Our first priority is to care for every child in a secure, friendly environment; enabling them to enjoy their time and feel confident to learn. In order to maintain this ethos, the staff work together to support children's emotional and social learning. We provide and maintain support of this attitude during lesson times, break / lunch times and through activities that take place throughout the day to make sure our children are ready to learn.
Not all children can put their needs into words every time they experience a different emotion, but the way children behave can tell us a lot about how they are feeling. In the old days, children who were finding life hard were sometimes given harmful labels like 'naughty' or 'very shy'. Our Learning Mentors and SHINE practitioners draw on the latest research (from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and current models of child development) in order to help our community to understand the needs being signalled by children's behaviour. It helps us to identify targeted strategies and activities to help them to re-engage with learning and life.
Unfortunately, children may face challenges that knock them off course (like all of us at some point in our lives). What is needed is understanding and support to get them back on track. Many children will respond to the care, understanding and support given by parents, family, friends and teachers. However, some children need a little bit extra to enable them to:
Children who need a little bit of extra help are identified through a variety of ways such as by class teachers or through communication with families and outside agencies. For some children there may be an obvious reason why they need a little bit of extra support; his might be something like a bereavement or family breakdown. For others there are no obvious triggers to why they are finding some aspects of school and/or home life a little more challenging. Working closely with parents and class teachers, our practitioners carry out full assessments of identified children's social, emotional and behavioural needs. This helps us to build a plan of activities to support their needs.
Activities are tailored to a child's identified target. The activities are carried out either on a one-to-one or small groups basis and many of the activities are play and arts-based. They may also include cooking, painting, model making, exploring difficult situations through role-play or comic strips, playing strategy games or projects focusing on the child's own interests - all dependent on the needs of the individual child.
For many children across the school, SHINE time is considered a real treat! The children spend half an hour twice a week with a practitioner. Support is also offered, if needed, during break and lunch times, and throughout the school day.
We emphasise to everyone that SHINE is just like any other learning intervention. If children struggle with reading, writing and maths, we give them extra support, and it's the same with social ad emotional learning. If they are struggling, they are offered extra support.
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