School Research and Delivery Practitioner, Gwen Dalziel, shares details of a new online, interactive storytelling game, offering a fun and engaging way to support children’s mental health:
I’ve been thinking a lot about how in Covid times we all seem to be in a constant state of doing at least two things at a time.
We are expected to be experts at our job and now IT consultants or at least IT competent! Many of us have had a steep learning curve to adapt the way we work and harness technology in a more widespread way to be able to carry on. As parents, we have faced the dual role of teacher and parent while probably failing miserably to be good enough company so our little ones don’t miss their friends too much. Schools have squared up to unprecedented demands to offer learning in-person and online while desperately trying to support their communities through change, loss and tough times.
At the moment I’m involved in helping schools to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of their pupils. We at Children North East have joined forces with our esteemed colleagues at Mortal Fools to offer schools a wonderful resource – the MELVA game.
MELVA is an interactive digital resource for KS2 children. The resource consists of a game for electronic media interspersed with activities for the classroom or at home. Not only is it great fun but it does a serious job too. It allows schools to fulfil their obligations for supporting mental health and relationship education. This amazing tool supports busy school staff to ensure the continuation of this compulsory aspect of the curriculum, while also offering an opportunity for parents to engage in key wellbeing discussions.
The best part is that the MELVA game is a great multitasker. If we all have to do more than one thing at once, well then why shouldn’t our resources. A great game that teachers and parents can do together, and it provides space for these relationships to flourish. It adapts to all students and different circumstances; it is suitable for use in the classroom when school communities can be together and remotely, accessed for home learning or in periods of self-isolation. Or a blended mixture of both!
Multitasking can be hard; while MELVA as a tool develops coping strategies for the young, it also reminds us to look after ourselves and our worries. We can tell ourselves sometimes the pressure of doing two things at a time can be good bringing creative and efficient development, but we need to look after our well-being too. Engaging with a fun resource like Melva means we can enable young people to support their own well-being alongside, if you use it with young people, being reminded of the importance of looking after our own.