How-to encourage self-awareness at your schoolSeptember 25, 2019
Self-awareness is an important part of childhood development, particularly in the primary school years, which will set the foundation for children to develop essential skills, like emotional intelligence and communication, needed to be successful at every stage of their life. That’s why we believe in creating dynamic playground markings designed to help teach your pupils how to be more self-aware.
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness is the ability to properly recognise, identify, and work through your emotions, process thoughts and actions – while recognising how it may impact others. It also means being aware of your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, and motivations.
Why it’s important
Teaching children self-awareness is an integral part of growing-up. By learning about how they feel – children can then identify and recognise the feeling of others to lend a hand or to be more helpful. Children with high self-awareness tend to have higher confidence, know when to ask for help, and can develop high emotional intelligence later in life.
Plus, self-awareness can help lead to better self-regulation both in mood and in behaviour, improved motivation, increased empathy and improved social skills.
You can help your pupils learn how to become more self-aware on the playground by adopting policies, creating inclusive playground games, and with colourful playground markings.
Many schools, even primary schools, have a code-of-conduct, set of values, or existing behaviour policy for their pupils to abide by. In a code-of-conduct or similar it could mean you add or highlight a clause to include how a student will be held accountable for their actions positive and negative. The key is to find a balance between the rule and the action of the student – try to keep this semi-fluid as not every situation is the same.
Many school policies also outline how a child’s behaviour at school is positively reinforced or sanctioned and at what point in a conflict the school will intervene.
A clear set of school rules can go a long way in helping children understand what is expected of them and what they can do to be a successful pupil.
In the classroom
Self-awareness can be taught in the classroom through many ways including the keeping of a journal, having children identify through assessment or by simply acknowledging how everyone is feeling that day.
Our how do you feel today playground marking can be a fantastic exercise if a class or student needs a break. This mindfulness exercise will allow students to check in with themselves, and give the teacher insights into how their students are feeling. If for example a teacher notices, many students are feeling tired or angry it may mean they need to ramp up positive reinforcement practices over the next few weeks — or modify a lesson plan.
On the playground
In terms of the children on the playground, self-awareness really comes into play. Many children, at secondary school age, start to understand how others or the public sees them, and can recognise the feelings of others.
As said previously there are many benefits of having simple playground markings to identify emotions. An exercise could be to have children act out their emotions, tell a story, or work those emotions into a creative classroom project.
For example, if your pupils keep a journal, you may have them identify their emotions as a class, then have them write a story about it. Not only will this help them identify their emotion but it may help them work through the situation.
Our philosophy at Uniplay is “to see children of all abilities develop essential skills through play” and we specialise in the design and installation of thermoplastic playground markings, giving playgrounds colour and creativity to enhance play, fitness and fun. You can choose your favourites from our extensive range of categories, or give one of our friendly experts a call on 0333 321 6695 if you have any questions, or need any advice. We’re always happy to help!