At Torpoint Nursery and Infant School it is central to our belief that academic and personal achievement is only attainable when children feel secure, happy and valued. Our priority is that all children are supported and nurtured throughout their time with us.
We define ourselves as a trauma sensitive school. One in which children feel safe, secure, welcomed and nurtured and where addressing the impact of trauma on learning and emotional and mental health and well-being is at the centre of our educational mission ‘to be a place to grow, where each child is special and every child matters.’
Our pastoral lead, Mrs Moran, is a highly experienced HLTA who is a trained Trauma Informed Schools Practitioner and Mental Health Champion. Mrs Moran, alongside senior members of staff, maintain an overview of the pastoral care within our school and are called upon for individual support and advice by teachers and parents when needed.
The pastoral care of our children is the responsibility of all staff within our school who work closely together to provide a nurturing and caring environment that responds to the individual needs of all children. Regular training in this crucial aspect of school life is provided for all staff.
We have two highly skilled SENDCos, one of which is our schools Autism Champion and trained Thrive Practitioner, who are committed to providing support for children with social and emotional needs.
Our school’s exemplary pastoral support ,that is achieved through a wide range of actions, promotes high standards of learning, behaviour and emotional well being.
The nature of our small class sizes enables children to build positive relationships with their teachers and teaching assistants. This enables staff to support all children as individuals both in their learning and from a pastoral point of view.
Our comprehensive PSHRE curriculum enables children to develop skills, knowledge and abilities they need to keep themselves healthy both physically and mentally. We ensure that our children develop the skills necessary to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We are committed to helping children make informed choices about the way they live their lives in terms of how they feel about themselves and their relationships with other people.
We feel passionately that children must be heard and listened to and the voice of the child is central to any decision that we make. We conduct questionnaires with the children to elicit how they feel in school with regards to their safety, what makes them feel happy/ worried and who they feel they could talk to if needed. The responses from these questionnaires are analysed and children are supported accordingly, ensuring their needs are met.
Mindfulness sessions are completed twice a day within each class. These sessions equip children with tools to build self-esteem, manage stress and help children to cope with big emotions and challenging experiences.
Every classroom is equipped with an Emotional First Aid box, with activities which can be used to help children to manage and regulate their emotions. There is also an emotional ‘check in’ area in each classroom where children are able to identify their current feelings and emotions at the start of each day; staff are then able to respond and support children appropriately.
We have a designated sensory area within school which provides a safe, calm and relaxing environment. The use of this room may be used to support children with regulating their emotions or it to meet the identified specific sensory needs for some children.
We run a Friendly Lunch Club for children to access if they do not wish to play on the ‘big playground’. Members of staff are available to talk and play with children who may be feeling vulnerable.
Our children in Year Two are ‘buddied up’ with children in Reception. This ’buddy system’ provides support for our younger children whilst giving our Year Two children the responsibility of helping to care for our children in their first year of school.
We work closely with our Forces Families and run a Forces Friends group who meet on a weekly basis. This group provides children with the opportunity to share their own experiences with their peers, make new friends and undertake fun activities with children across the school who have a member of family in the Armed Forces.
A member of our Senior Leadership Team is our Mental Health Lead and we take part in Mental Health Awareness week on an annual basis. Activities during this week have included encouraging children to celebrate their uniqueness. We understand that if we have a positive view of ourselves it can help us to cope with life’s challenges, and recognising the different qualities of others can allow us to connect with those around us, which is vital for our own and others’ wellbeing.
We have achieved Grief Awareness status through Penhaligon’s Friends, enabling all staff to appropriately support children who have suffered bereavement and loss.
As a school, we promote a close partnership between home and school at all times, working with our parents, understanding that they are key educators in their child’s life. Our open door policy ensures that parents have the opportunity to share any concerns about their child’s well-being should they have any.
Mrs Moran and Mrs Kellond are due to complete the ‘Supporting Parents and Children Emotionally’ training run by HeadStart. Upon completion, they will be able to work with parents in helping them to understand what is meant by a Trauma Informed approach and to familiarise them with the Trauma Informed language being used in school and across organisations who are working with and supporting their children.
|Pastoral Care updated Feb 2021||[pdf 57KB]|