As a school we are very proud of our pupils and we ensure that they have opportunities to demonstrate their independence and maturity. When the youngest pupils start with us they are allocated a “buddy” from the older classes. The buddy’s role is to help our Foundation pupils to get to know the school, its rules and routines, be a friend and playmate on the playground and to help with putting on and removing outdoor clothes for playtime. This support lasts for as long as the new pupil wants it to, some pupils like the reassurance of their buddy for just a few days, for some it lasts longer. This is a tried and tested system which has run successfully for many years.
Our Playground Pals are responsible for the playground play equipment, for organising games and for involving pupils who look lonely or sad on the playground.
Our Peer Mediators are trained to manage any small disputes between pupils. They are available to any pupil every playtime and are particularly popular with younger pupils who have fallen out with a friend.
Mrs Rebecca de Michelis, one of our experienced Teaching Assistants, is currently undergoing training to become an ELSA.
ELSAs are emotional literacy support assistants. They are teaching assistants who have had special training from educational psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in school. ELSAs have regular professional supervision from educational psychologists to help them in their work.
ELSAs help children to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide the time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them. Pupils are helped to find their own solutions rather than ELSAs telling them what to do.
All children need help from time to time to recognise and manage their emotions, and Mrs de Michelis, as our ELSA, will be able to support the children in our school.