WELL-BEING AT cavendish
At Cavendish our aim of teaching pupils about physical health and mental well-being is to give them the knowledge and skills that they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing.
We foster an integrated whole-school approach to the teaching and promotion of health and wellbeing, which has a positive impact on behaviour and attainment too. We engender an atmosphere that encourages openness so pupils feel they can check their understanding and seek any necessary help and advice as they gain knowledge about how to promote good health and wellbeing.
At Cavendish we:
- Are committed to promoting mental health as part of school life.
- Strive to improve the emotional wellbeing of our staff and pupils.
- Ensure mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided.
- Offer provision and interventions that matches the needs of our pupils and staff.
- Engage the whole-school community in the importance of mental health awareness.
- Capture the views of pupils, families and teachers on mental health issues.
Safeguarding, Well-being and Attendance Officer
Miss Jones-Wedgner is our Safeguarding, Well-being and Attendance Officer whose main focus is to support our children, families and staff. Miss Jones-Wedgner's role is to enable all children to have equal access to education by ensuring their emotional, physical and wider needs are met.
She helps support the school's well-being focus through facilitating activities which promote a healthy lifestyle and positive mental health, as this has a positive impact on the child's educational and personal development.
This could include facilitating group or individual sessions for the children on friendship issues, anger management, self-awareness, loss and bereavement, social skills, change etc. She also supports parents/carers with any pastoral or behavioural needs including signposting or referring to professional partners when further help is required.
More recently, since the pandemic, everyone has become much more aware of the importance of good mental health, and so our attention has become much more focussed on dealing with our communities worries and fears around the virus. Miss Jones-Wedgner has an extensive range of resources to help support our children, parents/carers and staff during these unprecedented times.
The well-being of our children was at the centre of our 'Cavendish Recovery Curriculum' and this focus has remained a top priority. We understand that children need to be in the right 'mind set' to be able to complete tasks and be ready to learn. Each class has a feelings chart to help teachers identify how children are feeling and to spend time talking to those who need it. In EYFS and KS1 these are based on the story 'The Colour Monster'. KS2 use a feelings chart based on the film 'Inside Out', with additional examples of each feeling on display. From EYFS, stories are used to help develop children's understanding of feelings. This continues throughout KS1. Children in KS2 are encouraged to see 'someone else's point of view' and have empathy for others.
Each class has access to a 'worry box' where children can write their worries anonymously if they do not feel confident enough to speak directly to a familiar adult. These concerns can then be discussed with the whole class. KS1 and EYFS also use the worry monster.
'Circle time' type activities are used to support pupil voice and discuss a range of issues or worries. 'Mindfulness; activities are incorporated into our PHSE curriculum and within physical activities.
Each class completes a PHSE 'Jigsaw' lesson every week delivered by class teachers. During the first 'puzzle' or unit of work, each class helps to create a class charter or self of 'rules' to help everyone know what is expected. In addition, pupils also follow a safeguarding and e-safety curriculum to support these key areas of developing and understanding. The school supports events such as 'Hello Yellow' and White Ribbon against domestic abuse.
The relationship between parents and carers is extremely important to us, so we have an open door policy for all our families. Members of SLT are available on the playground each day, letters and newsletters sent via e-mail and 'tweets' sent by staff. Face to face meetings, Teams meetings and School Cloud online also enables out families to communicate with staff.
Miss Jones-Wedgner works closely with out Pupil Premium pupils and Vulnerable pupils and organises out 'Well-Being Champions' with Miss Furniss, our Mental Health Leader.
Miss Jones-Wedgner along with Mrs Reynolds leads our school council, who work hard to help shape Cavendish and complete projects to improve the school and its grounds.
Our Well-Being Team: Miss Jones-Wedgner, Miss Furniss and Mr Burletson are available every day to provide support to all our families so please contact the school office to make an appointment if you or your child requires any support.
What is ELSA?
There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. Emotional literacy is about understanding and coping with the feelings of ourselves and others. It involves developing high self-esteem and creating positive interactions with other people. Being emotionally literate helps children to focus better on their learning and has a positive impact on their general happiness and well-being.
ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. ELSAs are specialist members of staff with a wealth of experience of working with children.
At Cavendish, we have 2 members of staff who have been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs.
Our ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) are:
Miss Jones Wedgner – Primary
Mrs Pickersgill – EYFS/KS1
The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes-small group work is more appropriate, especially when the focus is on social and friendship skills.
Sessions are fun and we use a range of activities including games, role-play with puppets, activity sheets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our very own 'ELSA rooms’, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.
In our ELSA sessions, we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs including:
Recognising and Managing Emotions
Friendship Skills/ Friendship Issues/ Peer problems
Loss and Bereavement
Low Self-Esteem/ Confidence
How does ELSA work?
Their class teacher, our SEND Leader (Mr Burlestson) or Miss Jones-Wedgner (Safeguarding, Well-Being & Attendance Officer) usually refers children for ELSA support. We then meet to discuss the referrals and to identify and prioritise which children require ELSA support.
Our ELSA sessions are not intended to fix children’s problems but are a means of supporting a child through a situation and a way of encouraging them to begin to open up and talk and to learn strategies to deal with their emotions.
An ELSA will use counselling skills, including active listening, problem clarification and open questions in order to enable a child to talk about their thoughts and feelings. On completion of their ELSA programmes, we ask the children to reflect on their experiences.
Supporting - Not Fixing
ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What we can do is provide emotional support. We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need.
WRAP - Promoting Social and Emotional Development
Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a simple and powerful process for creating the life and wellness you want. With WRAP, you can:
Discover simple, safe, and effective tools to create and maintain wellness
Develop a daily plan to stay on track with your life and wellness goals
Identify what throws you off track and develop a plan to keep moving forward
Gain support and stay in control even in a crisis
WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) is a self-care focussed programme over 10 weeks for young people aged 5 – 19 which is proven effective in improving resilience, emotional wellbeing, mental health, self-management, empowerment, goal achievement and quality of life. WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan and is a prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life more the way they want it to be through a series of tools and action plans called a WRAP. It’s a process for anyone who wants to make positive changes in the way they feel and the way they react to life.
At Cavendish we have two WRAP facilitators who are trained in delivering the program for pupils: Mrs Reynolds (HLTA) and Mrs Sage (Support Assistant).
PARENTS' SELF HELP RESOURCES
Do you have an anxious child?
Follow the link below for some useful guidance on helping your child-overcome anxieties:
Here are some books aimed at supporting children with their worries:
What To Do When You Worry Too Much (A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety) by Dawn Huebner is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioural techniques most often used in the treatment of generalised anxiety. Engaging, encouraging and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates and empowers children to work towards change.
Ruby’s Worry: A Big Bright Feelings Book by Tom Percival is designed for 0-5 year olds. Ruby discovers that recognising and sharing a worry is a first step towards shrinking the worry.
Do you need help dealing with your child's anger?
Here are some websites that offers help with those 'hot feelings' - sharing useful tips and information for managing anger in children:
Here is a book aimed at supporting children with feelings of anger:
Angry Octopus by Lori Lite is an anger management story for children aged 5-10 years old which introduces active progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing. This is a great little story to help children understand that they are in control of their emotions. It focuses on the ownership of feelings and emotions and taking command of the situation.
Is your child struggling with their self-esteem?
Follow these useful links which gives some useful advice to parents/carers:
Here are some books aimed at supporting children with their self-esteem:
Gilly the Giraffe Self-Esteem Activity Book by Dr Karen Treisman is a therapeutic story with creative activities for children aged 5-10 years old.
Happy Confident Me is a daily journal, which explores a gratitude and growth mindset to boost children's happiness, self-esteem, positive thinking, mindfulness and resilience. It is designed for children aged 6-12 years old.