Pastoral Provision at Featherstone Wood
"Pastoral care is not a necessary duty that comes with territory. It is an opportunity to deeply impact the lives of people who need love and care."
Pastoral/Nurture Teaching Assistant (TA)
We have a dedicated Teaching Assistant (TA) who runs a mixture of 1:1 and small group interventions every afternoon for identified children, focussing on topics such as:
- Managing anger
- Managing worry/anxiety
- Building friendships
Our Nurture TA also runs a Lunch Club every lunchtime for pupils who require additional support at lunchtime. Pupils have the opportunity to eat in a quiet, relaxed space with a small group of children. The Nurture TA provides a combination of activities/play for children to engage in independently and more structured activities focussing on friendships, social skills and emotional wellbeing. Pupils may self-refer to lunch club or school staff may encourage them to attend if they feel it will be beneficial for them. Attending lunch club is optional. It IS NOT a ‘behaviour’ club for children who have behaved poorly or for pupils who are unwell.
Our Nurture TA uses 'Boxall Online' - an assessment system which helps us to track key aspects of the emotional wellbeing of our pupils. It highlights particular areas of need and allows us to to target our interventions more effectively.
Every child (and adult!) within our school knows this book!
'My Hidden Chimp' - Do you know what your Hidden Chimp is up to ??
My Hidden Chimp is an educational book by Professor Steve Peters for children to work through with an adult or by themselves. It helps children to understand and manage their emotions, thinking and behaviour and helps to develop healthy habits for life. We feel this is very important for our pupils and it is discussed every Tuesday in their class assemlby.
This amazing book is used by each class teacher to help children to develop healthy habits for life. Each class will explore the book together at least twice a week and discuss how we can use the skills to help us. The science behind the habits is discussed in a practical way with exercises and activities to help children think the habits through and start putting them into practice. The neuroscience of the mind is simplified for children to understand and then use to their advantage.
We all have those days when nothing seems to go right!
It is important that our children understand that 'reflection' on our own choices and behaviours gives us a greater insight into what makes us work as humans (as opposed to our 'chimp brain' as discussed in the book 'My Hidden Chimp'). All children in the school use reflection sheets (which are amended so they are age appropriate) to consider their behaviour choices linked with our behaviour policy.
Mindful colouring: Mandalas
Mindful colouring is a way we calm down after lunchtimes and how we change our mindsets to focus on learning and work after the chaos of playtime! Add some relaxing music and our classrooms become an oasis of calm.
All teachers have been trained in how to use 'Yoga in Schools' to develop our children's self awareness, positivity and growth mindset. We have our own yoga mats and activity cards that classes can use together to calm and reflect on social and emotional challenges.
Laughology is an approach to learning, development and thinking that uses humour and happiness as a foundation. It encourages learning which is safe, fun and engaging. We all love having fun when we are learning in new and exciting ways.
This is a great opportunity in school for our older learners to support younger readers with their love of books and developing their reading capacity. An 'older' class is 'buddied up' with a 'younger' class to read and share a book. It is wonderful to see our children supporting each other and spending time together over a good book.
Each child in Year 6 has a staff 'buddy.' This is an adult, of their own choice, who they can approach and ask for extra help and support during their time in Year 6. Year 6 can be such a challenging (and fun!) time for our children and our adult mentor scheme allows extra support and guidance from a trusted adult.
Peer Mediators/Peer Mentors
At Featherstone Wood, we help each other. The peer mediator/mentor programme allows our Year 6 pupils to be 'trained' in the skills needed to support common playtime issues/friendship problems that occur as part of growing up. Our peer mediators/mentors, develop the skills to support, question and challenge issues with their peers and then provide solutions and ways to 'move forward together'.
Our school council representatives meet each half term to discuss issues within the school and plan solutions as a team ranging from Reception through to Year 6. The children embrace the opportunity to help make their school 'the best it can be' and also supports fundraising across the school.
Our two Year 6 representatives meet with other children from schools in Stevenage to look at and explore community issues.