Hackham East Primary School is one of the lead schools in South Australia in regards to Interoception. As a school we are very proud of our Interoception journey to further support student wellbeing. Since the implementation of developing awareness in 2016 and setting up our Interoception Room in 2017, we have had over 300 educators from across South Australia visit our school to learn about the positive impact that the implementation of Interoception has had on our school.
Interoception is a pre‐requisite skill for self‐management and self‐regulation. It provides the tools to know when we are developing emotional reactions and the skills to be in control of these reactions. Interoception is an internal sensory system where the internal physical and emotional states of the body are noticed, recognised, identified and responded to. Interoception skills are needed for functions such as knowing when to go to the toilet, being aware that you are becoming angry or upset and being able to manage your emotions proactively.
Interoception activities are explicitly taught to each class 7-8 times per week taking about 5 minutes each time. An interoceptive activity focuses on creating and noticing an internal change. They can focus on any of the following, muscles, breathing, temperature, pulse or touch. People with atypical Interoception can’t identify mood changes or self‐regulate their body. Interoception activities teach us to connect with these.
Benefits of teaching Interoception
- Helps children and young people connect to and learn to understand their bodies and emotions.
- Helps children and young people develop a sense of belonging. Without Interoception, social skills are just the application of rules and not a meaningful way of interacting.
- Classrooms where Interoception is being taught have decreasing behavioural challenges over the school year.
Our Interoception Room is located in our School Library and is open every morning from 8.40am. Parents/Caregivers, we support your decision that if you feel that Interoception is the best place for your child to start the day to bring them in. 5 minutes in the Interoception Room is quite often is the support that some children need to prepare and set themselves up for the day.