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Wellbeing at Stepgates

Wellbeing is a huge priority at Stepgates Community School as we feel children need to be calm, focused and regulated, in order to learn and achieve their full potential.

Our Approach

As a result, we took part and continue to take part in the Compassionate Schools programme. All staff have been trained in Attachment and Trauma, and how to support our children who have needs in this area with all children using Zones of Regulation. We continue to work towards the Nurturing Schools Award through the National Nurturing Schools Programme. We are delighted to offer a short-term intervention for pupils with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties which make it harder for them to learn in a mainstream classroom.  ‘The Den’ nurture group is a school-based intervention run by two members of staff.  The aim is to replace missing early experiences by developing positive pupil relationships with both teachers and peers in a supportive environment.  Effective nurture group practice follows the six principles of nurture.  Our assessment tool, the Boxall Profile, determines which pupils would require to be in the nurture group based on their social, emotional and mental health needs.

Our children benefit from the use of our Rainbow Sensory room and our Sensory Circuit. We have two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) in school who work with a variety of children to help with their emotional needs, and we use Emotion coaching with our children. We have a Counsellor who works 1:1 with children and with groups of children, also offering a drop in for all children if need be. We have a school dog, Lolly, our Cavapoo, who is available for the children throughout the school day.

Alongside this, we have a Home School Link Worker, (please click here for further information) who works with our children in school and supports families who need help or advice. 

ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

What is ELSA, and what do ELSA’s do?

The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) project was designed to build the capacity of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils from within their own resources. Children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.

ELSA’s in school are Teaching Assistants who have received specific additional training from educational psychologists from whom they receive on-going supervision following their training. Their role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them.

The ELSA supports your child to feel happy in school and to reach their full potential, educationally. Their aim is to help build your child’s emotional development and help them cope with life’s challenges, to help your child find solutions and strategies to cope and deal with any problems they may have.

ELSA’S will support child/ren with loss and bereavement, social skills, friendship issues, relationships, managing strong feelings, anxiety, bullying, conflict, emotional regulation, growth mindset, social stories.

Children will be referred to the ELSA by their class teacher. The class teacher will inform parents/carers if they feel their child will benefit from ELSA sessions. Their child will then be offered 6 to 12 sessions. The ELSA sessions will take place in school on a 1:1 basis or in group sessions. All of the interventions are tailored to the child/ren's needs and support.    

Resources To Help With Mental Health and Wellbeing

'Child Mental Health & Wellbeing - 10 Top Tips for Parents'   

This resource is designed to offer advice on how parents can safeguard their child/ren’s mental health and promote their wellbeing and is available as a document and short video. Please find attached a link to the following resource from SSS Learning:

Please see below for further resources to help with mental health and wellbeing, which we hope you will find helpful.

Coping With Anxiety Stress Booklet To Use with Young People Aged 11 to 19

Mind Matters IAPT Talking Therapies Surrey Leaflet

Multi Agency Health and Wellbeing Guide for Parents

Recognising when someone might be at risk of suicide poster

Stay Alive App for Surrey