Support for Emotional & Social Development
As a Catholic School, we place great importance on providing opportunities for everyone within the school community to deepen their understanding of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Over the course of the school year pupils are encouraged to be reflective about their own and others’ beliefs, develop an understanding about themselves and others in the world, recognise the difference between right and wrong and the importance of tolerance and respect for everyone and to understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions, and appreciate the viewpoints of others.
During the school year there are also many opportunities for the children to take part in school worship through assemblies, Mass and other celebrations. Our Collective Worship is based upon ‘Nurturing Human Wholeness’ which encourages children to be confident about their own place in the world as well as their impact upon others. Our RE curriculum also addresses the need for kindness to others and respect for the earth and its people. Despite this nurturing environment, OLST recognises a growing need for emotional support for many of our pupils. We work closely with CAMHS, the Mental Health Nurse who regularly comes into school and we have invested in training our own members of staff in order to provide interventions such as Relax Kids.
We have a very strong Pupil Voice at OLST and school council meet fortnightly to address all aspects of school life but in particular, the well- being of every pupil including those with SEND. Children are extremely respectful of each other and difference is seen as something special rather than something to taunt. On the rare occasions there are incidents, the children know these are dealt with swiftly and justly by staff and they are not afraid to report such incidents. There are many avenues for reporting problems such as the daily feelings boards used across school, the Worry Bear and worry box and open and frank discussions within PSHE and other lessons. If needed, we use ‘Getting Along’ as an intervention to support our children. We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying.
Through School Council, Pupil questionnaires and discussions with ALL our pupils we know that children feel they are listened to and have their worries addressed. If staff feel there are children who are not able to do this they will seek opportunities for a more private discussion.
Last year, we were fortunate enough to be able to develop a small unused area of school into ‘The Comfort Zone’ – a space where children are able to have private discussions with staff or have access to some ‘down time’ if they need it.
Pupils with SEN are encouraged to be part of the school council and are also encouraged to be part of our after school clubs to promote teamwork/building friendships etc. Wherever possible, children with SEN take part in the many sporting events we participate in.