FRIDAY KEYNOTES

Focusing on emotional wellbeing after region wide stress
Simon Adkins and Bron Harding, Wairakei School, Christchurch, NZ
This presentation is a summary of our school’s focus on emotional wellbeing in children following a series of serious earthquakes and, more recently, a violent mosque attack.
Expert advice at the time warned of emotional pressures over many years following traumatic events such as these. This became evident in what was then observed in the children.
As well as thoughts and anxiety as a result of the events, there were also familial pressures. Travel times, displacement, work changes and income stress all influenced emotional and childhood development. This could be seen in achievement data, attendance data, behaviour data and hauora/wellbeing data.
In many cases these observations could be understood as gaps in Maslow’s Hierarchy. We are endeavoring to address the children’s needs, prioritised from the bottom of the hierarchy.
Our solution-based approaches included a breakfast club, an Enviro teacher, wellbeing, a localized behaviour curriculum, connections to other agencies, culturally strengthening actions, community activities and a holistic view of individuals and their families.
The approaches have been focused on promoting school readiness through emotional regulation, participating and attending to the learning. A further challenge underlying our work was the role that the changing pace of technology, learning environments and pedagogy has. Children do not come to school to just learn curriculum subjects anymore.

About Simon
Simon Adkins is a Deputy Principal at Wairakei School in Christchurch. His role includes PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning – a framework supporting positive expected behaviours) and pastoral work with children. He also works across a number of local educational facilities supporting principals and leadership teams around student engagement via a holistic education approach.   
About Bron
Bron Harding is a Deputy Principal at Wairakei School in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her role includes SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and pastoral work with children, teachers and families. She works closely with a families and children requiring high levels of support and help. She also works closely with a number of state agencies and NGOs to further support these families. 

THURSDAY MINDFOOD
Enviro Education Supporting School Readiness and Emotional Regulation
Simon Adkins and Bron Harding, Wairakei School, Christchurch, NZ
Enviro Education, as referenced in our keynote presentation, was used as a holistic alternative curriculum in order to address school readiness and emotional regulation. Our Enviro Education was focused not on academic success but instead on participation, engagement, practical activities and elements of mindfulness. This Mind Food presentation expands on our experiences of implementing Enviro Education in that it covers setting it up, coverage, outcomes and sustainability.