At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, we have a team of people who are responsible for the pastoral care of the children. Mrs Dalton is our Wellbeing Lead as part of her SENCo role. Part of her role includes promoting children's safety and wellbeing, monitoring attendance and running specific interventions such as nurture groups or social skills groups.
We also have a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Mrs Stokes, who is our learning mentor and has had some training in Mental Health. We may offer specific sessions with Mrs Stokes if a child needs additional support with their emotional health and wellbeing.
In addition to this, we also buy into YMCA Play therapy/ Counselling and our play therapist works with a number of children two days a week in school.
For the past two years we have also held wellbeing workshops delivered in school by ‘The Conversation’. (http://www.theconversationstamford.co.uk/). The feedback on these has been superb.
Regular check-ins are an important part of the pastoral care that we offer. Class teachers or Teaching Assistants will follow up with any children who may need further support if displaying concerning behaviour/ disclosing thoughts of upset. Additionally, some children have targeted daily check-ins with a named member of staff to support them in school. These are ‘Trusted Adults’ whom they have named.
Children are made aware they can come and talk with Mrs Robertshaw, Mrs Dalton, Mrs Stokes or any member of staff to discuss issues they may be experiencing.
It is likely that all children feel anxious at some point during their school experience; this is a normal part of development. Anxiety can be displayed in many different ways, fear, worry, tummy ache, tears or aggression. Children experience anxiety for many different reasons, moving house, homework, parent's separation or friendships and may not want to talk about it because they are embarrassed, scared or ashamed.
As parents, you may worry about how to help. Below is a list of simple techniques to try at home:-
- Don't panic! Encourage your child to open up about their feelings and give them time to talk.
- Encourage good eating (reduce caffeinated, high sugar drinks and foods), regular exercise, hobbies, sufficient sleep and connection with friends. When young people are well rested and relaxed, they will be in a better mental state to handle fears or worries.
- Talk to school, sharing a problem gives more opportunities for support.
- Don't avoid the things that make your child anxious, accept their concerns but don't empower them. Avoidance reinforces the anxiety. If the anxiety becomes problematic or concerning look at seeking external support via school or your GP
The following website can also provide help and advice:-
We, as a school, support families accessing the Team Around the Family (TAF) or Child Protection processes, liaising with Social care. The Pastoral team works closely with and can provide links to external agencies should these be required.
We will always welcome you to contact school should you have any worries or are experiencing challenges in school or at home. Any change in home life, no matter how small can influence the children in school. We are here to support both you and your child.
All information will of course be treated confidentially unless there is concern over child safety.
Supporting families to help improve the attendance of all our children is a key aim for the school. Mrs Robertshaw, Mrs Dalton and Mrs Valentine work together to help monitor attendance and provide families with support when needed.
Please see our Young Carers page for further information on Young Carers.