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At St George's, we continue to use Zumos to support the personal development of our children, and help develop children’s resilience, particularly at a time when this has been tested beyond boundaries, we thought possible just over a year ago. Their personal development is at the core of their success as individuals and achieving their academic potential. During this time of uncertainty and challenge, where everyone has been spending longer periods of time at home, it is even more vital that we take care of our children’s mental wellbeing as well as our own.
After educational research and discussions with colleagues in other schools, we have embraced Zumos as a part of our school’s curriculum. Zumos is a leading online wellbeing system that is CAMHS kitemarked and was developed as part of the HeadStart project.
Not only have we been using this great resource in school, but we also share it with families at home too. We really want to involve the whole family, as it is so important that such a growth mindset approach is reinforced both at home and school. The messages of discussing emotions, feelings and worries need to be reinforced at home too.
We have received positive feedback from families aplenty. The resources are helping families to have positive discussions at home about children’s wellbeing and how they feel as they adjust back to the routines of school life and of course wider aspects of their lives too. Such discussions together as a family, really are a powerful tool in children’s wellbeing.
One of the features is the worry box. This is where children can type in a worry they wish to share with an adult in school. We do continue to have our paper worry box in school too, but this does provide further opportunities for children to share their anxieties with us. When a child submits their worry by Zumos, their assigned adults receive an email. Our response will always be to acknowledge that we have read the worry and reassure the child that an adult will chat to them at the earliest possible time. If we were alerted to a Safeguarding concern, depending on the nature, we would take more immediate action where necessary, which could involve notifying First Response or the Police. A member of staff will always let parents know if we feel we need to discuss the worries with you too.
It would be inappropriate for us to enter in a dialogue directly with children whilst the member of staff and also the child is at home. This would compromise our safeguarding procedures and protocols. It also places unreasonable expectations on teachers whilst they are at home with their own families. Please be assured though that we will always follow through any worries which are shared. We encourage parents to discuss the use of the worry box with their child, so that they are aware of how they may be using it.
Using Zumos at Home.
The system has been developed to follow a curriculum, so all parents need to do is sit with their child, get them to login and play the recordings outlined below. It is a great thing to work on together as a family. We would urge families to discuss the recordings and ensure the messages have been understood.
Ideally Zumos should be used as an integral part of children’s daily routine, even if just for a few minutes. The more time practicing on Zumos, the bigger the impact.
Take your child to www.zumos.co.uk
Ask your child to login with the details they will have been supplied with. On logging in, Zumos will ask them how their mental health is today, get them to really think about how they are feeling and ask them to click on the most relevant icon. (If they have forgotten their login details please contact your child's class teacher).
The first time you login to Zumos please click on ‘Games Room’ and then ‘Power Quiz’, let your child complete these CAMHS-approved quizzes themselves by thinking about each question. If they have already been completed, they will not appear. They only appear every three months. These quizzes show what level of wellbeing your child has to start and measures the impact Zumos is having on your child’s wellbeing.
Click on their named room, then in the middle screen you will see ‘How to be Happy’ click play and listen to that recording. Once played please spend a minute or two asking them about it, maybe how they could apply it in their life or in the family. Maybe tell them about how you have done it in your life.
Back on the home screen, please click on ‘Chill Room’
This step is to practice mindfulness and is a great resource for the whole family. The more you practice the greater the benefits. Even just 10 minutes a day will show benefits. Settle everyone down either sitting comfortably in a chair or lying on the floor, then simply click on the length of ‘Me Time Minutes’ you want. The recording will do the rest. There is much to explore in this room, have fun.
Step ❻ This is really important
Click on Life book, this is once again something that can be done as a family or alone. Filling in the questions asked, helps to send their mind on a search for the positive. You can really help them to focus on the positive here.
Click on the games room and ask them to play the games for at least ten minutes; more if possible. The games are based on the latest scientific research coming out of our universities called cognitive bias modification or CBM. The evidence is that if these games are played for ten minutes three times a week, after three weeks they are measurably more positive. And the more you play the better the outcome.
Zumos also has lots of self-help titles in ‘My Room’ - please encourage your children to explore these titles and to listen to anything they might have a worry with. The titles are all expertly written and peer reviewed and will really help them to deal with problems they might be worried to tell you about. These will help them to seek the help they need. In addition, teachers may well assign specific titles to children, if particular issues have been identified.
This recent crisis has forced us all to look at how we do things in a new way and we are determined to offer as much support with this as we can. This is an opportunity for families to explore a new resource, which will reinforce those messages which we instill in our children at school. Through using all the resources available, together we really can ensure children’s resilience enables them to overcome challenges and develop the positive mindset, that leads to personal fulfillment and success.