Our aim is for all children and their families to be supported effectively, to be able to thrive and succeed during their time at Coleridge, and beyond.
We work together to create a safe base from which children and adults can develop and flourish. We believe relationships are at the heart of developing that sense of wellbeing and have a culture of mutual respect, empathy and caring for each other.
The emotional health and well-being of all members of Coleridge Primary School is fundamental to our philosophy and aims. As a school we encourage resilience and positive development of mental health in childhood and amongst the school community. Emotional well-being is a key factor in enabling children to achieve their full educational potential and to become responsible individuals, well prepared for life beyond school.
We want our children to be able to grow emotionally, and grow together as a whole school community. Our staff encourage and support each child’s wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem, developing resilience and creating a safe and secure environment where a child can be their authentic self and feel accepted for being themselves.
Children who are mentally healthy will be able to:
• Develop psychologically, emotionally, socially, creatively, intellectually and spiritually
• Initiate, develop and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships
• Become aware of others and empathise with them
• Play and learn
• Develop a sense of right and wrong
• Face challenges, resolve issues and setbacks and learn from them
Many children, at times, will need some additional support to help them cope with certain emotions or changes in their life. We take the approach of having a team around a child, where different professionals work together to create tailored support to best meet a child’s needs. The support we offer can be informal check-ins, or more specific support from our ELSAs, Wellbeing, SEND or Counselling teams.
To read our Emotional Health and Wellbeing policy, please visit our Policies page.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs)
Some of our support staff have been trained by educational psychologists to be Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs). There are a series of games and activities they can work through with children, supporting them to recognise emotions, and teaching them how to best manage their emotions and reactions. There is also a lot of work on social skills and friendship issues. The ELSAs create a safe, calm space where children can have time to relax and regulate themselves with appropriate support.
Our counselling service is provided by our child psychotherapists, Jane O’Rourke and Nicola Dunbar. Our counsellors work with children and their parents to give children a safe space to express and discuss things which might be worrying or upsetting them.
Nicola is also an established music therapist and offers music therapy for nursery children and their parents. We are very fortunate to also have three trainee child psychotherapists who work with us one day a week each, supporting children on a 1:1 basis.
The nurture group is a space for children to explore feelings and emotions in a small and intimate group. Led by our child psychotherapist Jane O’Rourke, and Reception teacher Stuart Goodey, we identify children who may find some aspects of the school experience difficult, such as communication, friendships, trust or attachments.
We work together as a group to understand and support each other. We sing songs, explore feelings and emotions through play, and practise skills to listen to each other. Over time, the experience of building friendships in the group and the focus of an experienced teacher and therapist builds self-reassurance, understanding about themselves and others and self-confidence.
The wellbeing review is a meeting where the class teacher, parents or carers, and the wellbeing lead meet to think together about the needs of a child. We discuss what is working well, what we’ve noticed (concerns) and what we want to happen (actions).
The aim of a wellbeing review is to create a safe space for parents and carers to be able to talk about their child’s story, and any early trauma that they have experienced. Certain behaviours that a child may present with are discussed, and we think about what we can do in school to help reassure the child that they are safe, wanted, understood, and free from shame if anything goes wrong. We also cover areas of learning and discuss next steps for English, Reading and Maths.