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Friends for Life / Alert Programme

Friends for Life/Fun Friends has been an important part of the SPHE programme in St. Brigid’s BNS for the last few years. 
FRIENDS for Life is a social skills and resilience building program that has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as an effective means to prevent anxiety for children aged 8-11. It is proven to reduce anxiety and provide participants with the tools to rise to life’s challenges and make the most of setbacks and adversity. FRIENDS for Life also improves participants’ social and emotional skills, ability to focus, confidence, and the capacity to relax and regulate emotions. It provides coping skills for new tasks which may be challenging.  The programme brings to the attention of the children the benefits of healthy eating, regular exercise, relaxation and an appreciation of the world around them.

This year the programme is being facilitated in 3rd class.

Pizza Massage

We were learning all about relaxation techniques during friends for life this week.

Boys had a great time trying out the pizza massage on each other!

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Information on The Alert Programme

The Alert Programme is an evidence-based intervention, developed by occupational therapists for use by parents and teachers to teach students the skill of self-regulation. We usually teach Alert during your child’s senior years in school. ‘Self-regulation’ is the ability to change one’s level of arousal/alertness so that it is suitable for the situation or task.

Students commonly exhibit behaviours consistent with low and high arousal levels. The goal of this programme is to teach students how to get to the ‘just right’ level of alertness which is favourable to learning. Students are taught ‘sensory motor’ strategies that when used appropriately, can change their level of arousal/alertness.

The programme uses an engine analogy to teach children to recognise their levels of alertness. We can help teach self-regulation by talking about our own engines. If your engine is at low speed we say they are ‘running low’, if your child’s engine is running at high speed you could say he is ‘running high’. We also encourage teachers, SNAs and parents to use this terminology when addressing behavioural concerns in the senior years, as it can diffuse potentially negative conversations that can often lead to highly emotional reactions.

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