The brain, in all its weird-looking, amazing, powerful and awesome complexity was the focus of an education showcase at Two Wells Primary School last term.
It follows the school’s introduction this year of a new program based on the burgeoning Berry Street Education Model (BSEM).
BSEM focuses on a proactive and positive behaviour approach, where students learn to recognise their physical and emotional selves and the changes that occur within them when they are either escalating and becoming unfocused or feeling anxious and therefore unable to focus on their learning.
BSEM is broken into five domains – body, relationships, stamina, engagement and character.
TWPS student wellbeing leader, Zoe Evans, said every teacher at the school had been trained in BSEM at the beginning of the year and the school had been focusing on ‘the body’ domain this year.
“At TWPS we started with each class starting the day with a “Welcome Circle” and end the day with a “What Went Well”,” Mrs Evans explained.
“Finding a positive, even if it’s been a hard day, is essential for well-being.
“Each class also has quick brain breaks when needed to help their focus.
“Mindfulness and focussing on a growth mindset have continued across the school as it also part of BSEM.”
Individual students and classes have developed a “Ready to Learn Plan” that helps to identify what makes students stay focussed and calm, and what distracts or frustrates them.
“They negotiated three strategies that will help them to either refocus or de-escalate and to be ready to learn again,” Mrs Evans said.
Last term students investigated the brain; what it looks like, how it works, and what it means for them as learners and human beings.
Recently the school held a “Brainwaves Showcase” to acknowledge all of the students’ wonderful work.
“Our focal point this term was the brain and classes chose to highlight their understanding in different ways including, breathing exercises, how the brain works, de-escalation and Flipping your Lid!”, Mrs Evans said.
For the students it was a brain-boggling exercise (forgive the lame pun).
Here’s what a few of them had to say:
“I liked that we learnt new things especially that when you write with your right hand your left hemisphere is the one controlling your hand”, Keeley Year 7.
“I like getting to know more about my body and how the brain works”, Nick Year 7
“Trying to figure out what I am good at using a certain side of my brain”, Ella Year 6
All students from every year level were engaged in the program and learnt new things about their brain.