students who attended the training all the very best for their coming NQT year and are privilaged to have been part of the start of your teaching careers.
The students were asked to write a brief statement of why they felt fellow PGCE students should attend the training and we have attached their comments below.
“All PGCE students should have access to the tools/ strategies and time for reflection about pupils (and personal) emotional states/ needs. I feel more equipped to seek understanding of pupils and how to target needs (personal) of individual children. The course has made me question my practice and children’s behaviours.”
“I believe that this course should be compulsory as it really focuses on the other aspect of teaching that the PGCE course doesn’t focus on: the welfare of the child. It allows you to discuss issues you may have had with children in your class, listen to other peoples views, look at theory and practice intertwined as well as giving a realistic perspective of what we may come across. The course is fantastically run and has created a safe and long-lasting group that we will hopefully stay in contact with. It has given a brilliant perspective on EFA and given me techniques I will keep for life. It focuses on others as well as self which is really important. A very valuable six sessions!”
“The EFA course has given me a set of tools & a support system that will be immensely important in my future career. Not only as a means of meeting my students emotional needs & coping with their emotional distress, but also in ensuring my own emotional well-being.”
“The Emotional First Aid course has been thoroughly worthwhile. I have learned so much in such a short space of time about myself but also about the teaching profession. It has provided me with valuable life skills which will last throughout my career with regards to helping children when they are identified as needing help as well as helping myself – for example how to cope with stresses and how to take care of myself. The most valuable thing that I will take away with me is how normal some of the things I have been feeling are and the significance of others in helping me cope.”
“Having done the EFA course it is more than clear to me this should be integrated into everyone’s teacher training. The course covers such important aspects of being a successful and effective teacher, which were only briefly touched upon during the Health Day. I feel far more equipped for my NQT year and have been given the tools for reflection on these aspects. I think it should be a compulsory part of teacher training.”
“The course has acted as a constant reminder that I need to trust my gut. When I can tell there is something wrong I need to work hard to get to the bottom of it for that child as I may be the only adult who is thinking about it for them.”
“I think that the Primary EFA course is extremely beneficial training for teachers. The course focuses on the well-being of children and teachers, offers brilliant opportunities to discuss and share strategies (from behaviour management to dealing with stress) and is run by two kind and caring practitioners who are brilliant! I have learnt a huge amount in the 6 available sessions and feel I have a much better understanding and higher levels of confidence in dealing with emotional first aid in school.”
“Everyone in teacher training should do the ‘Primary Emotional First Aid’ course as there is an increasing need in the profession to deal with all kinds of situations relating to pupils emotions. Doing the course should hopefully equip teachers with the confidence to know how to cope in those situations, getting the best outcome for all parties involved.”
“This course has made me feel a lot more prepared to have my own class in Sept. The course facilitators, Stuart & Paul are absolutely brilliant. They do not preach at you, rather give you time to think and reflect back to your own practice. I love that they relate back to their experience and talk about real children and examples.”
If you are interested in more information on the Health & Well-being days Southampton University have put on for their PGCE students, Jenny Byrne & Sue Dewhirst have created a toolkit to support setting up a Health & Well-being days for trainee teachers attached below: