Crook Crusaders

Emotional wellbeing is about our feelings, our thoughts, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our emotional wellbeing is just as important as looking after our physical health.

Over these past two years, we have been through something that we could never have imagined. Did we ever think that schools would shut and we wouldn’t be allowed to see those people in our lives that we really care about? When we are experiencing something difficult and challenging like the pandemic, our hearts, our minds and bodies can find it difficult to cope with everyday situations. We often revert to a fixed and negative mindset, which can often be very limiting. When we are scared we become defensive and we often struggle with creative thoughts. The pandemic gave us a unique opportunity to reflect on what is important to us and what we want more of in our lives. We had time to think about those things we missed most including time with people we love, things that inspire us and activities that make us happy. When we are happy we create an environment that we need to thrive and grow. We now have an opportunity to take the lessons we have learned and move out of our fixed mindsets into a more positive way of thinking.

Crook Crusaders is the chance to take these lessons and move out of our fixed mindsets into a more positive way of thinking. It is with this growth mindset and resilience that we can create a world with endless possibilities. In order for a child to develop a strong growth mindset they need the input, support and comfort of others.

Develop a Growth Mindset…

Published on Monday 1 July 2024 by Miss Bryson.

We read the story of 'The Most Magnificent Thing' by Ashley Spires.

Asked: 'How did the girl make the most of her mistakes?'

Children given a maze to complete. They MUST start from the beginning rather than working their way backwards. After they completed the maze, we discussed:

• What happened if they reached a dead end?

• Why didn't they give up?

• Did they try the same route the next time? Why not?

Children considered mistakes they made taught them something.

Matching activity:

Children matched the 'mistakes' in the first table with the 'lessons learnt' in the second table.

How could they approach the situation differently after making these mistakes?

Mistakes all offer a lesson and it is a hugely useful skill to accept the uncomfortable feeling that comes with making a mistake and learn from the experience.

Mind Map:

We created a large mind map with 'Why we love mistakes' written in the centre.

On post-it notes children gave reasons why mistakes are beneficial and something to be valued; they show that I tried/took a risk, they eliminate a possible way of doing things, get me closer to succeeding, make me stronger, make me try harder, a step towards getting better, show my progress.

Children thought of ways mistakes can be useful in all different subjects at school. We discussed this in pairs then shared ideas. The only bad mistake is one we learn nothing from. Are there any mistakes they have made which they can now learn something from? Children challenged to share when they have made a brilliant mistake and when they do, celebrate it! They are one of the most useful learning tools possible!

    Let Your Worries Drift Away…

    Published on Monday 25 March 2024 by Miss Bryson.

    We sat in a circle and allowed children to share anything that has caused them any worry throughout the week; all having the opportunity to talk uninterrupted and be listened to.

    Asked: who has been using regular relaxation strategies? We discussed that it is better to do this regularly rather than wait until there is a problem.

    Children were asked to consider and share their thoughts on how relaxation can affect the body and why it is important and not only is it part of staying generally healthy, but it also improves their resilience. We watched a video on the science of meditation and how it can positively affect the body and mind.

    We tried stretches and mindful breathing, then asked the children to describe how we felt before and after.

      Treat Others the Way You Would Like to be…

      Published on Wednesday 28 February 2024 by Miss Bryson.

      We watched the 'Stephen Morris - Domino Chain Reaction' video, discussing that they represent the people around us. What happens if you knock one? They all topple over. In the same way, what one person says or does can affect a lot of people.



      We considered what someone else could do to make them happy. Children shared their ideas to help reinforce the concept that people are different; what makes them happy may be different.

      We watched the video 'Life Vest Inside - Kindness Boomerang - One Day' about acts of kindness being passed on.

      How did the characters feel when someone did something unexpectedly nice for them? (Grateful; it made them want to do something nice for someone else).


      Children considered the following questions:

      • What happens if I tidy my room without being asked?

      • What if I ask someone to play who was on their own in the playground?

      • How do these actions affect others?

      • How do these actions make them feel?

      • How does it make me feel afterwards?

      • Are other people more likely to behave positively towards you if you try and be kind to them? Why?


      We thought of a time when we have made someone else really happy.

      • What did they do?

      • Why did it make that person happy?

      • Was it difficult to do?

      • How did it make them feel seeing that other person happy?




      Using a 'domino sheet'; in the 'Action' domino we wrote what we will do to make someone else happy, based on the ideas they came up with earlier in the lesson.

      In the next domino, we described the effect on the other person involved, such as:

      • the difference it would make to their day

      • how they would feel

      • what they might think

      Finally, in the last domino, we wrote about its effect on them:

      • How has doing this good deed made them feel?

      • How does making someone else happy make them feel?

      We shared what we will do and how it will make them happy.


        Give Peace A Chance!

        Published on Monday 29 January 2024 by Miss Bryson.

        Visitors to Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, see brightly coloured paper doves everywhere. These paper doves come originally from the ancient Japanese tradition of origami or paper folding, but today they are known as a symbol of peace. They are folded as a wish for peace in many countries around the world. This connection between paper doves and peace can be traced back to a young girl named Sadako Sasaki, who died of leukemia ten years after the atomic bombing.

        Give Peace A Chance!Give Peace A Chance!

        Sadako was two years old when she was exposed to the atomic bomb in 1945. She had no apparent injuries and grew into a strong and healthy girl. However, nine years later, in the Autumn, when she was in the sixth year of primary school, she suddenly developed signs of an illness. In February the following year, she was diagnosed with leukemia and was admitted to the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. Believing that folding paper cranes would help her recover, she kept folding them to the end, but on October 25, 1955, after an eight-month struggle with the disease, she passed away.

        Give Peace A Chance!Give Peace A Chance!

        Sadako's death triggered a campaign to build a monument to pray for world peace and the peaceful repose of the many children killed by the atomic bomb. The Children's Peace Monument that stands in Peace Memorial Park was built with funds donated from all over Japan. Later, this story spread to the world, and now, millions of cranes are placed each year before the Children's Peace Monument.

        Give Peace A Chance!Give Peace A Chance!

        Our children, teachers, parents helped to create beautiful peace doves and will be sending them to create a fantastic art installation in the centre of historic Durham City.

        We made the doves from a mixture of paper; Christmas wrapping paper, coloured sheets of paper and origami squares.

        Our children wrote a personal message about peace in our own language on the reverse of their dove.

          Catching some ZZZ's

          Published on Monday 11 December 2023 by Miss Bryson.

          We watched a video clip of 'Animals trying to stay awake' and discussed times that they themselves have felt like this:

          • Working in the classroom?

          • At breakfast?

          Asked: are we able to work and play as well as we could if we weren't tired?

          Asked if we know what happens to the body when we're sleeping. Watched the 'What would happen if you didn't sleep' video by Claudia Aguirre.

          Children asked how they make sure they get good quality sleep.

          We explored facts and myths about sleep and the amount of sleep different age groups need. Then discussed:

          • The use of screens, in particular how much time they usually leave between using them and going to bed.

          • What is in their room and how they can make it a relaxing environment (dark, comfortable, books, no electronic toys)

          • What they can do during the day to ensure they get a good night's sleep. (Diet, exercise, time to wind down, calming activities an hour before bed, avoiding eating too late, particularly sugar!)

          In pairs, children created a short presentation- a guide to a good night's sleep - with a twist.

          One of the children in the pair gave the opposite advice first, e.g.: saying that they should play on electronic devices in bed, have sweets before bed, play with noisy toys in bed, etc. Their partner then interjected at each point to give the right advice.

          Each pair performed their 'Good Sleep Guide' to the class, with the audience giving constructive feedback.

            Failing Our Way To Success…

            Published on Wednesday 25 October 2023 by Miss Bryson.

            Children were asked what they think failure is. How does it make them feel when they fail?

            We watched the motivational video about 'failing your way to success' and never giving up.


            The children were asked if they have heard of 'trial and error'. We explored this is a way of working each day when looking at Maths problems and considered other areas of our lives when we use this approach.

            Attempting some Maths problems, children wrote down words to describe how they felt whenever they failed. They recorded all of their attempts so that they could see the number of times they failed. We did not try a new problem until they succeeded at the first one.

            The person or pair that tried the most number of times received a round of applause at the end as they have shown great resilience, which was the aim of this session.

            Halfway through the lesson we stopped to ask them how it felt and where they felt it in their body. Asked: Is there anything useful to think about at this point to help you to keep going rather than give up?

            We ended by discussing how we can focus on positive thoughts at these points and remember that there is something valuable to learn in this process.

              Taking Responsibility in Year 6

              Published on Monday 25 September 2023 by Miss Bryson.

              Good Try': Children sat in a circle with one person standing in the centre. The person in the centre had an everyday object which they used to mime a common activity (such as brushing the hair, ironing, speaking on the phone, etc.) The children had to guess the activity. When one of them guessed correctly, the person in the middle said 'Well done', swapped places with the child who got the correct answer and gave them the object. The new person in the centre thought of a different mime. If someone gave a wrong answer, the person in the middle said 'Good try' and carried on until someone guessed correctly. We then decided on the six most important skills involved in learning. There are no 'right' answers. The important thing is what the children thought makes a good learner. We created a display to remind children of the skills and emphasised how anyone can learn them and we will refer to them during learning across the curriculum.

                Choose Your Destiny!

                Published on Tuesday 11 July 2023 by Miss Bryson.

                We began by listing as many emotions as we could., using adventurous vocabulary. We gave examples of when we felt these emotions. We described how experiencing these emotions feels, both mentally and physically.

                We also discussed the different courses of action that be taken in these situations. E.g: When happy, we can share this with someone else to try and make them happy too; when sad, we can talk to someone we trust to work out a way to make things better; when angry, we can practise relaxation techniques and cool down before we take decisive action on how to overcome the issue.

                We watched the Presentation: Choose your destiny example and discussed what other choices there would have been in that situation.

                We created our own 'choose your destiny' story based on different emotions and shared with the group.

                  How To Build A Friend

                  Published on Friday 9 June 2023 by Miss Bryson.

                  We began by watching a clip from the film, 'Toy Story', where Woody pushes Buzz out of the window. The scene shows Woody feeling jealous of Buzz.


                  We discussed the key questions:

                  • How does Woody feel?

                  • What might he like to do?

                  • Why do you like having friends? (They are people to have fun with/talk to when you have a problem or are feeling down/share news with).

                  • How do friends make you feel? (Cared for, understood, like you belong, happy).

                  • How does a friend do this? (Listening to you, playing with you, talking to you, seeing what you are feeling, doing things to make you feel happy).

                  We then wrote instructions for 'How to build a friend', which contained all the qualities of a good friend and explained why these are important and how they can make us feel.

                  Using instructional writing skills, including adverbs and imperative verbs, our instructions included illustrations and a 'You will need' list detailing all the attributes of a great friend.


                    Published on Thursday 25 May 2023 by Miss Bryson.

                    In our sessions this week we were able to describe what has caused us stress or worry, understand the importance of relaxation, perform relaxation stretches and were able to describe how these stretches made us feel.

                    We began by considering and sharing our thoughts on how relaxation can affect the body and why it is important; not only is it part of staying generally healthy, but it also improves our resilience. We watched a video on the science of yoga to show how this form of meditation can positively affect the body and mind.


                    We then tried some of these stretches, then described how we felt.

                    Next we came up with ideas as to when we could fit this into our day. First thing in the morning? Before going to bed? After doing their homework?

                    Then we considered where a good place would be to do this. (Bedroom, living room, garden).

                    Finally, we thought about whether there is anyone who might like to join in. (Siblings, parents, friends).

                      Listen With Our Eyes

                      Published on Tuesday 16 May 2023 by Miss Bryson.

                      This week in our Crook Crusaders group we learned:

                      • To understand that there are different ways to communicate

                      • Hoe to communicate my meaning without talking

                      • How to listen and show that I'm listening

                      • To know how to be a good listener

                      We discussed what we mean by 'communication'.

                      Then watched and listened to the video on link: 'Shaun's story' on the BBC Bitesize website':


                      When discussing how Shaun communicates, we looked at how he understands what other people want to say and how he lets other people know what he is thinking and wants to do.

                      Children then played charades, using cards provided. In both games, words are forbidden, however facial expressions were used to let teammates know if they were on the right track.

                      We discussed that we communicate meaning in more than one way, and, the non-verbal cues are equally important.

                      Children were asked how they can tell when someone is listening to them:

                      • eye contact

                      • nodding

                      • asking questions about what is being said

                      • summarising point to show understanding

                      • not doing other tasks

                      We discussed how we can tell if someone is not listening to them:

                      • looking around or at their phone or watch

                      • doing something else at the same time

                      • yawning

                      • talking to someone else

                      • doesn't say/do anything or make any facial expressions in response

                      Children briefly acted these out at their tables to make the distinction.

                      We discussed that there is more to being a good listener than just looking like one.

                      We also discussed any vocabulary and phrases that we are unfamiliar with, e.g.: empathy, sympathy, open questions, encouragement.

                      Children finished by creating a 'Good listener guide' using a template and headings provided, adding examples of these and why they are important. (The headings: 'Questions', 'Show you're listening', 'Respond', 'Empathise'.)

                        Our Strengths…

                        Published on Thursday 4 May 2023 by Miss Bryson.

                        We began by asking children what a job is and encouraged them to think about their parents' jobs and other adults they know.

                        We asked:

                        • How do you think it feels to be good at your job?

                        • What skills would be useful across a range of jobs that you can start developing in school? For example, confidence, creativity, communication, determination, enthusiasm, flexibility, problem-solving, working with others.

                        • What am I good at?

                        • What would be the perfect job for me in school?

                        • Am I the listener?

                        • Am I the 'ideas person'?

                        • Am I excellent at tidying up?

                        The children prepared a job application for their chosen role within school, e.g.:

                        • Book Reviewer: Reads books to recommend to people, writes reviews to be displayed in class.

                        • Discussion Manager: Makes sure that in any group discussion, everyone gets their say and reaches a solution that everyone is happy with.

                        • Spokesperson: Listens to ideas, concerns, suggestions of others and presents them in front of a group or the rest of the class.

                        • Play Leader: Organises games to play outside.

                        • Wet Play Leader: Organises activities to do inside.

                        We discussed our strengths and why they are suited to their chosen job, we gave at least three examples.

                        When finished, we shared our chosen job with the other people on their table, explaining why they have chosen it and what they would do in the role.

                        By the end of the lesson, children completed a written application.