At Riverside we know that in order to be able to learn well, children need to feel happy and secure. If children have low emotional wellbeing, are finding it difficult to manage their emotions or have experienced a traumatic event, it can impact quite significantly on their motivation, behaviour and self-esteem, which in turn impacts on their ability to learn. Therefore, we place great importance on supporting children's wellbeing and provide lots of support for those who are feeling anxious, sad or angry.
These are some of the interventions and strategies we use to support children with their emotional wellbeing and build their resilience.
Family Liaison Officer (FLO)
Vanessa Ewing is our FLO and she is available to support parents with any issues that might be impacting on their child's learning or emotional wellbeing. You can find her information page here:
This is a service where children can ask for an appointment with Mrs Ewing to talk through any worries they may have. They are given time to explain their feelings and discuss ideas for how to cope with these. This is a great way to address any minor issues early, while the child’s anxiety is not too severe.
This is a structured programme designed to help children develop their resilience and self-confidence. Children work through different scenarios with Mrs Wood and look at ways to think positively whenever they face a challenge - turning 'red' thoughts to 'green' ones.
These sessions with Mrs Ewing and Mrs Allen help children to learn collaborative skills and understand the importance of both talking and listening to others. Children take on different roles each time and develop their ability to share, take turns and work as a team.
Emotional First Aid
Sometimes children may need some more focused, intensive work to help them learn how to better manage their own feelings. Emotional First Aid is a programme of support, usually lasting around 8 weeks, where children talk to Mrs Ewing and learn how to express and deal with their emotions in a positive, safe way.
Miss Hansford is currently training as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA). This will enable her to offer focused support to children who are experiencing anxiety, low emotional wellbeing or other mental health issues.
Animal Assisted Play Therapy
Research has proven that working with animals helps to calm people and relieve stress. By taking part in activities with Mr Bell and our wonderful school dog Eddie, children learn skills including empathy, self-regulation and how to build positive relationships. You can find out more on Eddie's page by clicking the link below:
Art Therapy/’Drawing and Talking’
Art and creative activities are also proven to benefit emotional wellbeing. Sometimes children prefer to express what is worrying them through their artwork in these sessions with Mrs Mercer. They can then be given time to discuss what is on their mind while continuing to work creatively.
This can be offered to any child who has suffered a loss. Time is spent talking about the person who has passed away and working on activities which support the grieving process, such as creating memory boxes.
NELFT (formerly CAMHS)
Sometimes a child may have a more significant mental health need that requires psychological help at a higher,, more intensive level. This is when we would refer to NELFT in order to access more specialist support.