Killavullen NS
Educating in a joyful, positive and secure setting

Positive, productive learning environments are key to students’ academic, emotional and social success in school. There are many components that foster a positive learning environment but for children we reduce it to three rules- Be kind, be kind, be kind!

Anxiety Prevention, Resiliency and Social and Emotional Learning

Several of our teachers at KNS have been trained and are licenced to deliver the FRIENDS programmes.  These are Australian-developed, W.H.O. endorsed school based programmes, that aim to teach our children skills to cope with difficult situations, to feel more confident and to feel better about themselves.

Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all have from time to time and like adults, children experience different levels of anxiety and cope with that anxiety in more effective or less effective ways. Friends for Life/Fun Friends were created to assist children at appropriate developmental levels to learn important skills and techniques to cope with and sometimes even overcome, anxiety.  

Through these programmes, children learn important anxiety-management strategies such as how to listen to their negative self-talk and tell themselves more helpful, encouraging things, to calm down their bodies and to very gradually take small steps to face their fears. These strategies are best summed up in the acronym F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Children learn and are given a chance to practice resiliency-building skills, like self-awareness, relaxation, problem-solving, and identifying supportive people, in a safe classroom environment. 

The FRIENDS programmes are based on Social and Emotional Learning  and research into the impact of this type of learning in the classroom indicates many positive outcomes related to increased resiliency and significant improvements in students’ academic performance and attitudes towards school.

 

Friends for Life 

Friends for Life is taught to our 5th class pupils over 10 sessions with 2 booster sessions.  Parental/home involvement is an integral part of the programme.  The school provides an information talk for parents prior to commencement of the sessions and there are some fun, home activities for the pupils and their families to do after each session which consolidates the skills learnt at school.

Fun Friends  

Fun Friends is taught to our 2nd class pupils over 12 sessions and is age appropriate consisting of play based activities such as role play, puppets, games, story telling, music, movement and art. 

Wellbeing

Here in Killavullen NS we value the importance of a child’s holistic wellbeing. We encourage children to express themselves through their interests and be safe in the knowledge that everybody is different and unique. We foster a sense of belonging within the school where individuality is celebrated and encouraged. The children are encouraged to support one another and practice kindness each day. As part of the Amber Flag, the school is exposing the children to new areas of wellbeing such as mindfulness, meditation, kindness focused activities, teamwork building tasks, yoga, gratitude journals, daily affirmations and other positive activities to help them navigate through their young lives. 

 

We also encourage the importance of generosity and helping those around us, especially those less fortunate. This promotes empathy among our pupils and creates a sense of community and support in our school. We hold and take part in fundraisers for important causes and we know how to have fun along the way! 

Ensuring children are happy coming to school is of paramount importance to us here in KNS. For children to learn well, they need to feel happy and safe. As in life, issues can arise between peers and friends, in the classroom, in the yard and in the community. 

We have a very robust Anti-bullying policy and part of that policy is that we check in with our pupils by getting classes to complete a Wellbeing Survey once a term, or more often if required. This allows children to let us know if they think another child, or indeed they themselves, are unhappy coming to school. Teachers move swiftly to ‘nip the situation in the bud’ and resolve any conflict between children.

Generosity of Spirit – Charities

Global education allows children to learn about other cultures, world issues and understand the global responsibility we have. Children are encouraged to help others affected by poverty or marginalisation. Each Christmas boxes for Team Hope pile up for collection as do non- perishable items for the St. Vincent de Paul’s Christmas Giving Tree. Large contributions were donated for Self- Help Africa, a charity that promotes and implements long-term rural development projects in Africa. Fundraising activities, such as The Killavullen Cycle, Night at the Dogs all contribute a generous percentage to Marymount Hospice

Assemblies

School Assemblies are held regularly during the year. An assembly is a good opportunity to  ignite the school spirit, instill a sense of belonging and motivate the students towards making the best of what the school has to offer.

The various committees report on upcoming events and sometimes deliver a lesson to the group, medals are presented  and presentations, e.g. Science week projects, are delivered.