At Almond Hill we know that when a child is happy and settled they will learn to the best of their ability. However, we know that life has many challenges for children and the role of the pastoral team is to support children with these challenges in order that they can thrive in all aspects of their lives. Just as children may be given extra support for their English or Maths, we may need to support their emotional and social wellbeing. This can be delivered in a variety of different ways and the provisions we offer are listed below.
Breakfast Club - The school organises a breakfast club to help children to be ‘learning ready’. Children may be invited to come for a short period of time to support them coming into school in the morning. The club provides breakfast and a bit of time with our support staff to get children ready for the morning.
Bright Stars – A 6-week self-esteem nurture programme where we explore feelings, worries and friendships, and provide children with strategies to better recognise and manage their emotions.
Brick Club - An 8-12 week programme using Lego to help children work on their communication, how to encourage and engage with others and build team work skills. Children are given a different 'job' each week which is attached to very specific roles. This allows the children to develop an understanding that everyone works differently.
Circle of Friends - This is an 8-week approach to support the inclusion of children who are experiencing friendship difficulties in school. This approach works by enabling the young person’s peers to provide support and engage in problem-solving with the person in difficulty. It is aimed at inclusive, positive behaviours with redirection of negative behaviours.
Drawing and Talking - This 12 week programme is a child-centred, therapeutic, play intervention focusing on supporting the social and emotional well-being of children and young people. This can also be delivered in the form of sand play. Drawing and talking can also be used as a shorter intervention in the form of directed group work.
Emotional Literacy - Runs for 6-12 weeks and is tailored to a child's individual needs and can start with the development of emotional vocabulary in order to help children better understand and appreciate their feelings and those of others. This piece of work includes reflection as to how our behaviours can impact on others and also looks at supporting children so they can articulate how they are feeling.
Friendship Mentors - We have a team of 30 plus year 5 and 6's that undergo training and volunteer their lunchtimes to help younger children within the school who are having friendship issues or struggle to make/maintain friendships. As part of this we have a buddy bench where children can sit if they need some extra help finding someone to play with.
Friendship Room - is located in Holly Room next to the quadrant and is open every lunchtime for children to drop in and have a chat or resolve friendship issues. Activities are available for children to play, draw and build inter year group relationships.
Let’s Talk About School - A 6-week provision to help develop children's emotional literacy and understanding of social situations, the feelings of their peers and the school environment.
Mindfulness - Generally a 6-week tailored provision to help children identify and develop self-regulation techniques. This can include meditation, colouring, breathing techniques, visualisation or movement based activities.
My Time - A 6-12 week pro-social programme where play is led by children in order to boost their self-esteem and communication skills. This is particularly good for kinaesthetic (tactile) learners as play can often be quite sensory including objects such as Playdoh and slime.
Outreach Support - For a few children who may need some additional support, the school makes a referral for specialist advice. This will always be in consultation with parents.
Peer Mediation - As a school, we are continually trying to support and equip our pupils with skills that will serve them well in life. As a result, we are taking part in a Peer Mediation programme. Some children in year 5 will be learning about the role of a mediator and the steps to support other pupils in finding solutions for a variety of minor disagreements. Mediators will not deal with issues from home or that break our school rules. They will be supported by staff on duty at break time and lunchtime. The aim is to increase the pupils’ understanding that disagreements are a natural but manageable part of life and that they can acquire a range of skills to enhance their ability to deal with emotions related to conflict.
Protective Behaviours (6-8 week programme) - is a safety awareness programme which focuses on resilience and helping children recognise any situation where they feel worried or unsafe. It explores practical ways to stay safe emotionally and physically.
Restorative Conversations are used to work through any incidents where children have been involved in conflict. The conversation takes place if both children agree to the discussion, a member of the pastoral or senior leadership team facilitates and the focus is on how to move forward with the situation. The process explores how the incident has made each child feel and the aim is to develop children's reflection, empathy and problem-solving skills. The member of staff holding the conversation only facilitates and stays neutral. This technique focusses on repairing the relationship and complements the STEPs approach already used within school. Investing in these strategies will hopefully help children to build on their resilience. Like most schools, we are finding that many of the children are struggling to manage their emotions in the wake of the disruption to our lives over the last 2 years and would ask that parents talk to children about these strategies to help them embed.
School Dog - The sessions are used to boost confidence and happiness and research shows this is widely linked to greater enjoyment in the school environment and this can have a positive impact on improved attendance and social interactions.
Self Esteem - A 6-8 week provision focussing on areas of confidence and assertiveness. The aim is to help children grow their positive mindset.
Settling in Activities - Offered to children who struggle to come to school in the morning or often come in upset. This piece of work is often provided for a whole term.
Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations - Are ways to help children develop a greater social understanding, this can have a positive impact on peer relations, understanding the classroom and expectations of the school environment. This is a reflection technique that helps conflict resolution.
Meet Miya - Our School Dog
My name is Miya, and I visit Almond Hill School every week to meet and play with children. The children think I am the best dog in the world! My favourite things are running outside, finding the ball and eating sausages! I have learnt to catch, roll over and spin.
Miya has been working with children in the school for a while now and she is having a really positive impact on those who meet her. The children are learning about respecting life and animals and this encourages respect towards teachers, their peers and parents. Miya has a beneficial effect on the wellbeing of the children and for those who work closely with her, it fosters a sense of responsibility.
We do ask for parental consent before children work with Miya, and you will find a copy of the letter we send to parents at the bottom of this page. Please click here for some questions and answers relating to Miya.
Feedback from Children