Support for our families
Managing our emotions can be difficult for us all at some time in our lives, especially so when challenges get thrown at us in the world or in our personal lives. At this current moment in time, there are additional stresses for our children due to the uncertainty, changes in routines, concerns about family and friends welfare, lack of access to friends and family and the inevitable tensions created in a household when the adults are dealing with all this as well. As part of our school's commitment to helping our families, we are able to give support in classrooms, in groups and as individuals.
If you would like to speak to a member of staff about any concerns, worries or where to go for help, please contact our Family Support Worker at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to share some ways in which we can offer support or ways that you can find the support:
Class support/circle time/wellbeing time: each week we set aside time for the children to focus on their emotions and feelings, talking about a range of topics including - 'matters of the moment', friendships, relationships, things that have happened at playtimes, worries, celebrations, etc. Sometimes, teachers respond to what children would like to talk about, other times teachers follow a plan where a range of matters are discussed.
Through the discussion times, teachers can see which children are contributing and what they are saying. It is often possible that individual children or groups of children can be identified of needing more support; this is then given by class teachers, teaching assistants or sometimes through a specially trained ELSA (see below).
Sometimes parents get in touch with teachers to let them know that their child doesn't seem themselves and there is a worry at home or at school. We will work in partnership to support you and your child to start to overcome these worries or find strategies to cope with them.
Each week, classes also set time aside for 'wellbeing activities' - activities that engage more creative parts of the brain, where children can engage in conversations with each other, where they can experience mindfulness/relaxation activities or more physical exercise. The children tell us they really enjoy these times and they help to keep them happy.
We are a busy school and children are always doing something - however, we also take time to stop and reflect. It is important to give children time to understand their feelings and articulate them with friends and adults that they trust.
Podcasts: Sometimes there is so little time to read and reflect, but listening to a podcast can be an easier way to get information. There are many different podcasts looking at mental health/well-being, but these are a few we have listened to:
Kids Being Kind Magazine
The Better Mental Health for Kids and Parents Podcast
NHS Choices Wellbeing Podcasts
Your Parenting Mojo - useful blog posts and podcasts
...including some links to some lovely ideas...
Useful resources and articles, including some related to coronavirus and mental health of children/young people
ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant): we have two trained teaching assistants who work with our children to help them understand, articulate and manage their emotions especially when these are getting in the way of their everyday lives. During normal school opening, our ELSA team work with either individuals or groups of children who are referred through the class teacher. If you are concerned about your child, please contact the class teacher who will help to complete a referral form for our ELSA resource. Please be advised that there is always more demand than supply for this support so sessions may not be started immediately.