Understanding children’s brains better so that they feel like they belong.

Tonight Twitter Spaces we chatted to @VictoriaBagnal2 where we explored ways to make children feel like they belong in school by understanding their brain.

Victoria is the leader of a community interest company Connections in Mind, an organisation which helps people understand their brains better so that they can be kinder to themselves and those around them.

Did you know that 60% of children feel that they don't belong in school, yet belonging is key to human development. I have a solutionBased on the research by Kathryn Riley, from UCL, specialise in school belonging. 

She has found that universally a large proportion of children feel like they don't belong in the school environment. She identifies, race gender and neurodiversity as the root causes. 

We believe that if teachers understand how our brains work, then they will understand how children learn better.Belonging is fundamental to human development. 

The school system needs to meet the needs of children and young people. There's lots of evidence to show that belonging is linked to attainment and attendance.

Their sense of belonging can have a major impact - struggles with mental health both with the child and with their family.

Often families don't know how to support their child, or aren't able to. Some children are labelled as 'naughty' and this can be exhausting for parents as they don't know where to turn.

We should have a system where by parents and children can feel supported.What changes in children when they feel that they belong? A big change in their self confidence and self esteem. 

When children don't feel like that they belong, the impact on their brain is significant and causes the child to go into 'fight or flight mode'which inhibits their ability to learn. When the child is in a state of trauma, their brain adapts and is unable to function optimally.

The key thing is to trust the children, to find out what they need specifically.

The belonging project is a week long afternoon project where we talk to schools about belonging and how we can foster belonging.Victoria will then work with pupils to develop a sense of belonging. 

Not only that, but Victoria will work with a vertical sliced team within the school to think about what the school needs to do.

Some schools are having a 'Belonging Week' where they celebrate the sense of belonging. Some schools have created a Belonging corridor, and some have developed a belonging garden - a space for children to go to where they feel that they belong.

Find out more here: Connectionsinmind.com.

Quote for the day: "Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day." - Unknown


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