All 317 primary schools across Surrey are receiving a specially written book and teaching resource pack to help their Reception and Year 1 pupils develop into emotionally and mentally resilient teenagers and adults.
Surrey school nurse Katrina Sealey created the book, Angry, ANGRY Angus, for schools to use with Reception and Year 1 children as part of the national Physical Health Social Education (PHSE) curriculum.
The book, activities and lesson plan will help teachers and parents to give children aged four to six the words they need to talk about their feelings and express their emotions, thus increasing their chances of having good mental health as they grow up.
Children and Family Health Surrey funded a successful pilot of the book and teaching resource pack last year. Both are now being made available to all infant and primary schools in Surrey. All libraries in Surrey have also received a copy of Angry, ANGRY Angus.
The author of Angry, ANGRY Angus, Katrina Sealey from Epsom, is a Specialist Practitioner School Nurse working at Children and Family Health Surrey.
Katrina Sealey, author, says: “Mental health and emotional wellbeing is such a important and growing issue for children and young people. In 2004, 10.1% of 5-15 year olds suffered mental ill health, rising to 11.2% in 2017*. This is equivalent to four children in a class of 32.
“To improve the country’s mental health we need to start with the next generation - by helping young children to understand and effectively express their feelings and emotions and understand those around them. Angry ANGRY Angus is helping to give children the skills to live in good mental health as they grow up.”
Trudy Mills, Director of Children and Family Health Surrey, says: “We’re really proud to be offering this valuable initiative to all the primary schools in Surrey, especially with Children’s Mental Health Week taking place this week (4 to 10 February).
“Promoting the mental and emotional health and resilience of children and young people is an important part of the new NHS Long Term Plan and Angry, ANGRY Angus does this in a fun way that children can understand and enjoy.”
The book features Angus the badger who sometimes feels angry but doesn’t know how to tell people how he feels without losing him temper. His family and friends show him how to listen to those around him and how to talk about what he is feeling. Angus learns he can even help his friends to feel less angry by listening and talking to them.
Angry, ANGRY Angus introduces children to the language they need to discuss their feelings. Phrases like ‘I think’, ‘I feel’, ‘I know’ and ‘I remember’ give children the words they need to explain what is happening inside them.
Katrina Sealey was named ‘Rising Star of the Year’ at the annual Nursing Times Awards in November 2017.