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The school where the focus on health has made the difference

Happy cries can be heard already, as we approach the primary school in Kalix municipality. On the farm play a group of children football, pupils from all different classes together.

the Common activities at recess is one of the ventures that have changed the Töreskolan in the foundation. The mood is completely different now to two years ago. Then had many students difficult to sit still, and difficulty concentrating. The grades were low and many people felt themselves insecure in the school.

"It was very clear that we needed to do something, needed to think about," says the school principal Helena Öhman.

a problem that does not have a clear cause? The school has received the support of the health promotion work of Catrine Kostenius, who is a professor in the health sciences, and Hälsoskolan, which was initiated by Norrbotten's municipalities, the Region of Norrbotten and Luleå university of technology.

– In our time, we are very good at focusing on that which is good, " says Catrine. It is in the fullest of intentions, we want to correct the problem, but it will not be constructive if it is the only thing you see, " she says, and continues:

– Mental illness among the young have been investigated in numerous studies, but if we instead focus on and lift it as works beds we for a positive change.

Töreskolan started thinking about and developed a new way of working. The la energy on prevention, health promotion work.

was that all staff were attending a course in mindfulness. The rowdy classes and the conflicts among the students had done the job situation is tough and many teachers had sjukskrivit.

I have worked at several schools but have never experienced something similar to this. It is great fun.

today is this user better. The children are playing with each other, regardless of which class they go in. Fracas has become fewer.

"I'm more concentrated and I'm not as nervous for the exams now," says Tomas Dark.

When we visit sexornas teacher later the same day, it is a calm atmosphere among the students. We also follow with the children out on the break during the first sunny day in a long time. The activity out on the school grounds are self – evident- they are going to play football, despite the fact that it is icy on the ground. Everyone gets to be with.

Then the change process at the school began to have a so-called rastaktivist been hired. Oliver Åström arrange activities that everyone can participate in, see to that all the students will come out and that no one is idle on the breaks.

In the beginning it was pretty hard, the older students didn't want to go out and it was the right fights. Now socialize all with all and there is rarely any trouble. It is absolutely incredible. I have worked at several schools but have never experienced something similar to this. There is a lot of fun, " he says.

introduced drama as a new topic. On dramalektionerna, the pupils learn to speak in front of a group and to listen to the talk. Through the exercises they also learn to express their feelings and to understand what makes themselves and others feel as they do.

Dramaläraren Stina Lönnkvist have a basket full of dolls. The dolls are happy, neutral, sour, sad, and jättearga.

Rastaktivisten Oliver Åström flanked by dramaläraren Stina Lönnkvist, to the left, and lokalvårdaren Monika Hellman. All are involved in the health of the school. Photo: Tomas Bergman

– this is a great tool with the younger children. By talking about why the dolls feel like they do, we can discuss the children's feelings and reactions in different situations, " says Stina Lönnkvist.

All sjätteklassare at the school have also attended a leadership course and now they are periodically activities for the younger children.

the school made is the high table in all classrooms, for those who do not want to sit down all day, and pausgympa for the students when the focus starts to go down. More advice is being introduced, where students can participate and influence the different parts of their schooling.

Helena Öhman explains that by focusing energy on what she calls the soft aspects, those related to feelings, relationships and values, have come further in their work to improve students ' score and focus on the lessons.

" We have noticed that if we do not pay attention to these issues so we fail with work at the desk either. It is possible not only to force their children to do well, " she says.

what has been the recipe for success of the initiative the answer to all who work at the school the same thing: They've done it together.

– All of which have been with and we have become a strong team. Previously handled all of its, and tried as best they could on its edge, now we are united and working in the same direction – parents, teachers, other school staff and, of course, the students – without them, it is not possible, " says Monika Hellman, cleaners on Töreskolan which is also engaged in the work.

" I see the students in the hallways and in places where teachers do not always can be. They know who I am, you could say. It's great to see the development of them, " she adds.

Students will learn to speak in a group and to listen in on others talking. Photo: Tomas Bergman

Professor Catrine Kostenius believes that Töreskolan have done basically all right in its development and highlights among other things, precisely the cooperation between the staff.

– You should try to avoid such bets will be isolated to small groups, instead, include all staff in the process. It is great to hear that all so unanimously lift it as a factor of success, " she says.

also to the school's work is precisely in health promotion, rather than prevention.

the Work is based on promoting health instead of just focusing on the problems you are experiencing in the business. In order to increase the possibility that pupils thrive and increase its effectiveness, the school has worked with that they should feel good, both physically, mentally and socially, " she says.

It is different to go here now. All greet and are kind to each other.

Last year, the Töreskolan financial contribution from the Swedish national agency for education to continue to develop the work and application for a further grant has just been granted. Despite the fact that it is too early to draw any conclusions on the change in the score, and perceived security as there is a clear difference among both students and staff.

the most obvious difference notice the students on the mood in the school.

" It's different to go here now. All greet and are kind to each other, " says Emil Sundström, who goes in the fifth grade.

– Before it was the fights and the older was not so please, add the Hilda Grahn.

has participated in several different events where they told us about the school's successes. They spoke to the Children and education committee in the Kalix municipality and a researcher at Luleå university of technology.

What is the best with the changes that were made are the kids completely agree – the out in the schoolyard, where you can play football.

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