Keeping a positive Mindset: Week 4 What if..? OK but…

This week in our emotional well-being assembly we have been discussing keeping a positive mindset when negative emotions come calling.

It’s important to remember that emotions and feelings are like visitors – they come and go and won’t be with you forever.

We listened to a story about a girl who was feeling nervous and anxious about a talent show competition she was about to enter. She began to feel nervous and anxious and started to worry:


…the other performers are better than me

…I’m rubbish

…I look like a fool

…I make a mistake

We worked together to flip these thoughts into positives


…be brave and you can do it

…everyone has nerves

…if you make a mistake keep going

…if you try and everyone else tries you’ll all get better at performing

…don’t put pressure on yourself

…practice hard and you’ll be fine

Being kind to yourself and thinking about what you would say to a friend are just a couple of strategies to help keep a positive mindset

To finish off we read this book which tells of the opportunity for growth and learning that lies within every problem we face.



Flipping Your Lid: Week 3 Strategies for dealing with your emotions

This week we have been learning about what happens when you ‘flip your lid’ and how having a range of strategies can help you when negative feelings come to visit.

We began by watching parts of this helpful video which enabled us to further understand what is going on inside your brain when your feelings and emotions get the better of you.

After that, we looked at a range of strategies you can use to help calm down when you think you might be about to ‘flip your lid’.

We first talked about how breathing is important.

After that, we discussed how turning your negative thoughts into an unhelpful monster can assist you in recognising and dealing with them. Finally, we talked about how a claming down jar or box filled with a few things to help you feel good can help you when you feel like you might be about to flip your lid.

Here are some examples:

Your Brain, Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health: Week 2 These are our Emotions

What happens in your brain when you meet a crocodile in the jungle or a group of friends throw a surprise birthday party for you? How many feelings or emotions can you name?

These are the questions that we asked and answered in our second assembly about our brain, our emotional well-being and our mental health.

To begin with, we looked at a simplified model of the brain which helps us understand a little bit more about our feelings and emotions, where they come from and how sometimes we can struggle to keep them in check.

We talked about fight or flight impulses and chemicals that are produced in our brain such as adrenalin, cortisol, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. We also discussed the idea that feelings and emotions can be compared to visitors who come to your house. Eventually, they leave before other visitors come to say hello.

During the assembly, we started filling in our emotions A-Z. We played the feelings game from the Pixar film ‘Inside Out.’ The only rule was that you had to try and name a feeling or emotion that was NOT the answer from the quiz in the film (a bit like QI).

This is how far we got during the assembly:

While we did not watch this video together in the assembly, it gives more details about how your downstairs brain is in control of generating your emotions.

Your Brain, Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health: Week 1 You are Unique, You are Awesome

Over the coming weeks we are going to be learning about how looking after our mental health and emotional wellbeing is extremely important. We will be learning about our brains and how they deal with our emotions. We will be talking about recognising and naming our feelings and emotions. Also, we will be finding out about different tools and strategies to help our brains to recognise and manage our emotions and feelings. This is part of a wider Airedale and Wharfedale project funded by the DFE called Jenby’s

In our first assembly together, we discussed how each and every one of us is unique and different. We look different, we like different things, we come from different families, live in different houses, have different skills, tastes and interests…the list goes on.

We also talked about how all of our brains and unique and work differently. Some people in your class might learn things quicker in maths, might seem to pick up a new skill in PE easily etc… but it doesn’t matter.
What matters is keeping positive about yourself and celebrating your hard work to get better compared with where you are now. It’s about setting your own personal bests, not comparing yourself to others.

To emphasise this, we read the Fish Who Could Wish. Whatever you do, celebrate the fact that you are unique and different – don’t end up wishing you were just like everybody else.

Back in class, children created fingerprint biographies and fingerprint balloons to further illustrate the fact that we are all different and we all have our own unique stories.


I know How to Keep my Brain Healthy

In our Growth Mindset assemblies this week we are thinking about how to keep our brains healthy. This video gives you four key things to think about. They include: eating well; drinking plenty of water; being active and getting plenty of sleep.

This week our Growth Mindset challenge is all about origami and paper folding.

Learning new skills is always a challenge. To complete origami and paper folding challenges you have to be able to follow instructions closely. It is also a great way of developing your fine motor skills (using your hands) and also spatial awareness (folding paper precisely into particular shapes).

This first video gives you step by step instructions to make an Origami Fox.

This video includes lots of simple origami ideas that you can try inside the classroom.

Developing your Brain – Tetris, Tangrams and Spatial Awareness

I know different parts of my brain do different things and I can develop my brain through purposeful practice and perseverance.

Your brain does an incredible number of complex jobs.

When it comes to training your brain and carving out neural pathways, you can develop your brain in whatever way you want to.

Here are a couple of challenges that can help you to develop your spatial awareness. Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of yourself in space and in relation to other people and things. It also involves understanding the relationship between object when they change position.

Spatial awareness is something that you can develop and work on in a whole range of different ways. It is important for everyone to develop their spatial awareness. It helps you to visualise things and come up with ideas to test out. You can develop spatial awareness in many different ways by playing different games and sports, solving puzzles, using computer programmes and coding, building with Lego and many other practical activities.

Boys and girls can develop their spatial awareness in exactly the same way – through practice and playing.

Here are a couple of practical activities to have a go at to develop the parts of your brain that help you with ‘spatial awareness.’

Tetris – in this simple puzzle you have to line up the different shapes so that they fit together to make a complete line. 









Tangrams – The world of Tan

Tangrams are an ancient Chinese puzzle. Follow the link to find many puzzles that you can have a go at for yourself. You may find them tricky at first, but if you persevere, pay attention and learn from your mistakes as you go along, you will very soon find yourself getting better and improving your ‘spatial awareness’.

You can also download paper ones too – we’ll be having a go at these in school.

Tangram Puzzles Tangram Solutions Tangram Template i

Growth Mindset and Neuroplasticity

To start the year we watched this video which reminds us all how we can shape and sculpt our brains with purposeful practice, grit, determination and resilience.


After this, we set some of our willing teachers the Spanish ‘Chocolate’ challenge.

Having watched the video, they had a go at the clapping game before disappearing for 15 minutes in order to practice and see if they could establish some ‘Chocolate’ neural pathways. After 15 minutes of practice it was amazing to see what they had achieved.

Ingleborough Endeavours

In February, year 6 went on a residential to Ingleborough Hall. There were plenty of Growth Mindset stories made there. For example, Lucy was going Gorge-Scrambling with her group. Even when faced with enormous boulders and steep climbs, she never gave up. Also, Lucy tried her absolute best with everything. Another story is with Isaac (who also attended the residential). He was on a long trek with his group when his feet started to ache. Even though it hurt with every step, Isaac kept on going and eventually reached the end.

Of course, there were many other Growth Mindset stories, yet these stood out the most. Well done, you two!

By Bethan

Biking Bravery in Reception

In our school, Reception class were outside learning how to ride bikes. Hannah, a child taking part in this activity, found difficulty doing it. She kept on falling off, yet she always got straight back on again. Hannah found that- with plenty of perseverance- she could eventually do it.

Very good, Hannah!

Keep on riding that bike and being determined!

By Bethan


Junior Max Whitlock at Burley Woodhead

In a P.E lesson that took place in our school, Tom was really struggling with his handstand. He had thought that it was impossible and that he would never do it. Despite this, he kept  on trying really hard and eventually found that he could do it. He tried again and again and discovered that he was actually really good at it. Tom was so good, in fact, that he was even asked to demonstrate his skills to the rest of the class!

Well done Tom! Maybe we’ll be seeing you at the Olympics in the future!

By Bethan