I am the ‘Wellbeing Leader’ here at Stoborough Primary School. The children’s wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. Children need to be happy and content in order to be successful in life. We believe that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools can make significant improvements to children’s mental health as well as their social, academic and emotional skills.
We regularly monitor and assess children’s wellbeing through the ‘Leuven Scales’. Originally, these were designed to monitor the wellbeing of Early Years children, however, here at Stoborough we use them to assess children across the primary age range. Assessing the children through observation in and outside of the classroom using the scales is paramount to understanding each individual’s needs.
“Well-being is the beautiful stage in which children can be when they feel OK. They feel at ease. They radiate. They are open to anything that comes in.”
Leuven Scales for Wellbeing
The child clearly shows signs of discomfort such as crying or screaming. They may look dejected, sad, frightened or angry. The child does not respond to the environment, avoids contact and is withdrawn. The child may behave aggressively, hurting him/ herself or others.
The posture, facial expression and actions indicate that the child does not feel at ease. However, the signals are less explicit than under level 1 or the sense of discomfort is not expressed the whole time.
The child has a neutral posture. Facial expression and posture show little or no emotion. There are no signs indicating sadness or pleasure, comfort or discomfort.
The child shows obvious signs of satisfaction (as listed under level 5). However, these signals are not constantly present with the same intensity.
The child looks happy and cheerful, smiles, cries out with pleasure. They may be lively and full of energy. Actions can be spontaneous and expressive. The child may talk to him/herself, play with sounds, hum, sing. The child appears relaxed and does not show any signs of stress or tension. He/she is open and accessible to the environment. The child expressed self-confidence and self-assurance.
Alongside assessing children’s wellbeing we also monitor children’s involvement using the Leuven scales. This is completed in the same way as the assessment for wellbeing and gives all staff a clear understanding of how a child is interacting and accessing their environment.
“Involvement is about concentration. Being totally focused on something, wanting to get that contact with the reality around you. And from within there is a motivation to do that, a fascination – you want to continue to have that sense of contact with the reality and in your actions to take it in.” Ferre Laevers
Leuven Scales for Involvement
Activity is simple, repetitive and passive. The child seems absent and displays no energy. They may stare into space or look around to see what others are doing.
Frequently interrupted activity. The child will be engaged in the activity for some of the time they are observed, but there will be moments of non-activity when they will stare into space, or be distracted by what is going on around.
Mainly continuous activity. The child is busy with the activity but at a fairly routine level and there are few signs of real involvement. They make some progress with what they are doing but don’t show much energy and concentration and can be easily distracted.
Continuous activity with intense moments. They child’s activity has intense moments and at all times they seem involved. They are not easily distracted.
The child shows continuous and intense activity revealing the greatest involvement. They are concentrated, creative, energetic and persistent throughout nearly all the observed period.
Every child is unique and we understand this. As a result of the assessment we are able to identify the needs of every child and action any subsequent intervention if necessary. This process take place throughout the academic year to ensure are children are happy, well and able to learn.
If you would any more information please do not hesitate to contact me via the school office
Mrs Beccy Spicer
To find about some of our intervention provision to support wellbeing, visit our SEND and incusion page.
Useful Websites for Parents and Carers: