First school in Wales to achieve highest Level 3 'Best Practice in Schools' Award (Jan 2021)
Wellbeing and Pastoral Support at The Dell
We shape our wellbeing work around two key pillars.
The Daily Experience
We have worked hard over recent years to ensure that The Dell is a lovely place to learn, work and visit and one where children feel a sense of belonging. We have developed a warm, conversational and approachable relationship with parents and colleagues beyond the school and we have focused relentlessly on living our ‘Be Kind, Be Your Best’ ethos and our Eight Behaviours every day. The result is that children love coming to The Dell, parents really like the school and staff love working here. We know this from our routine conversations with children, parents and staff (See the ‘Voices’ page). Staff actively make themselves available emotionally at all times to all. Fundamentally we believe that when people little and big feel happy, safe, cared for, liked and valued, they have heightened wellbeing and they learn and interact much more effectively with each other.
We provide a wide range of interventions for children and adults at times in their lives (be they brief or ongoing) when life and circumstances are challenging. Through our Sunshine Room provision we provide targeted, bespoke support at times of crisis and when children need an even closer eye and we work routinely with external agencies and colleagues to identify support as and when needs cannot be met within the school. We have also worked hard to normalise support so children do not feel stigmatised or embarrassed about seeking help to get them through challenging times.
We know from our daily experiences and from statistical information that most pupils will experience difficult times and challenges in and out of school during their seven years with us at The Dell. For some of those children, their experiences will have huge and potentially life-long impact and consequences. We want to identify those children and recognise the impact that Adverse Childhood Experiences might have on them and support them through the difficult times that they might experience during their childhood. Critically, we know too that emotional wellbeing has a significant impact on a child's (or adult's) ability to achieve and thrive.
As well as our annual Health and Wellbeing Week, we provide a range of opportunities throughout the year for children to understand and strengthen their mental health and sense of wellbeing. This often includes strategies to support their own wellbeing and manage in challenging situations.
We undertake annual Wellbeing Surveys with each child to help them focus on their feelings and how they can develop their mental and emotional resilience.
Being mentally and emotionally healthy means that:
We believe in ourselves and know our own worth.
We set ourselves goals that we can achieve and can find support to do this.
We are aware of our emotions and what we are feeling and can understand why. We can cope with our changing emotions and we can speak about and manage our feelings.
We understand what others may be feeling and know how to deal with their feelings.
We also understand when to let go and not overreact.
We know how to make friendships and relationships and how to cope with changes in them.
We understand that everyone can be anxious, worried or sad sometimes.
We can cope with, and bounce back from, changes or problems and talk about them with someone we trust.
The Sunshine Room
The Sunshine Room is a place that sums up our nurturing culture within the school. It is a place where children can go to speak with a member of staff either as a one-off visit or for ongoing support over time.
We're very proud to say that since opening its door in May 2016, our Sunshine Room has provided hundreds of visits and 1-2-1 sessions each year. Our Wellbeing lead has worked with children on a range of issues from parental bereavement, family breakdown, anger, social inclusion, friendships, serious illness, confidence, self-esteem & social isolation.
Sharing 'Wellbeing at The Dell' at the Welsh Government's National Conference, Newport - Dec 2019