St. Eanswythe’s Primary School: working through the Resilience Toolkit
The school’s story
St Eanswythe’s Resilience Team includes the Headteacher, Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO), Family Liaison Officer (FLO), Child Liaison Officer (CLO) and a class teacher. They began working through the Resilience Toolkit and developing their Resilience and Emotional Wellbeing Record (action plan) in Autumn 2018.
St Eanswythe’s primary school have used a whole school approach to develop their existing good practice around resilience, emotional wellbeing and peer support within the school.
Buddying and Peer Mentoring
For example, the school matches every Year 5 pupil to a Reception pupil as Buddies, which then carries on into Year 6 and Year 1. This means that the buddied children have learnt what it means to be a buddy when their turn comes. Buddies spend a lot of time together, through buddy reading, buddy assemblies and buddy trips. They are school role models and ensure pupil voice alongside the school council.
This system already worked well, however some identified Year 5 pupils were also chosen to receive Peer Mentoring training to operate at play times and lunch times. This ensures all children can access a Mentor and develops healthy relationships and conflict management during play/lunch times. In addition, the school mix up year groups on their creative days so children of different ages learn to work together.
The school has developed three Safe Spaces – the first being the school therapy dog, Tiki, to reduce pupil stress, improve self-esteem and concentration. An indoor games club as an alternative to the playground has also been developed for pupils who are feeling vulnerable or find playtimes difficult. An outdoor Safe Space has also been developed including a seating area and plants for pupils to access.
School staff have benefited from training, including Youth Mental Health First Aid 2-day training and FRIENDS resilience training. Lead staff have established a space for Mindfulness practice for all pupils and staff within the daily curriculum. The school has made use of the Resilience Conversation tool and has been referring children to adult mentoring, transition support and talents and interests grants.
The school has a comprehensive team of staff available to support pupils, with ambitions to develop resilience building for pupils, families and staff, which has been enhanced through training opportunities and tools. They employ both a CLO and a FLO one to emotionally support children the other to do the same for their families. This provision has been enhanced by the staff training that has been made available to them.
Parent and Carer Workshops
In conjunction with another primary school, St Eanswythe’s have begun parent resilience workshops to equip parents with the skills that they need to help their children develop resilience such as; e-safety workshops and surgeries, financial help (universal credit advice), cookery classes, how to talk about puberty with your children and literacy and numeracy workshops.
The Kent Award
St Eanswythe’s focussed their Resilience and Emotional Wellbeing Record (action plan) on sustainable actions such as developing their safe space, peer mentoring, further staff training, working jointly with other schools on projects and supporting families. St Eanswythe’s were successful in achieving the Kent Award for Resilience and Emotional Wellbeing in January 2019.