The other week we received an email from Bell Farm School telling us about a book that had been written by Surrey School Nurse Katrina Sealey – Angry ANGRY Angus.
The book teaches children aged three to six how to talk about their feelings and express their emotions to increase their chances of having good mental health as they grow up through their teenage years and into adulthood.
During the Easter holidays, Kat will be at your local library reading Angry ANGRY Angus and helping parents and their children talk about their feelings.
This is a free event at your local library. No need to book, just turn up – you can find dates, times and locations at the end of this post.
We recently caught up with Kat and asked her about the book and its inspiration.
“I have been working hard as a school nurse for just over 3 and a half years.
Educating kids about their bodies and how to keep them healthy is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had. I love teaching PSHE and getting involved with health promotion in schools, the way children see the world is so refreshingly different!
One of my previous jobs was in a psychiatric unit and I am all too familiar with the many ways poor mental health can affect your life and the lives of those around you. I wanted to provide some support for schools to teach children how to keep their minds healthy, as well as their bodies, so that we can build the resilience of the next generation and help to improve the mental health of our children and young people.
Angus was born a few years ago during an episode of ‘the Apprentice’. An amateur illustrator making greetings cards and myself, a School Nurse decided we could do a far better job of producing a meaningful children’s book than the selection of candidates on the TV. However, what took the candidate on the Apprentice three days, took the illustrator and I nearly 18 months!
Angry, ANGRY Angus was finally published on 10th August 2017 and is now available from most online bookstores.
I am really looking forward to reading the book to children and parents in Elmbridge libraries over the second week of the Easter break.
I’m hoping I will have time at the end to speak to parents and do some drawing with the children!
Angry, ANGRY Angus is a story about a little badger with a big temper!
But more than a story, it is a resource designed to help parents, schools and nurseries introduce children to the words they need to describe their feelings. In May 2018 a pilot of a ‘Teacher’s Resource Pack’ was distributed across a small area of 92 schools in Surrey.
This proactive approach to Early Intervention is a great way to demonstrate how School Nurse teams can support schools to talk more openly about mental wellbeing. It is also a fantastic example of Public Health services showing support for our mental health and teaching colleagues by providing early interventions that support the PSHE curriculum.
The pilot was really successful! The pack included; 1 copy of the book ‘Angry, ANGRY Angus’, 4 different activity sheets, a brief lesson plan and an explanation of using the book to contribute to PSHE.
In feedback, teachers said the pack provided simple, direct text Links to work on social stories, well-illustrated with bright eye catching colours and good strategies for children.
The teachers asked whether there were more books for other emotions and whether they could have digital resources instead of paper ones. So, during the Spring term all schools with a reception and year one cohort received a free, digital version of the teachers resource pack.
We are hoping to gather more feedback and use it to refine the pack in the future, so if your school has received one, please complete our survey online!
Behind the scenes, we are also working to produce the sequel to Angry, ANGRY Angus.
The new book will be focusing on feeling anxious and is likely to be called ‘When Warren Worries’ and will feature a very nervous rabbit, called Warren!”
Kat will be reading Angry ANGRY Angus at various libraries across Elmbridge during the second week of the Easter holidays followed by colouring activities and games and a chance for parents to ask questions.
15:00 – Hersham Library
11:00 – Molesey Library
16:00 – Weybridge Library
14:00 – Dittons Library
16:00 – Walton Library
10:30 – Cobham Library
15:45 – Esher Library
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