Wellbeing and Pastoral Support at The Dell
We believe passionately in supporting every child to be the best they can be in every aspect of their life. 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.
Emotional wellbeing is critical in developing a healthy successful school community, including developing a pupil's social, emotional and behavioural skills.
Petal Breathing Demonstration
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. While Mrs Cass is a professionally qualified counsellor who uses counselling skills in working with children, we do not provide a 'counselling service' per se, rather an opportunity for extended pastoral support beyond the resources and capacity of a child's classteacher.
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. Mrs Cass 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.
The Sunshine Room has recently become the main base for our Tier 3 support work as well as a meeting space for family support and some statutory work around wellbeing.
The Rainforest Room
The Rainforest Room is our newest wellbeing provision where most of our Tier 1 and 2 support takes place. Adjacent to the school foyer, it's also a great space for meetings and family support work. Our Rainforest Room is led by two members of staff, one a trained Emotional Language Support Assistant (ELSA), another a trained counsellor.
At The Dell we care for every child in a secure and friendly environment, enabling them to feel confident in their learning and enjoy being in school. All staff have undertaken training in supporting pupils' social and emotional needs and they do this throughout the day, during lesson time, break and lunch time.
Our Sunshine and Rainforest Rooms are designed to support those children who sometimes find it difficult to put their feelings and needs into words. Like all of us, children sometimes face challenges and our team of staff are well trained to support them and their families during this time. For some children there may be an obvious reason why they need a bit of extra support. This might be bereavement, parental illness, family break down or a medical condition. For others, there can be no obvious trigger to why they are finding some aspects of school and/or home life difficult. Our 3 Tier Intervention Model aims to help children overcome these difficulties and set backs, building self esteem, self-awareness, creativity, compassion, resilience, to have a positive place in society and to know that they matter.
Finger Breathing Demonstration