Anxiety, separation, and bereavement are some of the challenges that life throws at us.
As adults we may confide in a friend, visit our GP or seek the services of a therapist. But what if you are a child with a problem navigating your way through a maze of emotions that can make you feel scared, lonely or confused.
Now Wallsend Jubilee First School in Wallsend has come up with a novel solution – a nurture room where children as young as three can get the emotional support and care that they need.
The 370-pupil school, which prides itself on emotional support, has opened up a special room where children aged three to 11 can get the pastoral support they need to help them cope with life’s problems.
On Wednesday, June 26, North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll will officially open the room by cutting a ribbon at the school.
He will share the honour with pupils Elettra D’Orsi, aged seven, who won a competition to come up with a name for the room, The Cocoon Room and Ella-Mae Messner, also aged even, who came up with the quote ‘The room where frowns turn upside down’, which is displayed on a wall within the room.
Lorraine Bryson, the school’s behaviour, guidance and support officer, said: “To learn and flourish we believe that children need to have healthy minds as well as healthy bodies. Our focus in this school is to help them be the best that they can be.
“We recognise that sometimes they can have difficult or challenging times in their lives and they need to know where they can turn to, to help them manage these situations. This could be a simple friendship issue, learning to be resilient or more challenging situations such as bereavement or separation.”
Staff worked after hours to convert and decorate the room with calming colours while local shops donated soft furnishings.
North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, said: “Good mental health is something that benefits us all no matter what age we are. Children experience the same issues in life that we do as adults, so I applaud Wallsend Jubilee First School for their progressive and enlightened approach to mental health.
“We all know that while childhood is supposed to be one of the happiest times of our life, sadly for many children this is not the case and so I am delighted to have been invited to open the Cocoon Room.
“It will be a haven for children to escape the world and give them the chance to feel supported and loved – a basic human need – giving them the chance to grow in confidence and be happy.”
Wallsend Jubilee First School was praised by Ofsted in October 2018 which stated: “The ethos that permeates the school is one of nurturing pupils. This is evident, as staff show how they value every child.”
So far, the school has had positive feedback from pupils, parents and staff and hopes the idea of Cocoon rooms will spread to other schools.