At Alexandra Park Primary School, we have a team of people who are responsible for the pastoral care of the children. Mr Carroll is our Wellbeing Lead. Part of his role includes promoting children's safety and well being, monitoring attendance and running specific interventions such as nurture groups or social skills groups.
We also have Learning Support Assistants who have been trained in Mental Health First Aid, Mindfulness and Drawing and Talking Therapy. We may offer a specific intervention with one of our Learning Support Assistants if a child needs additional support with their emotional health and wellbeing. In addition to this, we also buy into Beacon Counselling who work with children one day a week in school. For the past two years, we have also been part of the Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools Pilot. A Place2Be counsellor works with identified children in Year 5 and Year 6 one day a week. Additionally, Year 5 take part in the Mentally Healthy Schools Project where a Sports Ambassador visits the school and works with the children to discuss health and wellbeing.
Daily check-ins are an important part of the pastoral care that we offer and are part of the Restorative Approaches that we follow. Each teacher will check-in with all children during morning registration. Class teachers or Learning Support Assistants will follow up with any children who may need further support. Additionally, some children have targeted daily check-ins with a named member of staff to support them in school.
Children are made aware they can come and talk to Mr Carroll, Mrs Millward, Mrs Trafford-Haigh or any member of staff to discuss issues they may be experiencing. One strategy may be to complete One Page Profile with that child as a means of discussing how we can best support them. This will be shared with the class teacher and parents. All school staff will always listen, comfort and work together with the child and families to ensure a positive outcome.
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 we 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, give them time to talk, share your own anxieties as a child. Modelling calm behaviour, managing your own anxiety to show children it can be achieved. 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:-
Supporting families accessing the Team Around the Child (TAC) 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. Mr Carroll, Mrs Millward and Mrs Lockett work together to help monitor attendance and provide families with support when needed.
Alexandra Park Primary School is on a journey to become a fully restorative school in the approach that we take to resolving behavioural incidents and building relationships. See our school Behaviour Policy for more details.
All of our members of staff have been trained in ‘Restorative Approaches’ and believe that this approach teaches children about the effect of their own behaviours and how to work together in a positive way.
All incidents are dealt with in a fair, consistent manner through the use of question cards carried by all staff:
1. What happened?
2. What were you THINKING and FEELING at the time?
3. Who has been affected? What harm has been done?
4. What do you NEED in order to move on and feel better?
5. What needs to happen NOW to put things right?
These questions are intended to help children to find a positive outcome for themselves in light of any negative events.
Central to this is developing our children's ability to form positive relationships. Therefore each class in school has a set weekly circle time where they may talk through an issues that may have arisen and look for ways to solve any problems together. They also may look at other aspects of our PSHE curriculum during the circle time sessions.
If you would like to know more information about ‘Restorative Approaches’, please speak to a member of staff who will be happy to explain this further.