Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

It has been a while now since Grade Ruan School became a Thrive School, and I felt that it was time for a reminder of what that means for your child and also give those of you who are new to the school a bit more information.

We want to know why children behave, develop and learn in the way that that they do and how best to support them in this. As you are aware we have had THRIVE training, and also TIS (Trauma Informed Schools) training, to bring the many benefits of the latest neuroscience and attachment research into everyday practice with children.

Scientists have discovered that the neural pathways of the brain and wider nervous system are relatively unformed at birth, undergoing much of their development during the first three years of life in response to relational experiences with primary care-givers. A key development during this period is the establishment of the body’s stress-response system.

This lays the foundation for our social and emotional development throughout life, affecting our capacity to relate, love, learn and manage stress in healthy ways. However, research has also revealed the inherent ‘plasticity’ of the brain – its capacity to forge new neural connections in response to experience.

 Therefore it remains possible to intervene at a later stage to fill the gaps.

The emotional regulation system in all of us is made up of three levels. These three levels are shaped in our early experience in our closest relationships. They are addressed within the Thrive model: Being, Doing and Thinking. The good news is that with loving attention and repeated experiences we can reshape these three levels – or fill in any gaps – at any time if we are in a positive significant relationship. The Thrive Approach shows us how.

Because our emotional state has such an impact on the way we think and act, it profoundly affects our behaviour choices. Our behaviour in turn helps us to get on with others and to be able to settle to learning.

We can develop resilience rather than false fixed strength. We can feel empowered and confident to work with life rather than needing to have power over others or events. We can care about others as well as ourselves. We can be empathetic and compassionate rather than fearful and grasping. We can have dreams and ambition.

We can be creative and divergent in our thinking. We can aim for excellence without putting others down in the process. We can appreciate diversity and embrace change. We can love life and thrive.

 

As part of your child’s life at Landewednack School, we strive to quickly identify any emotional need that may present itself, so that focussed provision in the form of fun, artistic and play based activities can be put in place. With this in mind we will need to assess any child who we feel would benefit from this extra attention. We use Thrive-Online to assess and develop action plans for individual children. This ensures that the adults working with them understand their individual needs and are able to meet these most effectively. We would like to assess and develop an individual action plan for any child who requires support in this area. In order to do so we require your consent and also your invaluable input. It has proved really successful if we work together on the same strategies.

 

Well-Being and the Coronavirus Pandemic

The last 18 months has been challenging for us all in so many ways.

Now more than ever it is so important to look after our mental health and that of our children. Everyone has had a different experience of the pandemic, and will have varying levels of coping skills and resilience in dealing with those experiences.

Here at Grade Ruan we will be keeping an open mind about what our children may be going through and how they will be coping with it and the support they will need going forward. For most children, getting back to the routine and structure of the school day will hopefully be a positive step, but for others we anticipate there may be some challenges; such as focussing on learning, the pace of learning, unstructured times like break times, being separated from parents, and suddenly being back amongst many peers.

Emotional upset can manifest itself in many forms, so we will be keeping a careful eye on any changes in behaviour or the way in which a child is presenting in school so that we are actively listening, understanding and responding in appropriate ways.

We now have a designated room “Sensory Room” for any adult to work with a child who needs some kind of extra support. We are still an active THRIVE school as well as T.I.S and pride ourselves in having the skills to support our children with emotional well-being so that they are as receptive as they can be for their daily learning.

The coronavirus situation has been a shared experience of trauma for communities as well as individuals and families. There is a need to process and understand what has happened, to grieve any losses and work together to find a way forward. With this in mind please be assured that we are here to listen to you as parents and will always do our best to support your family as a whole. Do look out for any of these sorts of signs that all may not be totally fine in your child and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you feel that your child would benefit from some extra support: changes in mood, low energy, withdrawal from social contact with friends, being tearful, significant loss or increase in appetite, anger outbursts, being withdrawn, anxiety.

This is not an exhaustive list and you know your child best – please get in touch if you have any concerns and I will get back to you asap.

 

If we feel that your child would benefit from some nurturing Thrive support we will get in touch with you for a chat about it. Similarly if you are concerned about your child for any reason at all please let us know so that we can help.

I am in school every Thursday but can be contacted any day by calling the school 01326 290613, or by email: jgreen@landewednack.cornwall.sch.uk

I will do my best to help.

Kind regards – Judith Green SENCo