‘Kitbag’ training for pupils’ emotional health and wellbeing 

Rhonda Simpson, Principal Educational Psychologist; Gillian Isbister, Teacher, Central Inclusion Team; and Hannah Johnson, Head Teacher, North Roe Primary School with one of the Kitbags at a recent training session. Credit: SIC

All Shetland schools will receive a ‘Kitbag’ resource to help pupils’ capacity for mindfulness and reflection. 

‘Kitbag’ has been developed by the charity International Futures Forum based in Fife, containing multi-sensory resources to help develop young people’s sense of calm, resilience and compassion.  
Each Kitbag contains resources in colourful cotton fabric wrap, and the process of unfurling and revealing the contents helps to create a safe space for sharing thoughts and feelings. Resources in the bag include ‘feelings’ cards, animal cards, finger puppet, calming oil, minute timers, and a talking stick.  
At the end of each session the space is kept separate from everyday conversations by replacing all the resources back into their pockets and furling up the wrap.  Kitbag is most often used to support individual children or small groups and can help adults to reach out, listen and understand what children and young people are feeling.   
Kitbag has already been used in some schools in Shetland and over the next few weeks, every school in Shetland will receive a Kitbag along with training for staff.  Training is aimed at those staff with an interest in Health and Wellbeing, who will become ‘Kitbag Ambassadors’ supporting its use with children and young people in their settings. 
The first training session took place last week for the North Mainland cluster schools, and will reach other schools over the next month or so.   The offer of a Kitbag and training will be extended to partner agencies and services supporting children and young people in due course.
The Kitbags have been funded by the Scottish Government, as part of a wider framework to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people in their communities.

Rhonda Simpson, Principal Educational Psychologist said “I am delighted that we are able to provide a Kitbag for each school in Shetland.  We have used Kitbag very successfully and look forward to developing and extending its use across Shetland’s schools and beyond for the benefit of more children and young people”.

For more information, please look up the Kitbag webpage of the International Futures Forum: www.iffkitbag.com/ 

Published: 16th May 2022