A child has missed his penalty, it brushed the left-hand jumper and may or may not have gone wide. A large debate ensues, and the lack of VAR means this child walks away upset and angry at the officials. They march from the playground with nothing but rage in their head and heart. A teaching assistant sees them storm past the well-being room and asks if they’re okay? A barrage of claims of unfairness is hurled back at the adult who asks the child, “What can we do?”

“Have a minute,” responds the child.

They carry on up the corridor into their classroom, where their name sits proudly on the recognition board for not shouting out. Only three names missing, thinks the child. They grab a throw from the couch and head with purpose through two more rooms to the Spa Garden. They take their shoes off, slide into a pair of slippers, and curl up on a chair. The throw floats neatly down and wraps the child in a cocoon of warmth. The water fountain trickles as Alexa sings the sounds of nature.

The child is stirred by a recognisable rumble. Four wheels screech to a halt, and an older child beams at the door clutching a jar of marshmallows. “You’ve got the hot chocolate!” exclaims the child, interrupting the rainforest choir. The scent of cocoa fills the air as whipped cream flares over a mug, and a large marshmallow dives into the sweet abyss. “This will help you feel better,” whispers the older child. The wheels rumble on, returning the child to the calm with a warmer belly.

“That’s a cracking moustache,” chirps a familiar voice.

The child puts their shoes back on and heads back through two rooms, holding the hand of an adult and clutching a throw by its tassels. The classrooms are now full of smiles, and gone are the baying crowds who wanted nothing more than a win. Only two names missing from the recognition board, thinks the child.

“Welcome back,” smiles the teacher, and the child takes their seat. An afternoon of Viking settlements soon brings the clock forward. The child puts on their coat and grabs their things as they turn to their door. A small card is placed in their hand. A recognition card. “For going over and above,” reads the comic sans. “But what’s this for?” questions the child. “For managing to self-regulate,” replies the teacher. A smile spreads across the child’s face. Their little legs can’t get to the open arms of mum quick enough. A card is placed in mum’s hand. “What a difference,” she thinks.

A Headteacher watches the embrace at the gate. Two years ago they’d have been sitting on the tutting chair, he thinks to himself. “When The Adults Change – Everything Changes.”

Every child deserves to be inspired, have a positive mindset and recognise that failure is just a stepping stone to success and to believe they can do anything they set their minds to. At Shevington Vale we aim to develop the self-awareness, self-belief and emotional intelligence of every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, to give them the tools needed to flourish in life. We are delighted to be recognised as a When The Adults Change Partner School.

Andy Houghton, Headteacher, Shevington Vale Primary School

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