Our school offers one to one counselling sessions with pupils that are identified either by parents or staff as having emotional difficulties or low self-esteem due to problems they may be experiencing at home or school. Julie Chandler is a trained counsellor and holds an MA in Counselling. Her professional body is the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy of which she is a registered member.
The therapeutic work covers a wide range of presenting problems such as bereavement, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, family issues etc.
Signed consent from parents is obtained before the sessions commence. It is also important to meet with the child before counselling begins to ensure that they feel comfortable to come along to sessions.
Mrs. Chandler uses a child friendly room in school with comfy seats, games and toys. Counselling approaches are child centred and include cognitive behaviour therapy which focuses on changing negative thoughts and feelings into more positive ones. Sand play, Lego based Therapy and Drawing and Talking Therapy are also approaches that are used to help the child make a positive improvement to their mental wellbeing.
Mrs. Chandler is also trained to offer Theraplay sessions which work with the child and parent/carer together to build healthy attachment bonds. The sessions run over a block of 12 weeks and focus on nurture, challenge, structure and engagement through play based activities.
Julie Chandler (Counsellor) and Caroline Haddon (Family Liaison) facilitate pupil support groups in school. These usually have 6-8 pupils and run for 8 weeks. The groups focus on building confidence, self-esteem and life skills. The group sessions are also very good for improving friendships and learning friendship building skills.
Masters research was completed in 2016 evaluated three of the support groups that took place in school with a total of 25 children. Following evaluation of pre and post Teacher and Parent Questionnaires it was found that there was significant improvement in the pupils’ mental wellbeing following the group sessions.
Caroline Haddon (Family Liaison) and Jane Hall run a nurture group Monday and Wednesday morning in the ‘Beach Room’ from 8.50am to 9.30am. It’s a place where children can come and enjoy a hearty breakfast, practice their breathing and yoga, share their news/worries and feel welcomed and listened to. In amongst this the group have craft activities, games and ‘Supporter of the Week’ who the children vote for. It is an excellent start to the day for the children and research shows this has an impact on the wellbeing of all children that attend.
Family Liaison Manager
Parent and Toddler
Caroline Haddon facilitates a parent and toddler session on Thursday from 9-10 engaging with existing as well as new parents to the school with various craft activities and the admission is free. The group has several families that attend every week and it enhances the transition from home to school by familiarising the children to the school environment. It also has outside agencies that attend to give advice to parents on any issues they may and welcome feedback.
Speech and Language Group
Caroline Haddon works closely with the NHS Speech and language therapist to deliver programs for children with significant speech and language difficulties. These sessions are carried out weekly. Caroline Haddon also carries out all the referrals, assessments using BRISC/Ravens/ BPVS and liaise with teachers /parents on progress.
Caroline Haddon can help and support all parents/careers with any issues they may have and signpost when needed. The referrals can be direct from parents, Head Teacher and/or staff and all progress/solutions are reported back to the Head Teacher and all people involved. This is provided anytime during the day and is such a worthwhile service for parents to receive support.