If we were to collate all the testimonies of change, there would be many pages!
Here are a few of our favourites…
Feedback from staff
"Prior to the introduction of Culture of the Heart, behaviour at Pennoweth was not a strength. While children's behaviour for learning was improving, their ability to regulate their own behaviour outside of learning, take responsibility for their actions and recognise the impact of their words and actions on others was not well developed.
Within 2 terms of regular use of the CotH resource, significant changes were apparent…Playtime squabbles started to dissipate and when they did happen children started to self manage without prompting.
CotH has given our children not just a growing positive vocabulary to use but also a framework to use it in. They recognise, more than ever, that every child has positive characteristics and every child is inherently wonderful. They spontaneously, and genuinely, celebrate each other's achievements recognising that 'success' in all its forms is not something that should only belong a few. While they still recognise and celebrate the child that is brilliant at maths etc, they also equally recognise the child that is consistently considerate, fun, inquisitive. This ethos spills into general behaviours around school; children open doors, are caring, welcoming of visitors.
CotH has been a massive part of the way in which the school has moved forward - and will continue to be so."
Cathryn Andrews | Headteacher | Pennoweth
“It has helped my class develop stronger relationships, build self-esteem and calmly tackle subjects that are emotive.”
Leanne Roberts | Year 5 Teacher | St Catherines Primary
“The children are more able to articulate how they are feeling and why. The vocabulary they use to identify their feelings is much richer … the resource has helped with positive playtimes and the children taking ownership of their own behaviour.”
Sorrel Beckett | Year 2 Teacher | Wadebridge Primary
“It gave our children a much wider emotional vocabulary. It particularly helped our children improve their self-esteem and self-awareness. We noticed a marked difference in the children. A beautiful resource that helped our children and staff become kinder to each other and to themselves.”
Emma Lawton | Deputy Head | St Agnes Primary
“Our children have thoroughly enjoyed the activities. They are absolutely beautiful.”
Katie Elkins | Year 2 Teacher | Wadebridge Primary
“This resource creates an uplifting and positive learning environment.”
C. L. Davis | PSHE Lead | Tregolls Primary
“As a teacher, I have used many programs, resources and online training to cover the social and emotional part of the curriculum and nothing has come close to providing the coverage or quality of this resource…
…I have been using The Culture of the Heart for nearly two years and it has changed both the way I teach and the way in which my class interacts with others. It has created a kind and supportive environment with calm and well-rounded children (and staff). We were lucky enough to be in the pilot scheme where I used it with my own year class. The children were an average mix of abilities and social backgrounds with SEN needs as well.
At the end of just one term my classroom had changed. Children were calmer, more settled and kinder to each other and, according to the children, I also changed for the better being happier and calm almost all of the time. It created a safe place where children were able to be themselves, without judgement, and explore their feelings and thoughts. For some children, it was their only safe space and I would regularly be asked “When is it time for our kind words?” (which was their name for one of the exercises).
As a result of the success in my own class, we then rolled it out across the school for what turned out to be a very short and stressful academic year, for both staff and children. In the current climate of Covid-19 we continued to look after key worker and vulnerable children and this resource has provided us with unrivalled support for scared and lonely children who have found the varied activities and resources as a welcome distraction from what is going on around them. It has also given them a place where we can support their mental and emotional well-being whilst also helping them to become kind and thoughtful members of society.”
Vicki Vigurs-Berry | Year 1–2 | Bosvigo Primary
“Their vocabulary and understanding of positive affirmations has grown and they really think about what to say about each other.”
Morwenna Dunstan | Primary
“Culture of the Heart has had a big impact in my class this year … overall, it has brought the class closer together and the children love these sessions.”
Kelly Francis | Year 3–4 | Pennoweth Primary
“It's been fantastic to see the vocabulary becoming embedded into our daily lives in reception and has also helped them form stronger bonds with each other.”
Michael Moore | Reception | Pennoweth Primary
Feedback regarding SEN pupils
“I have a child in my class who struggles with relationships. She finds it hard to communicate with her peers and will often become frustrated when she feels something is unfair. Some of these activities allowed her to reflect on her behaviour and think about the effect her words have on others. She had a ‘lightbulb’ moment during one lesson where she realised it may not be what she says but how she says things which causes most of her conflicts with others. She is very reactive so she enjoyed the word exchange lesson. She now uses positive thoughts and words when she needs to calm down and even told me recently that she used this strategy successfully at home.”
Year 5 Teacher | Primary
Feedback from children
“I feel like I’ve gotten nicer. So have my friends. I appreciate that lots! THANK YOU!!”
Amelia, age 10.
“I felt inspired to be nicer to people with my words as well as actions.”
Rueben, age 10
“The Culture of the Heart fills me with love and tells me I’m special”
Eliza, age 7
“Culture of the Heart has helped me a lot! ...Culture of the Heart is a wonderful thing to do in classrooms.”
“Culture of the Heart is great because it gives you confidence ... I think throughout the class people benefit hugely as it makes you feel good about yourself.”
“Culture of the Heart has helped me to be kinder to other people...I have noticed that the whole class is nicer now we do Culture of the Heart.”
“Culture of the Heart has helped me in my life by teaching me to block insults and to spread kindness. It has helped me to be more caring and cheerful.”
”I think that Culture of the Heart has improved the class because it helped everyone understand what kindness means.”
Compiled by Fiona Morris, Year 3 Teacher; “…I love these! I just asked them to jot down their thoughts about CotH as they came in this morning, and this was their reaction. They also asked if we could have a ‘long CotH time’ this afternoon…”
Feedback from Experts
“This is a beautifully written and brilliantly designed resource that promotes a wide range of valuable social and emotional skills in classrooms. It is of great worth for busy teachers and for contributing to children’s wellbeing.”
Amanda Murdoch | Psychologist & EQ Practitioner
“This is a fantastic resource that encourages inclusivity, kindness and compassion. It could be adapted and rolled out across both the education and healthcare sector, with massive benefits to society.”
Professor Ian Fussell BMedSci(Hons) BMBS MRCGP PGCE SFHEA Associate Dean of Education | College of Medicine and Health | University of Exeter
“The Culture of the Heart provides a beautifully designed map that aims to give children a greater sense of self-esteem, an increased level of personal confidence, resilience and the skills to be able to navigate through their lives. I believe that The Culture of the Heart resource provides these vital aspects of education and a great deal more besides.”
Ann Rogers | Therapeutic Counsellor, EQ Assessor & Practitioner
Feedback from families
“You can see the sibling relationships, friendships and parent-child relationships all strengthening through the activities."
Esther Lewis | Parent
“I think it is brilliant that the School has been teaching the Culture of the Heart curriculum. It has really helped my boys to express some of the complicated emotions and thoughts they have in the current times and it has prompted us to have more conversations about self esteem, kindness and responsibility at home …
James has been a lot more considerate of my feelings …
I have seen a big difference in Jack’s self esteem and confidence.”
Comments from a family facebook chat about CotH