Mental Health and Wellbeing at Berkswich
As a church school, we have a concern for the ‘wholeness’ of any individual or group who are involved in our school life. Mental and spiritual support and development is just as important to God as physical or educational support and development, and so should be to us. In all decisions and actions taken by the school, we strive to take into consideration the impact on the whole-being.
Mental health problems affect approximately 1 in 10 children and young people. These problems can include depression, anxiety, bereavement and regulating emotions. These are often as a direct response to what is happening in their lives. The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health.
School staff may become aware of signs which could indicate a pupil may be experiencing mental health or emotional well-being issues. These warning signs are always taken seriously and staff observing any of these warning signs will communicate their concerns with Theresa Newman, our Mental Health and Emotional Well-being Lead.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistant
Theresa Newman qualified as a member of ELSA in the summer of 2019 and is experienced in delivering quality nurturing sessions on a 1::1 basis or as part of a nurture group.
ELSAs are trained to plan and deliver programmes of support for pupils in their school by ELSA registered Educational and Child Psychologists. It is a holistic approach, embedded at a systemic level. Training is delivered one day per month and is interspersed with psychological supervision at six weekly intervals. Following training, ELSA’s continue with supervision and access support from ELSA practitioners.
This course covers issues such as social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focused and friendship.
Code of Practice
ELSA support is about developing a respectful relationship in which the young person is enabled to think about their situation without feeling judged or criticised. It is intended to be short-term purposeful support which can help develop new skills or coping strategies that enable the pupil to experience greater success. In order to know when an intervention should end, ELSAs need to work to specific programme aims that are realistic. These need to be stated clearly enough to know whether or not they have been achieved.. Sessions are planned with objectives that build towards the programme aims.
The following guidance does not apply to safeguarding issues, where the ELSA is obliged to share information out of concern for either the pupil’s safety or the safety of others.
ELSAs need to respect the privacy of pupils and their families. With the development of a trusting relationship, an ELSA may find that a pupil talks freely and in detail about incidents or situations that are troubling them. Sharing information is carried out with sensitivity, respecting youngsters and their families. It is not always in the best interests of a pupil for an ELSA to observe the strict code of confidentiality that applies to counselling or psychotherapy. Schools are communities where staff are expected to work cooperatively to support children’s wellbeing and some sharing of information is appropriate. Each school should have its own confidentiality policy that all staff are expected to observe.
It is not intended that an ELSA work indefinitely with a pupil. In some cases however, a different kind of work may continue more informally, involving a lower level of contact. Some pupils may need to regularly ‘touch base’ with the ELSA to review their progress.
We will ensure that staff, pupils and parents are aware of sources of support within school and in the local community. What support is available within our school and local community, who it is aimed at and how to access it. This information is available on the School Website under SEND. Whenever we highlight sources of support, we will increase the chance of pupil help seeking by ensuring pupils understand:
For more information and support please visit the websites below;