A former Yorkshire PE teacher – who made a successful business from getting children and adults active – is now giving primary school age pupils a “Guide to Life”.
Darren Padgett, who won the backing of Olympic athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill and Denise Lewis for his ground-breaking and inspirational work, is now turning his attention on supporting youngsters with their mental health and physical wellbeing following lockdown.
His Leeds-based Team +, which specialises in education and wellbeing, has now joined forces with games-based learning business, Emile, to create The Guide to Life, which gives teachers, parents and most importantly children the skills, knowledge and confidence to look after themselves and improve their own wellbeing.
It is aimed at primary age children, with differentiated content for Early Years, KS1, lower and upper KS2 pupils.
Based on themes from the New Economics Foundations 5 Ways to Wellbeing, that encourages people to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give, the Guide covers all aspects of the PSHE and RSE curriculums, as well as incorporating PE, physical activity and mental health.
There is also an app that can be used at school and at home by parents, giving children the opportunity to use the techniques they have learnt at school in the home environment, and empowering parents to support their children with this.
Darren said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought the most unprecedented of times for every one of us. Life changed completely in a matter of days and we need to be mindful that every member of staff and every child will have had different experiences and will react uniquely to these.
“The Guide to Life proactively provides the different elements that children need to rebuild, reconnect and reset; building their resilience and belief in themselves as learners again.”
Darren add that children and young people had been hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic. However, even before the crisis, schools were struggling to cope with the increasing need for wellbeing support.
Now, with 80 per cent of children saying that the crisis has made their mental health worse (Young Minds, 2020).
“There “is a real need to act urgently to rebuild and reconnect with our children, giving them the tools they need to thrive in this changing world.
“There are also alarming reports also that our nations’ children, already the most overweight in Europe have become less physically active during lockdown and the summer holidays therefore we have to reinstate regular daily exercise habits both in school and at home,” he said.
Glen Jones, MD at Emile Education, said: “Life over the last six months has been different. We see ourselves as part of the education ecosystem, so when covid struck we offered all our learning resources to schools and families for free.
In fact, over 5,000 teachers across the globe got in touch. But we wanted to do more than just help home learning.”
He added: “When Darren got in touch about helping student wellbeing we jumped at the chance. We’ve known Darren for 15 years. With Darren’s passion to improve wellbeing and our experience in delivering gamified educational apps, we are sure we can really help students to thrive.”
Guide to Life is launched with dedicated wellbeing lessons, training for teachers and an app for children and parents to use at home to practice and embed what they’ve learnt at school. It is available throughout the UK with both digital and face to face learning options available.
Further information about Guide to Life is available from its website, https://www.guidetolife.co.uk/