PRIMARY SCHOOLS RESOURCE
The Culture of the Heart
Learning is not just a cognitive activity, it is also deeply emotional. Our emotions affect our perception, our motivation, our attention and our memory. They profoundly influence learning.
Happy children have the optimal capacity for learning, and unhappiness is a barrier. For children to be happy, their emotional needs have to be met and one of our deepest needs is a relationship. We are hard-wired for connection. How our relationships work out in our communities is foundational to our physical and mental health.
The Culture of the Heart teaching resource helps develop children's emotional and relational language. It develops empathy, encourages an understanding of a healthy identity and good character. The resource focuses on creating healthy relational classrooms, where children can thrive in their relationships and their learning. It develops the language of kindness and self-worth, helping to create a culture that is based on the value and worth of every individual and teaching children to treat themselves and others with dignity and respect.
Through a coordinated series of activities, themed under ‘12 cultures’, conversations are facilitated that consider what healthy relationships and communities look like. The content is grounded in neuroscience and well-established counselling techniques, empowering children to engage with healthy beliefs about themselves and others. It is delivered through classroom activities that integrate academic disciplines and curriculum objectives, extending each culture beyond core lessons into playtime and community interactions. It has been developed and trialled over a period of five years and has been endorsed by teachers, counsellors, and psychologists.
The material in this resource is designed to be used alongside ‘Words and Your Heart’ and ‘Wonderful You’, written to help children understand their own worth and the value of each other, with all our differences. The values and beliefs of the picture books are explored in practical ways, discovering that ‘words have power’ and ‘you are a wonder’. The resource develops an understanding that we all have the responsibility and the power to create a healthy community by valuing ourselves and treating each other with dignity and respect.
The material in the resource can be used in small groups, whole class, cohort or phase contexts, providing children with opportunities to share their work and ideas.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS RESOURCE
The activities introduce families to each of the seven different cultures within the first years resource. They carry a simple and practical idea to be used at home.
Each activity is available to download and either print from the pack’s memory key or put on your school’s digital platform.
These cards have been made to help children understand and communicate their emotions.
The front of each card illustrates an emotion, together with some associated words. On the back of each card, there are a few suggestions of how to help communicate and deal with strong emotions.
These cards have been created to use with the ‘Gratitude Spiral’, a communication tool created to help staff safely communicate with children who may be struggling.