This week I chatted to two fantastic humans in Julia Johnston & Vicky Lambert from Best4Learning. BEST4Learning was created in September 2014 by Julia Johnston & Vicky Lambert, who after many years of working with children in various areas in sport, art and education had seen how creative activities could have such an influential effect on children’s wellbeing. BEST was initially set up to support those children who were socially and emotionally challenged.
They began with a ‘before and after school’ club, in 3 West London schools working alongside groups of children to promote topics such as: self-awareness, friendship skills, improved communication and resilience through interactive and visual activities using sport art and drama. Intervention classes with key children were set up to focus on individual challenges. The response from children, parents and teachers was so positive that Julia and Vicky realised that every child could and should benefit from their social and emotional skills programmes. Whole class workshops were developed and the advantage of these enabled all children, teachers and teaching assistants to be working alongside the strategies that BEST provided.
The workshops were designed around the development of the child’s brain and subsequently became the focal point of all BEST programmes in both workshops and clubs. As a child’s brain grows at the most rapid rate between the ages of 0-10 years, teaching primary children how their brains work and how their thoughts affect their feelings and behaviour has proved to have a positive impact in both home and school.