Our whole school approach to pupils’ wellbeing includes providing a tailored social and emotional skills curriculum delivered to classes and small groups. In addition to this pupils needing additional support receive this in the form of 1:1 or small group intervention, either long term or short term. The types of difficulties supported include anxiety, self-esteem, self-efficacy, anger, social and friendship difficulties, and low mood. The support provided is rooted in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with the aim of providing pupils with the skills to support themselves with these difficulties in the future. Furthermore, parenting workshops and courses are available to support the pupils’ home environments and the challenges in caring for a child with SEN. Finally, we offer activity days for pupils during the school holidays, including cooking and swimming, in order to provide the opportunity for the pupils to socialise and see their friends in an environment which they are familiar with.
In addition to this targeted approach, the Wellbeing Team offer daily support to pupils in the form of someone to talk to, to help them problem solve and think through situations, and develop resilience. The team also support parents with concerns and enquiries, and maintain effective and regular communication with outside agencies also working with the family.
The Social and Emotional Curriculum
The Social and Emotional Curriculum delivered at Alfriston School has been designed and evaluated by Mrs Wattley, Head of Wellbeing. The topics covered include:
- Things I find hard
- Setting Targets
- Understanding my Emotions
- Being in Charge of my Emotions
- Point of View
- How to Sort out Problems
The aim of these lessons is to help pupils develop the skills in managing their emotions and interactions with others. The lessons are delivered in small groups (no more than 6 pupils) and include group work and discussion, there is also a focus on collaboration between the teacher and pupils and building group cohesion. An assessment has also been designed to help evaluate pupil progress throughout the 2 year curriculum.
Occupational therapy enables pupils to thrive and achieve their full potential. This is done by providing practical support to empower and facilitate the pupils to overcome the barriers that prevent them from fully participating in school life. In turn, this helps to increase the students independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.
At Alfriston School, the Occupational Therapist attends school 2 days per week and is supported by a Occupational Therapy Assistant who has been trained by the Occupational Therapist in how to best support pupils from an OT perspective. The Occupational Therapist is registered with the Royal College of Occupational Therapy and the Health and Care Professions Council.
All pupils have a brief assessment in the first term of starting school to ascertain their strengths and difficulties. Recommendations regarding input are then made to help the students work towards overcoming any barriers identified.
Therapy input available from Occupational Therapy at Alfriston School
Whole School Approach: OT has been integrated into the curriculum with the teaching staff using a range of alerting strategies in lessons and an awareness of each pupils OT needs. This includes the use of specialist equipment in classrooms, individual programs of activities for identified students to complete in pastoral sessions and the morning ‘Rise and Shine’ group. In addition, both Year 7 and Post-16 receive OT via their Social Skills lessons.
Functional skills groups: A range of groups are available to aid pupils in building their skills for life. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to learn and practise skills in a small group environment with staff support, these include; shoelaces, zips, buttons, hair care, bra and cutlery skills. In addition, there are two groups available; handwriting and typing, that focus on recording information. These groups are for pupils who have been highlighted by the teaching staff as having difficulty in documenting in a timely manner during lessons. Each pupil is assessed prior to participating in these groups to ensure they are appropriate and ascertain a relevant goal whilst they are attending.
One to One: Where appropriate, pupils can be seen on one to one basis to work on a specific goal.