A special initiative to help children deal with their worries has been successfully introduced at Ramsgate Arts Primary School.
Each classroom has a Worry Box where pupils can post their thoughts about things that may be concerning them; there is also a central Worry Box in the main corridor.
The front of the box bears this message: “Write or draw what you are worried about and put it in the box. Remember, sharing your worries really helps.”
Younger pupils can pop their thoughts into the mouth of a cuddly soft toy Worry Monster, who was named Fluffy by Felix from Reception class. He said: “We can feed our worries to Fluffy who eats them and keeps them in his tummy.”
Danika, from Year 3, said: “I like the idea of the Worry Box. If something is troubling any of us we can just write a little note and post it, and we know that it will be seen by one of the teachers.”
Emily Hughes is the Special Educational Need Co-ordinator for the Viking Academy Trust, that RAPS belongs to with partner schools Upton Juniors in Broadstairs and Chilton Primary in Ramsgate.
She said: “We introduced the idea through the tale of Silly Billy by children’s author and illustrator Anthony Browne. It is a really strong story because it encourages children to realise how normal it is to worry and to provide a strategy to deal with it.
“Our pupils made their own Worry Dolls and Worry Monsters to take home.
“It is important for children to have the opportunity to normalise worries with a coping strategy, and to understand that it is usual to feel concerned about many different things in their lives.”
Head of School Nick Budge said: “Their concerns are taken very seriously and the idea is a successful addition to our school community. Worries are explored in class in circle time, and individual children may be given support by the school’s Well-Being Assistant Vicki Elliot.”