Hazlehurst Community Primary School

Our Hamish & Milo Story

Hazlehurst Community Primary School in Bury, Lancashire is a one form entry primary school where there is a focus on wellbeing and enabling children to reach their potential and thrive. “A happy, secure and vibrant environment in which pupils thrive.” Ofsted 2011.

“Hazlehurst is a caring and nurturing environment where everyone is included. We want our children to have fun and an exciting time in which they create memories they will keep for life.” says Anne-Marie Knowles, Headteacher

Hazlehurst Community Primary School started using the Hamish & Milo programme in October 2021. Their SENCO, Diane French, looked at the range the intervention offered and began to match this against the needs of the children across the school and then put together a comprehensive programme of intervention groups.

Hazlehurst Community Primary School Hamish & Milo

The programme was initially led by Chloe Ellis, a class teacher who began to run some small intervention groups. Following on from her experience using the resource, Chloe now supports four other TA’s in the school to run specific programme themes based on the varying needs of the children.

Chloe began to use four of the themes with specific groups of children: Amazing me, Exploding me, Calm me and Resilient me.

ELSA Resources Hamish & Milo Amazing Me - Self-esteem
ELSA Resources Hamish & Milo Exploding Me - Angry Feelings
ELSA Resources Hamish & Milo Calm me - Anxiety
ELSA Resources Hamish & Milo Resilient Me

“It is our primary go-to resource now for all our SEMH and wellbeing intervention,” said Diane French, SENCO.

“I love it! The resource is totally child and teacher friendly. You can tell it’s designed by a teacher for teachers or facilitators as it has all the resources and supporting materials you need.” comments Chloe Ellis.

In using the programme Chloe was able to incorporate the insights and use some of the resources with her whole class as well as within the intervention groups.

Hamish & Milo Advice & Introduction Booklet

A highlight was the ‘Exploding me’ programme and the resource ‘My amazing brain’. “It’s an amazing resource. The children love the science, they want the facts in a child friendly and accessible way. The amazing brain resource poster is up in my classroom.”

In using the resource Chloe has been able to support a range of children with differing needs and feels that the intervention programme has informed her teaching and the way that she is able to bring some of the insights into her whole class teaching.

The small group intervention has been powerful for many groups of children. It’s a time they look forward to and the children often pass her in the corridor asking when they are going to do their next Hamish & Milo session.

“One of my wow moments was for a boy who was struggling with angry feelings. He loved being able to talk about his ‘inner guard dog’ and began to recognise that it’s OK to feel angry and that it was his inner guard dog and he just needed a bit of time. His angry moments lessened and he could regulate himself more easily. He also became more reflective and could talk about his feelings and even after he had finished the programme he didn’t want the group to end and wanted to join another intervention group.”

“The group work makes the children feel safe and their anxieties are really heard. They love the sock puppets and the journals.”

“One girl in the Calm me group has carried on doing her own journal after the sessions and still practises her breathing. It has really helped her. She has become so much more self-reflective.”

One of the most significant elements of the programme for Diane are the parent leaflets. “It can be difficult sometimes to approach parents and offer intervention for their children, but the parent leaflets are written in such a concise and friendly way that it has really helped and eased any fears or concerns.”

At Hazlehurst Community Primary School the intervention groups are now an embedded part of the whole ethos and approach of the school. There has been great investment in building a trauma informed and nurturing approach across the school and the Hamish & Milo resource “ties in so well with our whole school approach.” said Diane. The school now have a number of staff who are using the programme with different groups of children and are supported by Chloe and Diane and are looking forward to using the resource with more of their children.

Our Amazing Brain Hamish & Milo handout
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