At St. Mary's we recognise the impact that Social Emotional Mental Health and Wellbeing has on class attainment.
Research shows that a culture of social and emotionally aware teaching and environments, enable children to develop better academically and research by the EEF state it can close the attainment gap by four months.
Therefore we have a dedicated nurture team who are based in The Nest.
Mrs. Torbitt heads up the team as an art teacher nurture specialist. Her bespoke therapy acts as key hole surgery to support our most vulnerable children.
Working alongside Mrs Torbitt, is Mr Mishra (ELSA) and Mrs Fulcher (Thrive) more about these approaches below.
Alongside this team, is a whole school ethos with a high quality PSHE curriculum known as Jigsaw this is led by our Mental Health First Aider, PSHE lead and KS1 teacher Miss Andrews.
A first step to establish a ‘social-emotional aware’ classroom environment, is to revisit our behaviour promise, we begin with developing strong team classbases, celebrating eachother and teaching children tips for happiness and wellbeing using Seeds of Happiness. We strive to establish classroom manners, routines, methods of managing difficult conversations and enabling debates.
In addition to this, we may assess your child using Thrive assessment to establish indivisual needs. We may recommend a Pastoral support referal. For managing low level pastoral needs, the Pastoral Team have created a toolkit of strategies that are embedded in classroom practices.
These techniques will, in time, develop into a mental health toolkit that children and staff can draw upon to develop their resilience, courage and self regulation. All children will access each technique at an age appropriate level.
For more information on any of the techniques please do not hesitate to contact the linked member of the pastoral team who can help you further.
Social Emotional Learning Toolkit to teach core competencies
ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support and is another strategy we use to support children to find the words they need to communicate their feelings.
Our ELSA practitioner is Mr Mishra.
Here is a lovely activity booklet giving children some strategies and activities to do on those days when they feel sad, worried, anxious or maybe just a bit down.