Primary School Case Study
26 September, 2019
St Eanswythe’s primary school in Folkestone are a HeadStart school who have established good practice around resilience, emotional wellbeing and peer support within the school.
The school has a buddy system where every Year 5 pupil is matched to a Reception pupil, which carries on into Year 6 and Year 1. Buddies spend a lot of time together, through buddy reading, buddy assemblies and buddy trips and provide role models to other children. In addition, the school has trained Year 5 pupils as Peer Mentors to operate at play and lunch times. This ensures all children can access a Mentor and develop healthy relationships and conflict management during play/lunch times and encourages children of different ages to work together.
The school has three Safe Spaces – the first being the school therapy dog, Tiki, to reduce pupil stress, improve self-esteem and concentration. For pupils who are feeling vulnerable or find playtimes difficult there is an indoor games club as an alternative to the playground. An outdoor Safe Space is also being developed, including a seating area and plants for pupils to access and enjoy.
School staff have benefited from training, including Youth Mental Health First Aid 2-day training and FRIENDS resilience training. Lead staff are establishing a space for Mindfulness practice for all pupils and staff within the daily curriculum. The school has made use of the HeadStart Resilience Conversation tool and the HeadStart Talents and Interests grant has enabled them to increase the numbers of pupils who are able to access specialist support for their talents.
In conjunction with another HeadStart primary school, the school has 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 advice, cookery classes, how to talk about puberty with children and literacy and numeracy workshops.