Our Pupils 'Voice'
We value and seek to know what our children think and feel in a variety of ways. Children have fantastic imaginations, solutions to problems and ideas for improvement. When making changes or planning strategically, we include children in the conversation, we listen out for their concerns and opinions and value their thoughts.
Mental Wellbeing: focus on returning to school
As part of our Covid 19 risk assessment, the staff have carefully planned initial 'reconnecting' weeks, and are mindful of the wide range of experiences our school community will have experienced since March. We will communicate any emerging concerns with families so that we can quickly plan for any necessary adjustments or interventions. Below are some of the ways in which we ensure we listen and look out for worries children may have or significant changes in behaviour.
Everyday life can sometimes be tricky and it can make children feel sad, lonely, worried, nervous, angry plus many other emotions. Whilst these are 'normal' and part of what makes us human, they can leave children feeling deregulated and unsure of how to express their feelings - sometimes they don't have the words. Often we may see a resulting behaviour which gives an outward clue that a child may need some help.
To support children in getting support sooner rather than later to manage feelings, each class will have a box to post their worry into. They can simply post their name into the box on a post it note. A symbol placed on the front will indicate that the teacher/teaching assistant needs to check the box. The child will then be offered some time to talk away from other children.
The Daily Dash
During our morning exercise session, the children have the opportunity to talk with adults and their friends. This opportunity to express any worries, allows children to start their day feeling listened to and problems can start to be resolved. Equally children may share an idea or opinion, which can be discussed in our House Team meetings.
Morning and lunch playtime offer the perfect opportunity for staff to catch up with children, both in their own and other classes. In our small school, we are able to chat with the majority of the children in our school across the week, which plays a large part in creating 'the family feel' which is integral to our vision and valued by all.
House Team Meetings
As part of our Covid 19 risk assessment and Government guidance, we will be unable to physically mix the children across the schools for House Team meetings. The meetings will continue to take place within the classrooms, in a similar format. Once a half term we will bring each House Team together using Zoom to maintain a feeling of connectivity.
Every Wednesday the children meet in 3 groups, with a shared agenda. The agenda remains flexible to allow children the opportunity to raise issues or discuss ideas which they have identified. Simple minutes are kept to capture any pupil voice which can then be discussed in staff meetings.
Each week the classes have two 30 minute PSHE lessons. The children follow a well planned curriculum, focusing on Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. These lessons involve a great deal of discussion and there is plenty of opportunity for our children to share feelings, concerns,opinions and ideas.
Through learning walks, pupil surveys, pupil conferencing and monitoring, the staff and Governors are able to gain insights into what the children feel about our school, how they are cared for, taught and supported. These discussions are recorded either in a formal format, or feed into meetings to be discussed by the staff.