With the upcoming Youth Mental Health Day on 22 September, Polka announce their support through free mental health films for teachers, as a resource to address children’s mental health in their lessons.
These videos use stories, characters, and creative activities to explore situations and emotions that children may be experiencing. The films show different coping mechanisms, such as emotional regulation techniques. There are 3 films for different Key Stages and each film is accompanied with a lesson plan with additional activities for further learning. These films and lesson plans can be easily interwoven into teachers PSHE sessions.
Polly Simmonds Head of Creative Learning at Polka said about Polka’s Mental Health Films: “We know that drama and the creative arts can help children to better understand their feelings and the emotional challenges they may be facing. In response to the last few years, we created these filmed interactive drama workshops to support teachers in delivering this area of the PSHE curriculum. It was important to us that what we produced was fully accessible to all schools, therefore they are a free resource for any teacher to download and use as they wish. We hope by taking part in these films children will find a way to express and understand their feelings and anxieties and start to look towards a hopeful and brighter time ahead.”
And it has received some great feedback from some year 6 students:
“Was nice to have time to reflect on my feeling and emotions.”
“It helped me to look forward to things and think about the future.”
“It was nice to know that others are feeling the same as me. “
To receive your free film links and lesson plans, please contact us: [email protected].
More information on Polka’s school workshops, including the Mental Health and Wellbeing workshops, click here.
Alongside this, from 13 – 16 October, we will be showing Butterflies following World Mental Health Day on 10 October. It is a co-production between award-winning theatre ensemble Tangled Feet and Half Moon and was created in response to young children’s experiences of anxiety. It is an uplifting tale of friendship, courage and facing your fears, told using innovative staging, breath-taking physicality, the power of play and an original musical score.
For more information and tickets to Butterflies, click here
Since most children are now back in school, Polka’s mental health push will aim to not only encourage in-school conversations around mental health, but also highlight the increase in young people’s mental health issues. Young Minds notes “One in six children aged 5 to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in July 2021, a huge increase from one in nine in 2017. That’s five children in every classroom” and “83% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the Coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse.”
Polka Theatre have also linked up with stem4 teenage mental health charity, ahead of Youth Mental Health Day on 22nd September – together, supporting children and young people of all ages.
For more information about Stem4 and their important work, click here.