by Web Manager, 19 March, 2020

Jigsaw and the Curriculum for Wales Area of Learning and Experience (AoLE)

Introducing… Jigsaw, the mindful approach to Health and Wellbeing:

Jigsaw 3-11 is an integrated scheme of learning, for personal, social and health education, with particular emphasis on emotional literacy, mental health, social, moral, cultural and spiritual development. Jigsaw provides teachers with detailed, weekly lesson plans and all the resources needed to deliver an engaging and relevant, spiral Health and Wellbeing curriculum.

The expectations set out in the Health and Wellbeing AoLE are comprehensively covered through Jigsaw’s spiral curriculum, ensuring that pupils have every chance to become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.

With mindfulness philosophy and practice woven throughout, Jigsaw is a unique, progressive and effective scheme of work for this area of the curriculum.

Jigsaw addresses the needs of children today.

Designed as a whole-school approach, Jigsaw aims to equip children for life, helping them really know and value who they are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.

 

What’s in Jigsaw 3 – 11?

The full Set includes:
• 288 Lesson Plans complete with resources
• PowerPoint® presentations, images, interactive games and activities needed to teach the
lessons
• Time-saving Teacher Preparation Pages (allowing teachers to quickly identify key aspects for each unit of work)
• A Jigsaw Friend, Jigsaw Jerrie Cat Friend and a Jigsaw Chime for each year group (extras are available for additional classrooms)
• Launch Assemblies (with original songs; sheet music, MP3 music tracks and PowerPoint slides with embedded content)
• Free ongoing mentor support and access to additional materials in the password-protected Jigsaw Community Area (including training materials, mapping documents, materials for parental communication and additional/optional teaching resources).

How Jigsaw, the mindful approach to Health and Wellbeing contributes to the four purposes:

Welsh Curriculum 2022 guidance states that the four purposes should be the starting point and aspiration for schools’ curriculum design. Ultimately, the aim of a school’s curriculum is to support its learners to become:

1. ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
2. enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
3. ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
4. healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

We are confident that the Jigsaw Health and Well-being teaching and learning programme fully supports schools in these aims.

How does the Jigsaw Programme support the four purposes?

  1. Throughout Jigsaw, children are given the skills to be ready to learn, no matter what is going on in the world around them or inside their own heads. The mindfulness aspects which are embedded within Jigsaw, especially within the “Calm Me” section of each lesson where children are allowed time to stop, breathe, and experience in silence and peace. They identify their own thoughts and feelings without judgement which supports them in proactively managing their emotions thus allowing them to choose their responses and regulate their own behaviour. This in turn allows them to recognise that their thoughts and feelings do not have to impact adversely on their learning in school at any given time, but they can have control over these to help their learning.Throughout Jigsaw, children are taught to recognise their own self-worth and capabilities and willingness to learn. This is especially true within the Puzzle (6-week unit) entitled “Dreams & Goals” which encourages the children to be aspirational, resilient in the face of disappointment and to break goals down into manageable steps so that they can enjoy success. They can work independently as well as collaboratively and learn group-management skills in order to embed those skills and attributes that they will need to carry these experiences into their secondary and adult working lives. The built-in praise and reward system, as well as specific work on growth mindset and resilience enables children to experience success and learn from challenges.
  2. Creativity and pupil voice are encouraged throughout Jigsaw. Jigsaw Friends (soft toy teaching aids) are instrumental in supporting children to share their views and opinions (if they want to) and to developing listening skills. Enterprise is specifically experienced in the “Dreams & Goals” Puzzle as children look at the life of work and money, and possible careers. They look outwards to what they would like to do and be, and inwards to look at who they are and want to become. Throughout the programme they consolidate their ability to work with others and resolve conflict, for example using the ‘Solve it together’ technique. Children learn to recognise that we do not always work with people who are our chosen friends or in the situations we might choose, but that all differences should be celebrated as they can encourage creativity within a group. Children are encouraged to set goals which can also include raising money for their school or a charity, so that they can learn how their work can achieve wider objectives than academic success alone. Personal qualities and uniqueness are valued.
  3. Throughout Jigsaw, and specifically in the Celebrating Difference Puzzle, children are given many opportunities to explore similarity and difference, becoming aware of a variety of different cultures and lifestyle situations of other children both within the UK (which could be specifically tailored by the teacher to reflect the local situation) and the wider world. Older children consider sponsoring a child in a developing country and consider how national and global issues affect children the world over, specifically focussing on the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Children understand that it is not only money which brings happiness. In looking at developing countries they see that they can achieve happiness through more intrinsic rewards, but they also understand that without certain necessities, life is more difficult and they learn to appreciate the value of what they have such as education, family etc. Children look at how difference can be a source of celebration or conflict and explore issues of equality and social justice, having opportunities to discuss issues of concern to them e.g. climate change and homelessness. They develop empathy with those who are different to them and start to grow their belief in their own agency.
  4. Health is specifically considered in the “Healthy Me” Puzzle which not only gives children factual information about smoking, drugs, medicines, safety, first aid etc, but also teaches them about the dangers of peer pressure and how to resist it. Within these units, the older children also learn about the need to safeguard their mental health and how to cope with anxiety. We believe healthy, positive relationships underpin wellbeing. The Relationships Puzzle in Jigsaw nurtures relationship skills e.g. negotiation and communication, as well as helping to safeguard children by helping them understand issues of trust, friendship and their own identity and sense of belonging. All the Jigsaw Puzzles help children to examine and further reinforce their own self- esteem both from within themselves, but also by asking others to support them and by learning how to accept compliments. We truly believe that with Jigsaw, children are being taught the mental, emotional and spiritual skills to allow them to flourish in society and to lead lives that will both be fulfilling for them but also of benefit to their communities and the wider world. The fact that children are given a safe space to speak and reflect will also help their confidence in speaking and listening in other aspects of school and adult life. This is evident in the comments from the children and teachers alike.

How Jigsaw covers the health and well-being area of learning

Welsh curriculum guidance set out in ‘Curriculum for Wales’ states that: The Health and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience provides a holistic structure for understanding health and well-being. It is concerned with developing the capacity of learners to navigate life’s opportunities and challenges. The fundamental components of this Area are physical health and development, mental health, and emotional and social well-being. It will support learners to understand and appreciate how the different components of health and well-being are interconnected, and it recognises that good health and well-being are important to enable successful learning.

Engagement with this Area will help to foster a whole-school approach that enables health and well- being to permeate all aspects of school life.

Jigsaw Health and Well-being is an integrated scheme of learning, for personal, social and health education, with particular emphasis on emotional literacy, mental health, social, moral, cultural and spiritual development.

Jigsaw provides teachers with detailed, weekly lesson plans and all the resources needed to deliver an engaging and relevant, spiral Health and Well-being curriculum.

The expectations set out in the Health and Wellbeing AoLE are comprehensively covered through Jigsaw’s spiral curriculum, ensuring that pupils have every chance to become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.

With mindfulness philosophy and practice woven throughout, Jigsaw is a unique, progressive and effective scheme of work for this area of the curriculum.

Jigsaw addresses the needs of children today and will continue to do so by keeping the materials updated and relevant.

Designed as a whole-school approach, Jigsaw aims to equip children for life, helping them really know and value who they are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.

 

Jigsaw and Mindfulness

The ‘what matters’ section of the Health and Well-being Area of Learning has the following heading:

How we process and respond to our experiences affects our mental health and emotional well-being.

At Jigsaw we believe this is one of the most important things that we can teach our children and one of the key ways we do this is through mindfulness.

How would children and their learning benefit if they could be aware of their thoughts and feelings as they happen, in the present moment, on purpose with no judgement?

This is what mindfulness means:

  • to be aware of your thoughts and feelings as they arise
  • to be able to focus your mind on what you choose to focus it on both outside of you and within you.

How could being mindful help to address the emotional health and behaviour issues so often acting as barriers to learning?

Thoughts and feelings motivate and determine actions/responses/behaviours. If we are caught up in thoughts and feelings and are not aware of them as they happen, the responses that follow may not be under our control, and may not be in our best interest or appropriate in the situation. If a child can be aware of their thoughts and feelings as they arise and have been taught and practised how to use interventions e.g. breathing (Calm Me) techniques, they can choose to regulate/ manage their thoughts and feelings by using these interventions. They can effectively press the ‘pause’ button and consider whether to allow that chain of thoughts to continue or to change its direction, thus potentially choosing the response, action/ behaviour that will be motivated by it. If thoughts and feelings are left unchecked they lead to responses/actions/behaviours (e.g. fight/ flight/freeze responses), and some of these may not be conducive to learning either for the child or their classmates. If I can see my thoughts as they arise and intervene, I can press the ‘pause’ button and consider my response.

Mindful children can more readily choose their responses to situations rather than reacting while caught up in the thought-flows and emotions, saving behaviour issues from happening, helping concentration and lessening stress and anxiety.

This is empowering for children and for them as adults.

In Jigsaw, the mindful approach to health and well-being, mindfulness is developed in 3 main ways:

a) through the ‘Calm Me’ time in each Piece (lesson). This consists of breathing techniques, awareness exercises and visualisations, enabling children not to empty their minds but to quiet them and become aware of the activity within them and manage it positively.

b) through the taught curriculum. Lessons (Pieces) help children to explore their thoughts and feelings, to expand their emotional vocabulary, explore thoughts-feelings-consequence sequences, build their confidence and express themselves in a safe environment.

c) through the ‘Pause Points’ in lessons (Pieces) in which Jigsaw Jerrie Cat and his big ‘paws’ ask children to ‘Pause, stop and look inside’ to practise observing their thoughts and feelings relating to what they are learning about in that lesson.

This is Jigsaw Jerrie Cat

Jigsaw Jerrie Cat is introduced in the first Puzzle (Being Me in My World) through 2 whole-school assemblies and acts as the trigger for PAUSE POINTS in lessons (the teacher using Jerrie Cat’s Paws, to symbolise the Pause Point for children).

The full document continues including the mapping grids for Jigsaw and the AoLE: Health and Well-being Progression Steps.

Download the full document with Mapping Grids