Supporting students with anxiety

During the course of this academic year, we are looking to raise the profile of SEND within the school and parent community.  Every month, our Head of SEND, Mrs Llewellyn, will be sharing her thoughts on a different SEND focus.  This month, she has been looking at ‘ANXIETY‘.

Anxiety falls under the area in the Special Education Needs (SEN) code of Practice ‘Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties’.

Most people have some kind of anxiety in their lives where they may feel anxious about certain situations especially if it’s new or different.  When facing the unknown some people relish these challenges however, for those that do not, it can make life very difficult to cope with.

Children show anxiety in many different ways:

  • Crying
  • Shouting
  • Being stubborn
  • Not eating
  • Fighting
  • Being quiet
  • Asking questions
  • & many more

The link below expands on the signs of anxiety displayed by children.

I think it is fair to say we often see children displaying one or more of these signs of anxiety at school.

Next time you see poor behaviour in your class/in the playground/at the games field/at home, think about it. Is it a result of anxiety?

The link between having a SEN condition and anxiety is strong.  Particularly those with ADHD and ASD.  There are many ways to support children who are anxious and the NHS website link below offers some useful basic guidance:

Whilst more pertinent to the classroom environment, the article below offers some further advice:

On a final note, to help and support children in class and at home, it is helpful to offer ‘Brainbreaks’ – where children are still and stop and think or do something different – it could be calming or energising. It is part of Mindfulness and may help to reset the brain and get it ready for learning.

Some examples of brainbreaks may be found below.