How can Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, and Discovery RE support providers in fulfilling the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 ?
The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is legislation requiring public bodies such as local authorities, health boards and other organisations such as Arts and Sports Councils of Wales, to consider long-term sustainability as a primary focus and to work along with each other and other relevant organisations and the public to prevent and tackle problems. In order to create a more sustainable Wales, these public bodies must work towards 7 Well-being Goals.
- A prosperous Wales
- A resilient Wales
- A healthier Wales
- A more equal Wales
- A Wales of cohesive communities
- A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language
- A globally responsible Wales.
They must also enact the 5 ways of working:
- Long Term
As the educators of tomorrow’s adult citizens, schools can utilize both Jigsaw PSHE and Discovery RE in supporting these aims.
A prosperous Wales
The act describes the goal as “an innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately…..and which develops a skilled and well-educated population….”
Jigsaw PSHE ensures that children and young people consider their place in their immediate, local and global community and the impact and effect their actions can have. They are taught how people in other communities, countries and cultures may have differing opportunities to their own. They also learn valuable employment skills such a problem solving, resolving conflict, assertiveness and social skills.
Discovery RE can also add to this skill set by its open-ended enquiry approach, teaching learners the skills of critical thinking, investigation, reasoning and evaluation. Children can answer the “big questions” they are studying by supporting their arguments with the knowledge they have learned throughout the investigation.
A resilient Wales
The goal states that Wales should become a nation with ecosystems “that support social, economic and ecological resistance and the capacity to adapt to change”.
Although this goal is discussing biodiversity and ecology (e.g. in response to climate change) which is far beyond the remits of RE and PSHE, Jigsaw does encourage children to always consider the environment and through Discovery RE units on creation, even very young children in Year 1 have the opportunity to consider what a creator would want for the world.
A healthier Wales
The goal description states; “A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood”
This is the absolute goal of Jigsaw PSHE. Children examine their choices around physical health specifically in the “Healthy Me” unit (Puzzle) but also look in depth at their choices around protecting their mental health as well. Throughout Jigsaw, children are encouraged to develop an understanding of their own feelings and emotions which contribute to a healthier attitude to choices – acting on life rather than reacting to it in the heat of the moment. This allows them to consider the outcomes of the future from the choices they make today. Children are encouraged to identify their feelings and emotions without judgement through the mindfulness techniques embedded throughout the programme and schools ensure these opportunities are maximised through embedding Jigsaw PSHE as a whole school ethos.
A more equal Wales
The aspiration here is “a society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances”.
Within the “Celebrating Difference” Puzzle, differing backgrounds and circumstances are explicitly examined. Key Stage 2 take aspects of the Equality Act (2010) and identify how these might be a barrier to acceptance and how they can work to overcome this. Within the “Dreams and Goals” Puzzle which follows, they then set themselves aspirational targets and learn how to break these down into manageable steps so that they can enjoy success. They are encouraged to understand the potential that they have, through discussion with peers and self-evaluation. They are also taught strategies to deal with disappointment so that set-backs do not deter them from reaching their goals. Stereotyping and challenging such limiting behaviour is also addressed.
High quality RE teaching through Discovery RE can also add to this by removing barriers caused by stereotyping on the grounds of religion. Children learn to identify the impact a belief system may have on the life of a believer and how this can cause issues and learn to overcome these. This should ensure that no religious grounds cause young people to fulfil their potential.
A Wales of cohesive communities
The goal is described as “attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities”. Although this is an aspirational goal aimed at public bodies working together, this sentiment can be nurtured from a young age using Jigsaw PSHE and Discovery RE. Jigsaw ensures that children practice their social skills in every lesson, both in the “Connect Us” section where they play games that allow them to build stronger relationships and learn more about each other, and during specific teaching activities designed to help them learn about their communities.
Through Celebrating Difference, children can learn about the uniqueness of individuals, how that can be a barrier to acceptance and how to overcome those barriers. This enables young people to challenge stereotypes and bridge differences within the community, thus making it stronger and better connected.
By learning more about the diverse world of religion through Discovery RE, children again learn to challenge stereotypes and become more empathetic with believers of other religions or none. Enhancing this through speakers from and visits to local places of worship can further ensure community understanding and cohesion. Extra resources to support this are available at http://discoveryschemeofwork.com/crossing-the-bridges/
A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language
This goal ensures that the society will “promote and protect culture, heritage and the Welsh language”. It also desires that people can take part in the arts, sport and recreation.
Children learn the benefits of being part of a community, and whilst we teach them strategies to cope with change and embrace it where it is natural and right, they also learn to appreciate the cultures around them which may need protection and how to become agents for their local community.
Jigsaw encourages everyone to be the best that they can be and identify their own skill set. In the Dreams and Goals Puzzle, children are challenged to set themselves goals. These goals can be personal and do not have to reflect anything academic per se – sporting goals are equally valid. All of Jigsaw aims to be as creative as possible, allowing the children and teacher ample opportunity to utilise the arts such as drama and role play as well as drawing/creating in the more traditional sense. All our units come complete with at least one song, ensuring that children understand how they can experience learning across all the arts.
The medium-term nature of Discovery RE, ensures that teachers have the potential to include as much locally relevant material when examining a certain faith or world view, including any historical elements that may be pertinent to the community. The expression lesson at the end of each six-week enquiry, allows children to demonstrate how the learning has impacted on their own lives through a creative medium.
A globally responsible Wales
The goal states “a nation which when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being”.
Throughout Jigsaw, in an age-appropriate way, children are encouraged to always consider the impact their actions may have. From the youngest understanding their immediate surroundings such as their home, family and class, we ensure that the mindfulness aspects of the programme allow children to reflect on possible choices before they are made, considering their own needs and those of others. As the children grow older they take these strategies and apply them to an ever-widening community until they consider themselves as a global citizen, aware of the well-being or difficulties of others across the world.
Read more at: https://www.jigsawpshe.com/health-and-well-being-wales/
By Alison Harris
Senior Jigsaw and Discovery RE Consultant
Manager: Wales and England South