CHILD AND FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICER and Wellbeing
Mr Brown is the schools Child and Family Support Officer.
His main focus is to support our children, families and staff with their well-being and behaviour and to safeguard them. He 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. I also support parents with any pastoral 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 community's worries and fears around the virus. Mr Brown has collated an extensive range of resources to help support the children, parents and staff during these unprecedented times.
The wellbeing of children is at the centre of our ‘Cavendish Recovery Curriculum’. This will continue into the return to our ‘normal’ curriculum also.
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 FS 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 FS, 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 FS will be using a ‘Worry Monster’ when fabrics are safe to use in the classroom.
‘Circle time’ type activities have been used to help the class teacher get to know their class and vice versa! During our ‘Recovery Curriculum’ staff have been using ‘well-being breaks’ where the children can stop and complete a fun, often physical activity for 5 and 10 minutes before learning resumes. ‘Mindfulness’ activities have also been included and are incorporated into our PHSE scheme ‘Jigsaw’.
Each class completes a ‘Jigsaw’ PHSE lesson on a Monday every week delivered by class teachers. During the first ‘puzzle’ or unit of work, each class helps to create a class charter or a set of ‘rules’ to help everyone know what is expected.
We have also been using the ‘Jigsaw Recovery Package’ which includes helping the children process our current situation regarding Covid 19, offering opportunities to talk about their ‘lockdown’ experiences and any worries or concerns they may have about returning to school.
The relationship between parents and carers is also so important to us, and although times are difficult, Cavendish are doing our best to keep in touch by members of SLT being available on the playground, letters sent via e-mail and ‘tweets’ sent by staff.
We are also lucky to have Mr Brown at Cavendish who spends a lot of time with parents as well as pupils. He also organises our School Council, play leaders and mediators.