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ERW Attachment Aware Schools Conference

Putting Relationships First in schools

The Village Hotel, Swansea – Friday 16th March.


Over 70 delegates from across fifty schools in the region attended ERW’s Attachment Aware schools event. The day was designed to showcase some of the practice that is developing in schools and to highlight the school-to-school collaborative work that is at the centre of the projects that have run this year.

Ysgol Y Strade described their work in developing emotion coaching across the school and two Year 12 pupils talked about their experience of becoming emotion coaches and how this has benefitted them as well as younger pupils in the school. Presentations by Cadle Primary and Groes Primary also highlighted the benefits of pupil to pupil work, particularly as Year 5 and 6 Emotion Coaches from Cadle went to Groes to train pupils there. Groes Primary pupils showed the delegates a role-play of emotion coaching in action. Pupils from Model Primary also presented on their work as Playground Peacemakers. Ysgol T Llew Jones shared their journey in developing Relationship-based Play as an intervention to engage with parents. Other schools who presented to talk about their steps in embedding relational practice within school were Pontarddulais Comp who are collaborating closely with Y Strade, St Francis RC Primary and Rhydygors SEBD school. Kay Duncan from NPT Educational Psychology Service presented on Video Interaction Guidance, a positive application tool that is being used to improve teacher/pupil interactions in some schools.

The inspiring keynote was made by Professor Robin Banerjee, Developmental Psychologist from the University of Sussex. He reminded us that behaviour is simply the visible tip of a complex iceberg and that we need to start seeing children as part of a multi-faceted context rather than as having ‘problems’ that reside within them. The day ended with teachers who have been part of two ERW working groups presenting. The first group presented on a set of interactive guidelines that have been developed to support schools in developing and embedding relational practice. To end, the work of the second group was shown: a digital animation film entitled ‘The Brain House’ which explains to pupils how the brain needs to feel safe in order for us to learn. ‘The Brain House’ is narrated by pupils from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 and will be available as a bi-lingual resource.


For more information please contact Sara Walters: