SEND, Inclusion & Support
At Parkside Middle School there is plenty of support to help you and your child with well-being.
The school has three Mental Health First Aiders:
- Mrs R. Jenkin
- Mrs K. Varley
- Mrs S. Fletcher
Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, experience a mental health issue or emotional distress. They are not therapists or psychiatrists, but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.
Schools are on the frontline when it comes to supporting children and young people's mental wellbeing. Our school staff are ideally placed to recognise and respond to early signs of mental health difficulties.
Pupil and staff wellbeing are significant to us. Our staff are proud of their work, feel supported and want to see the school go from strength to strength.
Trauma Informed Practice at Parkside Middle School
Parkside Middle School is committed to developing a Trauma and Mental Health Informed Approach which will protect our school community, including staff, children, parents and carers.
There is a growing body of research on the impact childhood adversity has on long-term mental and physical health. To ensure every child develops positive mental health and resilience, our aim is to:
- support children to make sense of their experience(s)
- find ways to manage their emotions and feelings
- create an environment of safety, connection and compassion at all times
- build a school with strong, positive, supportive relationships through training
- ensure children maintain the capacity to learn, despite difficult events that may occur
Parkside Middle School’s Behaviour, Positive Attitudes and Relationship policy reflects a trauma-informed approach. We do not operate a ‘zero tolerance’ or ‘one size fits all’ approach to distressed behaviour. We have high expectations of behaviour for all, however rigorous support is offered to those having difficulty meeting those expectations.
Trauma Informed Schools is an organisation committed to improving the health and well-being and ability to learn of the most vulnerable school children in the UK, namely those who have suffered trauma, abuse, neglect and/or have mental health problems or attachment issues. It aims to provide appropriate training for schools, communities and organisations so that they become trauma informed and mentally healthy places for all.
What is trauma
Going through very stressful, frightening or distressing events is sometimes called trauma.
When we talk about emotional or psychological trauma, we mean situations or events we find traumatic or how we are affected by our experiences.
Traumatic events can happen at any age and can cause long-lasting harm. Everyone has a different reaction to trauma, the effects can be noticed quickly, or a long time afterwards.
We have embraced a wider definition of trauma to encompass any event that is experienced as frightening, painful or out of control, characterised by there being no one available to support or mitigate the impact of traumatic toxic stress. Day-to-day exposure to events such as divorce, loss of a loved one, illness within the family, preparing for an exam or moving to a new house can be experienced as traumatic. Both children and adults can be affected by toxic stress.
Training for Staff and the role of the Trauma Informed Practitioner
Parkside Middle School is committed to whole school training, provided by organisations such as Trauma Informed Schools and training for senior mental health leads.
The Trauma Informed Practitioner works with the staff and parents/carers to use the knowledge of pupils’ individuality and personal stories and circumstances, traumas and additional needs to try to provide opportunities for the child to succeed and improve their emotional development, resilience, and self-esteem. The school’s practitioner will use a bespoke toolkit to support intervention programmes that can be delivered to identified children.
How are children identified and assessed
We have specially trained Trauma and Mental Health Informed Practitioners within our school. These trusted, emotionally available adults support children who are identified as requiring additional support. This support may be offered in a 1:1 session, in class or in small groups.
Schools can use specific tools such to assess SEMH needs and may draw on support from other professionals and outside agencies.
Children may also be highlighted through a significant change in their behaviour in schools or through a parental/carers concern when behaviour changes at home or in response to a significant life event that impacts the whole family.
Should you wish to speak to the school’s Trauma Informed Practitioner, please contact Mrs Rebecca Jenkin via the school office by telephone 01527 873660 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.