Headmaster – Falcon Boys Pre-Prep
I was first introduced to The Other Subject in January 2018 when my Deputy Head arranged an INSET around working with and catering to the mental wellbeing of the children in our school.
At first I was sceptical as I thought we as a school were doing this incredibly well already, and couldn’t quite see how coaching could benefit children so young. We had a robust PSHE curriculum which we had called Learning for Life. It was well thought out and covered a vast array of topics and elements catering to SMSC and FBV. Our school was also for boys aged 3-7 so I was not convinced how much they would get out of this INSET and proposal.
I nonetheless approached the INSET with an open mind. We were fortunate enough to have two wonderful members of The OS team leading the session. They had tailor-made the coaching programmes specifically to our age group of children as well as managed to make it work for a boys-only setting. The INSET was practical and relevant. Instead of talking at us, The OS team got us to be involved with what they were demonstrating. My staff and I were soon enthralled and could see how simple and easy the coaching tools and programmes were to apply. They could be adapted into our Learning for Life curriculum. They helped us to see the concepts from The Other Subject through the eyes of the boys we would be teaching. The OS Team had us doing all sorts of things, from talking to dinosaurs to making pinky promises to ourselves. Soon many barriers were broken down and we could see exactly how this would benefit our boys.
The staff were also pleased as the coaching programmes that we were trained to deliver could so easily be slotted in and used alongside our existing curriculum. It was clear that The Other Subject would reach our boys in a way we had not thought of before, tapping into their emotions and feelings and empowering them to be more resilient and independent. The Head of Well-being at the time took this one step further and incorporated The Other Subject into one of our initiatives called ‘Pupil Passport’ where pupils get stamps recognising wellbeing and pastoral development and maturation. The best results came after a few terms where we could see that the boys in our school were using the language and their emotions unique to The Other Subject to express themselves while managing their feelings.
I said it then and I will say it again, The Other Subject was some of the best time invested in an INSET training and we saw a phenomenally positive impact on our children in a relatively short space of time.