In West Dunbartonshire we encourage positive relationships in our schools and early years centres. This allows children to learn and develop in a caring and welcoming environment.
Our schools and early years centres aim to create a learning environment to:
- be welcoming for pupils, staff, parents and visitors
- allow everyone to feel valued and listened to
- encourage pride and mutual respect
- support pupils in developing ways of coping with problems
- allow pupils to make informed decisions and choices on their relationships with others
- be safe and ordered
- be stimulating and enjoyable
- expect pupils to achieve
- promote positive and respective relationships
What we do
We use varied techniques to encourage positive relationships. Techniques used include:
We provide nurture groups in some schools for young children. Nurture groups place an emphasis on personal and social development for children who struggle to manage the transition into school and form relationships with others. They are supported in a smaller class groups for part of the school week.
Families And Schools Together (FAST)
FAST is supported by Save the Children. It is a programme for primary school children and their parents. It aims to improve family relationships so children can succeed at home, in school and in the community.
The programme helps parents and children, it hopes to:
- improve children's behaviour and attainment
- give parents the skills and resources to help with their child's learning and development at home
- build stronger bonds between families and schools
- improve family relationships, communication and togetherness
- reduce family conflict and stress
- reduce feelings of social isolation and develop stronger social support networks.
FAST uses energising and structured activities to bring parents and children together, e.g. playing together, sitting down to a meal together, etc. We provide a resource hamper, including books and toys.
At present FAST has been successfully introduced into five West Dunbartonshire primary schools, with more to follow!
Alternative thinking strategies
Many of our Schools and early education centres are using the PAThS (promoting alternative thinking strategies) curriculum to develop the mental health and well-being of our pupils.
Paths lessons encourage:
- emotional awareness
- self esteem
- self control
- interpersonal problem solving skills.
Restorative practice is an approach to dealing with conflict and building positive respectful relationships within schools. It uses meetings and sessions so pupils learn how to acknowledge responsibility for harm and find ways of repairing relationships.