WOLVERHAMPTON primary schools will be the first in the country to run sessions for pupils on how to be happy.
The trailblazing initiative is being developed by award-winning online resource Insight4Life and the city’s Big Lottery funded Headstart programme, which aims to develop resilience and wellbeing in 10 to 16-year-olds.
Insight4Life’s Zumos programme is already running successfully in secondary schools throughout the country, giving confidential, expert advice to youngsters on a whole host of subjects while also giving them support information and coping mechanisms.
But now a new platform is being developed aimed specifically at primary school pupils, which will give them lessons in positivity, which it is hoped will last a life time.
“The young people will be played “how to be happy” messages out loud on a daily basis which will give them positive thinking techniques and skills,” said Gary Siva, Chief Executive of Insight4Life.
“This is teaching them life skills at a very young age which will stand them in good stead no matter what the future holds for them.
“The system also offers a daily mindfulness message which we call “chill” which includes relaxation, breathing and meditation.
“All of the message and information has undergone stringent evaluations and are CAMHS approved and our ultimate aim would be to roll this programme out across the country.”
Under its brand name Zumos, Insight4Life gives young people access to peer reviewed motivational support, in forms ranging from web links to suggested readings.
The new version for younger pupils is highly interactive, with the youngsters encouraged to share how they feel while also getting access to easy-to-understand information.
Gavin Hawkins, Strategic Lead of Learning Technology at Wolverhampton City Council, said that Zumos was the “perfect fit” for what Headstart was trying to achieve.
“Zumos initially appealed to us because it is something the young people can access at any time,” he said.
“We initially saw the version that is used in secondary schools and it was clearly meeting their needs, but we have worked together to develop a platform suitable for the age group we are focussing on, which is the 10 to 16 year old age group.”
Wolverhampton is one of 12 Headstart programmes across the UK, set up to help improve the resilience and wellbeing in a particular age group.
The Zumos programme will initially be tried in three primary schools in May and if Headstart is successful in its phase three funding application, it will be launched in 14 primary and five secondary schools in September.
The content of the new primary site has been developed by Insight4Life in conjunction with education psychologists from Wolverhampton, with input from teachers.
“The messages are a mix of subjects that young people around the country will be facing and those issues which are very specific to this area,” said Gavin.
“We also like the fact that we get access to a range of statistics which give us a really good picture of what young people are worrying about and are wanting help with.”
For further information visit www.insight4life.co.uk