At Alderton Junior School, we are committed to supporting the well-being of all our children, families and staff.
We aim to ensure the positive mental health and well-being of all our children. The school follows the Essex TPP (Trauma Perceptive Practice) approach to understanding behaviour and supporting well-being. This approach uses the values of Compassion, Kindness, Hope, Connection and Belonging to support children and is embedded in our school systems and practice.
Alderton Junior School is a child centred environment where we focus on nurturing the whole child to develop their skills to become well rounded citizens and life-long learners as well as promoting academic achievement. Our behaviour policy centres on high expectations and positive behaviour management using a ‘Stepped Approach’. We enable children to develop skills of self-regulation and to make positive choices about their behaviour through using ‘Green interventions’ to support ‘Green behaviours’. Those pupils going beyond Green and showing continued self-directed positive behaviours that benefit themselves and support others are rewarded with Silver or Gold.
Children feel safe and valued for who they are. We encourage a Growth Mindset where children are free to take risks and making mistakes is part of the learning process. We celebrate children’s achievements and foster a sense of pride and belonging through Celebration assemblies where good work or behaviour linking to the school and TPP values is acknowledged and rewarded each week along with those children who have stayed on Green or have reached Silver or Gold.
We offer a range of specific support and interventions for children and families that focus on well-being. These include:
Sensory Room and safe spaces:
As a school we aim to support a wide variety of children and strive to meet all their needs. We are therefore very excited about the development of a new sensory room at The Alderton Junior School. There is a large room at a quiet end of the school, that was a rarely used library. The books have been distributed into the classrooms for the children to use, and the space is now free for us to build our sensory room.
First we had to fix the underfloor heating, and then install plug sockets at appropriate places in the room. We have tried to organise the room to enhance and calm all sensory experiences. We have a projector sending coloured patterns onto a large flat wall, we also have lava lamps, coloured bubble tubes and a bubble machine. There is a CD player with a relaxing CD of calming sounds. We have an aromatherapy machine currently scenting the room with fresh apple. Lots of coloured cushions and beanbags are on the floor for relaxing. We are in the process of organising a hanging pod for the children to use, and stocking drawers with buttons, rice, sand, bubble wrap and other sensory tactile resources. There are plans to further develop the room as the children get used to it, and we discover their needs.
We think that this room will be essential for meeting the sensory experiences that some of our children need on a daily basis. It should leave them calm and emotionally ready for learning. Please watch this space for further developments regarding our sensory room, photos of the room in use, and spot the staff members who also enjoy using it!
Working closely with the Family and Children's Support Services to provide:
Sparks: 1:1 Talk Therapy provided by the Sparks charity for identified pupils.
Zones of Regulation
Zones of Regulation is a strategy that we use with children 1:1 or as a whole class. It teaches children about the emotions and how they might feel when experiencing different emotions. Children will choose strategies to draw on when necessary, for example if they are worried they might count to 10 slowly in their heads.
Each class has an interactive display dedicated to the Zones of Regulation which children access each morning and the class teacher responds to according to where there pupils have placed themselves on the grid.
Support from staff and our pastoral team
Our pastoral team includes:
|Head Teacher and Safeguarding Lead (Dyslexia Specialist Teacher, SENCO Award and MSc Psychology)|
|Mrs O'Riordan||Head of Learning Support and Safeguarding Lead (BA Hons Education, PGCE, National Award for SEN Coordination)|
|Mrs Finn||Deputy Head Teacher, Pupil Premium Champion (BSc in Psychology)|
|Mrs Sear||Behaviour and Pastoral Support Manager (Education Welfare)|
|Mrs Carroll-Bastian:||HLTA for SEMH|
|Mr Harrison||Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead|
|Miss Connolly||Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead|
Behaviour and Pastoral Support Management Team
Mrs Sear has recently joined our team and is our dedicated Behaviour and Pastoral Support Manager. Mrs Sear's has an extensive background which is beneficial to supporting the wellbeing of our pupils.
Mrs Sear's role in school includes:
Mrs L Carroll-Bastian's role in school includes:
Staff Professional Development and Wellbeing:
As a school, we value the contribution of every member of staff and work to ensure:
1) That talents and skills are nurtured and built upon
2) Staff are thanked and praised for their hard work and contribution to our school
3) That we consider work-life balance in all decision making and ensure that school policies are mindful of staff workload
4) That staff are consulted on school development and decision-making to have a positive contribution to the school
5) That we work to support the Mental Health of all staff by investing in and signposting staff to a free Wellbeing Service.
6) Developing the professional knowledge of staff around behaviour management, Trauma Perceptive Practice and Mental Health so that they can conduct their roles within school effectively. At present, 16 members of staff have competed 'Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health - Level 2' qualification.
Working with the Governing Body, the Head Teacher is currently creating a Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan based on the core and enhanced principles established by Mind. It is our aim, to become an accredited school for our knowledge, awareness and approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Key links to support families:
Mental Health advice for children (Young Minds)