Emotional Well-being and Mental Health
We are really lucky at Thorpe Lea Primary School to have a variety of agencies and trained adults in place to support children's emotional well-being and mental health.
All of our staff are trained in Keeping Children Safe and all of our teachers and Senior Leaders have received support through the TaHMS approach (Targeting Mental Health in Schools) via their local Primary Mental Health Worker (CAMHS) which has included training in Mental Health Awareness and anxiety, consultation around pupils causing concern and network meetings.
If you are concerned about your child's well-being or mental health, please initially speak to your child's class teacher who will then pass on the information to the relevant people.
We are really proud to have our wonderful Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), Mrs Hall who works wonders with a variety of children each day.
What is ELSA?
An ELSA is a member of staff trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer-term additional emotional needs. Mrs Hall regularly attends supervisory sessions with the EP and other local ELSA's in order to keep up to date with current needs and requirements. The majority of Mrs Hall's work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes Sessions are fun and we use a range of activities such as games; role-play with puppets; or arts and craft. ELSA sessions usually take place is Mrs Hall's office but can also happen outside on a nice day which provides calm, safe spaces for the child to feel supported and nurtured. In-class support is also given if this is required in order to support the child. Children are usually referred to Mrs Hall, for support by Senior Leaders.
How does ELSA work at Thorpe Lea Primary School?
At Thorpe Lea Primary School and Nursery, we pride ourselves in how well we know the children and families that attend. Usually, staff refer children to Mrs Hall by talking to the school SENCO and SLT team. If you feel that your child may require support and is not yet receiving this, please do fill out our 'Thorpe Lea Parent Partnership' referral form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or collect a copy from the school office. Please hand the completed form into the school office in a sealed envelope addressed ‘Thorpe Lea Parent Partnership - Confidential’.
Referral forms will be reviewed and discussed with the Headteacher and then you will be contacted about what support can be offered to you. If your referral falls under the ELSA umbrella, Mrs Hall will be in contact to make the necessary arrangements to meet and will explore with you the difficulties your child or family is experiencing. With the programme aims in mind, Mrs Hall will then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively. Length of sessions and time frame for the intervention as a whole are dependent on individual needs as is whether a 'drop-in' or structured timetabled session.
Nurture Club runs each lunchtime and is open to all children in the school. Within the club, the children have a chance to have some quiet time away from the busy playground and can: sit and play games, take part in calming activities such as drawing and colouring, read a book or have a chat with Mrs Hall. This type of provision is different to Mrs Hall's usual ELSA work, as there are no set times or a list of children who can attend; it is for the children to decide if they would like to attend and also in which support/activity they seek.
In addition to the support she offers the children, Mrs Hall works very closely with our Home School Link Worker, Sian, and also outside support such as Shirley or Karen from the Haven. There are termly opportunities in which we invite all parents in to have a coffee and catch up with the 'Parent Partnership Team'. Please do check our school app regularly for the date of the next meeting.
CAMHS - Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service
Each term, we are lucky to have a Primary Mental Health Worker from CAMHS call us to discuss with our SENCO any children that staff have concerns about - this is done anonymously to maintain confidentiality. Our Primary Mental Health Worker has also run a variety of training with our staff team and has presented training to parents at coffee mornings.
Please find below some websites that may be useful:
Below is the presentation delivered to parents on Anxiety which has a lot of tips and strategies which can be embedded at home.