Thrive & Wellbeing
At Bishop’s Tachbrook CE Primary School, we understand the importance of children’s social and emotional development. Children need to feel safe, valued and happy to be able to embrace their learning and achieve well. We aim to support children to develop an understanding of their own emotions and to learn ways they can respond to their feelings appropriately.
In addition to the delivery of PSHE and RSHE within the curriculum, we have introduced different approaches and strategies to support children in recognising their emotions and managing their feelings, as we recognise that during each day or at different periods of a child’s life, they are likely to experience a range of challenging, upsetting or strange events.
Zones of Regulation
Throughout the school, our children are familiar with using the Zones of Regulation to help them to recognise and name feelings, whilst thinking of individual strategies they could use to help to self-regulate. This is a systematic approach to help children and adults in school to process and talk about their feelings using four coloured zones, all of which can be expected in our daily life. Once we understand our feelings and each zone, we can learn to use tools and strategies to manage the zone we are in and to self-regulate in order to complete everyday tasks, including learning and developing healthy relationships with others, using a common language and visual cues.
We have recently introduced the Thrive Approach to support our children as they learn to think about their emotions, choices and friendships so that they are able to develop into confident, skilful people who enjoy learning and respect one another.
Thrive is a therapeutic approach to help support children with their social and emotional development using practical strategies and techniques through play and creative activities. Research has shown that how we behave is linked to how we feel and our emotions are linked to how we learn. By teaching children how to recognise, notice and manage these emotions, it can help with their development, learning and relationships.
Every class is assessed by their teacher at the start of the year, which enables staff to plan our PSHE lessons around the needs of our children. Our trained Thrive Practitioner, Karen Blackburn, works alongside our Pastoral Lead, Claire Pepin, to support children who require more targeted intervention when they need extra help with their emotional growth, building positive relationships or to change inappropriate or unsafe behaviours.
If the assessment screening process suggests that a child would benefit from additional one-to-one support, we will contact parents and discuss this in more detail. Where possible, Ms Blackburn will work alongside parents, carers and staff to assess individual children and create an individual action plan for both home and school.
For more information, please visit The Thrive Approach to social and emotional wellbeing | The Thrive Approach
Supporting children at home:
We have put together these ideas with our school counsellor to help if your child is struggling with their emotions or mental health:
Talk to your child about what is going on and how they are thinking and feeling. Reassure them that it is normal to feel worried and unsettled and that whatever they are feeling is ok. Try and answer any questions in an age appropriate way - it's ok not to have all of the answers but just talking through things can help children to feel calmer.
Listen to how your child is feeling; don't dismiss or minimise what they are saying but show that you are trying to understand things from their point of view. Try and communicate the message that it is ok to feel worried/scared/confused etc, but it is of course hard. Try not to say 'don't worry' but encourage them to think about the things they can do to feel safer, less stressed and more in control.
Encourage a daily routine, children respond better when they know what is going to happen and what to expect each day.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle - regular exercise, particularly outside where possible, really helps to reduce the levels of stress hormones. Along with good sleeping habits, calm bedtime routines, limited screen or computer time in the evening, alongside a healthy diet, can really help to promote a sense of well-being for children during times of stress.
Work on positive thinking - encouraging children to name their worst case scenarios and then think through together how to sort out the situation if it happens.
Make a Worry Box - having somewhere to 'put' worries can help to feel a sense of control over them. You children can write each worry down and post it in the box out of sight. The worries can stay in there for, say, a week to see if they were worth worrying about and therefore talking things through, and if not, they can be torn up.
Make a Calm Box - this is like an emotional 'first aid kit' that can be reached for in times of stress. Help your child to fill a box with calming and comforting things, e.g. happy photos, familiar books, a blanket, soft toy, stress toy, pad/pens for doodling, drawing or writing, some mindfulness colourings, a set of cards that they can make possibly including a deep breathing technique, a positive happy quote, happy memory etc. It can then be kept somewhere safe and accessed when necessary.
The following links and signposts may also be of some use to you and your family:
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) has some books to download for free and really helpful resources that parents might find useful.
There is a handy Parents' Toolkit on the BBC Bitesize website, with a lot of advice and support.
The Warwickshire Family Information Service also operate 9.00-4.00 Mon-Fri and can be contacted on 01926 412412. (You can get information about HAF vouchers here too.)
Place2Be is a children's mental health charity offering advice and support for parents and schools. They have some really good videos and links to websites to help support children with sleep routines, behaviour and anxieties (resources are aimed at schools but can be accessed by parents).
The Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme helps the most vulnerable residents at times of unavoidable crisis. It provides basic and essential help for food and energy. This is provided either in emergency food parcels or with credit for energy. It is not a cash benefit. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org - you will need to include each child's name, date of birth and a valid mobile number.
HELPLINE & SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN 24/7
Young Minds offer a lot of guidance and support for coping with isolation and anxiety:
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) have developed a 24 hour 7 day a week telephone advice helpline for children, run by qualified mental health clinicians. This helpline is there to support and give advice, to work with students to feel more able to be in control of their emotions, and to help manage any distress they are feeling. Between the hours of 8am and 8 pm please call the Children's Crisis Team on 02476 641799. If you are calling between the hours of 8pm and 8 am please call the Coventry Crisis Team on 02476 938000
Samaritans offer a safe place for families to talk at any time, in your own way, about whatever struggles you may be having. Call them for free on 116123.
PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. They operate HOPEline and offer people access in crisis, but also can be phoned by professionals who would like to ask for guidance.
Childline can be contacted on 0800 1111
If you think your child would benefit from a supportive chat from a member of our school staff, this can be arranged through emailing email@example.com .
And finally, many people find that a bit of physical exercise helps put them in a better frame of mind. It will not solve all your problems but it often does you a power of good to get out and run, walk, cycle or simply look around you, before you decide on one or two simple steps you want to take to get practical or emotional help. We hope that the links above provide you with a starting point. Life can be very hard at times but a problem shared is often a problem halved. Lots of people are ready to listen so please do make that call.