to help to grow, develop, or succeed
At Holy Trinity, we have a clear vision for our school: we want everyone in our community to thrive and flourish. We work in close partnership with parents, governors, church and the local community, to nurture well-rounded, confident children, able to cope with life’s ups and downs, and ready to embrace the challenges of tomorrow to find success and fulfilment both now and in the future. However, we understand that everyone experiences life challenges which can make us vulnerable and therefore, may need additional emotional support.
At Holy Trinity, our belief is that children learn best when they have a strong sense of belonging, self-esteem and resilience and are supported by happy, inspired, and well supported staff. Because of our vision, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of all our stakeholders; our pupils, parents and carers, staff and governors in order to provide a life-lasting transformational impact on our school family.
We are extremely fortunate to have been able to develop a well-equipped Nurture Suite which provides two homely spaces for the children to use during 1:1 or group session.
At Holy Trinity our provisions include
At Holy Trinity we want to help our pupils to establish good habits and approaches to positive wellbeing and mental health by:
- nourishing our children’s sense of self, boosting their self-esteem and feelings of worth and importance within the school community and beyond into the wider world.
- providing learning opportunities for children through regular teaching of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and RSE (Relationship and Sex Education) to develop their social skills, understanding what is and what is not appropriate within relationships and how to have positive relationships.
- providing high quality outdoor learning opportunities for each pupil to develop confidence, resilience, problem solving techniques and team building skills.
- provide all pupils with regular high quality, specialist led music sessions, shown to stimulate the body's natural feel-good chemicals, ignite areas of child development and skills including; intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy, helping children to develop emotional resilience and manage setbacks.
- instilling in our children the importance of helping others and having empathy, creating a culture where watch over each other in love in all-encompassing acceptance.
- teaching our children practical ways they can improve their wellbeing on a daily basis such as getting enough sleep and mindfulness, and techniques as simple as taking some time to notice the natural world around them. We have adopted the Space Makers Toolkit across the school to embrace some of the ancient wisdom of the Christian tradition and, in doing so, assist children to navigate the world around them.
- understanding the link between physical exercise and good mental health. Our children have a very active school life including PE, games, daily mile/walks, active playtimes and active extra-curricular opportunities.
- We have worked on broadening our offering to include opportunities such as a yoga course for our year 6 pupils to help them develop new skills as they move into what can be a stressful time through SATs and transition to their new schools.
- understanding the link between physical exercise and good mental health. Our children have a very active school life including PE, games, daily mile/walks, active playtimes and active extra-curricular opportunities. We have worked on broadening our offering to include opportunities such as a yoga course for our year 6 pupils to help them develop new skills as they move into what can be a stressful time through SATs and transition to their new schools.
- equipping our children with tools of self-awareness so that they can reflect on their own state of mental health and know what the possible next steps are if they want to improve it, instilling that talking about our mental health shows strength and not weakness.
- working with our local and wider communities to make a positive contribution to charities and groups to develop pupil’s understanding of purpose and helping others.
- being part of the Marlow Schools Mental Well-Being Programme sharing activities, programs and events across the community.
- being a school where the most important school rule is to have fun!
We promote a mentally healthy environment through:
- our excellent, life-affirming, and transformational Christian education.
- promoting our school vision and values and encouraging a sense of belonging for all stakeholders.
- providing an all-encompassing, safe, respectful culture which is truly inclusive and somewhere that every person has free liberty of being and thinking for themselves.
- creating opportunities throughout the curriculum to develop pupil’s resilience.
- developing pupils understanding of their spirituality and a culture of deep reflection.
- celebrating mental health and wellbeing events such as Mental Health Week and our annual Wellbeing Week.
- establishing opportunities for pupils advocacy, voicing their preferences and ideas for mental health and enrichment within our school through our school council.
- celebrating all achievements, academic and non-academic in and out of school.
To identify any potential issues that pupils may have, as well as providing a measure of the impact of our universal provisions, all pupils take a wellbeing and attitude to learning survey at the beginning and end of the year. The survey focuses on five key areas of pupil wellbeing; positivity, self- efficacy, motivation and resilience and persistence.
We are fortunate to have been able to develop a well-equipped Nurture Suite which provides two homely spaces for the children to use for sessions, and we are shortly installing a Yurt as an additional outdoor space for them to use. For pupils that have a short to medium-term need we have several support offerings including:
Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA)
We are have 2 qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants. They are able to plan and deliver programs of support to pupils who are typically experiencing additional emotional needs. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, using a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our Rainbow Room which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured. ELSA can provide support for a wide range of emotional needs including recognising emotions, self-esteem, social skills, friendship skills, anger management and loss and bereavement.
Cookie our PAT Dog
We are extremely privileged to be visited each week by Cookie who is a trained therapy dog and Dorothy, her owner. Pupils, either individually, or in very small groups, have the opportunity to have weekly sessions to work with Cookie to develop their self-confidence, reduce anxiety and improve attendance. Typically, pupils will visit Cookie for half a term however, we do have some pupils who have long-term issues and these sessions have had such a significant impact that these have continued beyond this timeframe. Cookie also visits our Nurture Hub each half term to spend the afternoon with the children to help develop their social interaction skills. Cookie also visits the Year 3 pupils at the start of the year and our Year 6 pupils during SATs week to help reduce any stress or anxiety.
For some of our pupils, they benefit from having an allocated key worker that is either part of, or external to their year group, to be able to check-in with either daily, weekly or on an ad-hoc basis. For some children, this provides an opportunity to discuss anything that maybe worrying them or discuss how to overcome anxieties.
We are extremely fortunate to have a school counsellor and this provides us with the support for our teaching assistants to run class/year group nurture groups aimed at small groups (normally no more than 6) who need some additional social or mental wellbeing support. During these sessions the children have the opportunity to discuss their concerns/worries and support each other to develop coping mechanisms. These are short term interventions and most children will not need further support. For some with more complicated issues pupils may progress to ELSA or more long-term interventions.
We work extremely closely with all our feeder and secondary schools and parents to ensure that transition is a smooth as possible for all our pupils however, for some of our pupils transitioning to or from Holy Trinity is a significant life event and as a result can induce a range of feelings and behaviours. Because of our vision and in order to reduce the stress experienced by our children, we put a range of enhanced transition programs into place, from small group sessions for our Year 3 and Year 6 pupils through to individual transition plans tailored for the pupil’s specific needs and concerns.
Long-term interventions are for pupils that have been identified as needing specific longer term support. For some children this may last a term or two, for others this may be needed for the duration of time they are with us. As part of these interventions, we work extremely closely with the family and where necessary collaborate with external agencies, such as; Family Support, CAHMS Social services etc. We have several support offerings including:
As a school we know that for a child to be able to flourish academically and socially they need to feel safe and mentally well. We are extremely fortunate to have a full-time child counsellor as part of our staff team, allowing us to provide 1:1 counselling for children that have significant issues that they benefit from support to help come to terms with as well as to develop strategies to cope longer term independently. Our counsellor uses play, art and other non-verbal counselling methods, to help the children express their feelings and thoughts. She normally sees children on a 1:1 basis for up to 1 hour a week.
Nurture Hub addresses the social, emotional and learning needs of our individual pupils by providing the necessary help to remove the barriers to learning. There is great emphasis on emotional literacy, language development and communication. Pupils are immersed in an accepting and warm environment that helps provides nurturing experiences and helps pupils develop positive relationships with both teachers and peers. Our nurturing approach offers a range of opportunities for children to engage with missing or delayed nurturing experiences, giving them the social and emotional skills to do well at school and with peers, develop their resilience and their capacity to deal more confidently with the trials and tribulations of life, for life. As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving and therefore flourish. Nurture groups have been working successfully for more than 40 years in the UK and has been in place at Holy Trinity for over 10 years supporting many pupils to flourish.
Originally Young Carers, but renamed by the children, our Young Heroes groups provide additional support for our pupils that take on a carer role at home or have siblings with additional needs or behaviour issues. We are supported by the Young Carers Bucks team who provide comprehensive training and ongoing support. Our Young Heroes have lots of fun and share their experiences. For some pupils just knowing that they are not the only ones in that situation is a huge benefit. In our first year we were awarded the Young Carers in Schools Project Gold Award for our support and dedication to our young carers.
Rainbows are very special clubs that supports our children that have experienced loss. A previous pupil once commented after attending a Child Bereavement event that they had enjoyed it because, “they weren’t the only one”. This highlighted that although we have an above average number of pupils that have lost parents, siblings or close relatives or have experienced loss through divorce or separation, the vast majority do not realise that they are not alone. Although we provide individual support, we realised what many needed was to also realise that they are not the only ones. We provide an emotionally safe environment for children and guide them through coming to terms with their loss. They are able to talk through their feelings with others who are experiencing similar situations and are helped to articulate their feelings by adults whom they know and trust. They also, and most importantly have fun!