SEMH Newsletter – Feb 2020 – The Lions Barbers’ Collective

Welcome to the second of our SEMH/AP newsletters of 2020. We aim to pull together the things that have tweaked our interest and made us read on or watch to the end. This month, I have started to receive links from my staff of things that they have been reading and it is quickly becoming a way for us to both share some of the knowledge out there and join the debate. Subscribe here and we will let you know when our monthly selection has been posted. 

Post of the month – The Lions Barbers’ Collective TedX Talk. 

About a mile away from our centre is Craig’s Barber Shop. The Manchester Evening News ran an article about Craig and the training he has received along with dozens of other barbers from around the country with the aim of making his shop a safe haven for men to discuss any issues that they may have going on.  These barbers are making their shops places where you can be listened to with empathy and without judgment. Craig had heard of the work of Devon barber, Tom Chapman who following a friend’s suicide, set up the Lion Barbers Collective.

Tom’s TedX talk is 9 minutes long and held the audience spellbound. He finishes by saying that we need to create spaces where people feel safe to talk and that his shop is his space for doing that. We think that the Forwards Centre is ours. Amazing, humbling work.

Post 2 – Framing a conversation for conflict resolution

A colleague I respect greatly in one of our other academies shared a link with our group on approaches to conflict resolutions.

This tweaked our interest and led to us find out more. My favourite was this short 3-minute clip on framing a conversation for conflict resolution using a simple 3-2-1 methodology.

I can now see how this applies to a number of our other approaches and it will add depth and understanding to the way I work. I think it is a little gem.

Post 3 – Creative Differences – A handbook for embracing neurodiversity

We found this excellent handbook by following a link from a bbc news report which was asking if companies were nurturing neurodiverse talent.

It was interesting; however it was the handbook that caught our attention and made us read on.

Our role is help excluded children reconnect with wider society and help them understand their place within it. The more we can understand about that, the better. A really good read.

Post 4 – Understanding Trauma-Informed Education

In this Edutopia article, the principal of Fall-Halton Elementary in the US works through 6 misconceptions about what she terms as ‘trauma-informed education’. The term becoming more popular since it made an appearance on Oprah. The first 2 points are about ACE scores and very US centric but points 3-6 are bang on relevant for us and our centre.

She says:

‘Our kids are not broken, but our systems are. Operating in a trauma-informed way does not fix children; it is aimed at fixing broken and unjust systems and structures that alienate and discard students who are marginalized.

If we view our trauma-informed approach as fixing kids, that creates a deficit mindset. Many kids are doing the best they can in the moment. We must meet all students where they are while supporting them with strong, stable, and nurturing relationships.’

We agree with every word.

Post 5 – Emotion Coaching: Q&A with Dr Janet Rose from Dad Blog UK

I recently sat in on a remarkable session where a relatively young child was talking about their emotions in such a knowledgeable, explicit way that I felt they could have delivered training to all our staff. It was inspiring and the impact on their ability to navigate daily life has been significant. This was one of the final sessions they were having with a professional trained in emotion coaching and our staff agree that it is one of the most powerful things that they have ever observed. We will be working with that professional over the coming months to work out the best way of developing our practice.

This post it really useful because it asks questions from a parent’s perspective.

Best of the rest:

An excellent Guardian article sent to me by of our mentors – How you attach to people may explain a lot about your inner life

A research paper about the experiences of 7 autistic boys from Northern Ireland in both mainstream school and Alternative Provision

A research paper from the American Psychological Association which links the ability to regulate emotions to academic outcomes.


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