Wellbeing and the pastoral care of our children is at the heart of everything we do at Alfred Lord Tennyson School. On this page you will find information about the pastoral support available in school.
Our Learning Mentor, Mrs Bunker, works within our school to help children and families with any difficulties they may be experiencing. They are here to listen, offer support and practical advice.
The role of the Learning Mentor is to build confidence, raise self-esteem, build resilience and motivation, improve social skills, form relationships with friends, family and staff, improve attendance and punctuality, remove barriers to learning and to help children achieve their potential.
Our Learning Mentor works with individuals, groups of children, teachers, other members of staff, parents/carers and external agencies. These are some of the strategies that the Learning mentors use:
- 1:1 mentoring sessions to discuss problems and address how these may be overcome.
- Individual sessions focusing on particular issues such as behaviour, bullying, attendance etc
- Group activities - focusing on specific areas, such as resilience, self-esteem, friendships etc
- Liaise with parents and other agencies where necessary
- Support with improving attendance.
The Discovery Base at Alfred Lord Tennyson is our Pastoral Base in school. It is a warm and welcoming room where children can spend part of their lunch time as well as take part in our wide range of pastoral interventions. It is also where our Inclusion Manager, Mrs Appleby, and our Learning Mentor, Mrs Bunker, are based.
Within the Discovery Base there are areas for children to further develop their social skills e.g. playing board games; as well as a quiet area with comfortable beanbags where children can enjoy time to share with a wide range of books. Many have helpful themes such as sharing, friendships and managing stronger emotions. Displays in the Discovery Base focus on providing helpful advice to our children and celebrating their achievements.
Our space tent is a popular choice at lunch time. It is home to our collection of furry friends who support our children in learning more about supporting their own wellbeing.
We understand that all behaviour is a form of communication and children need to learn to understand and manage their emotions in order to self-regulate effectively for life - not only in school but also in society. Emotion Coaching is our whole school approach to teaching children about their emotions and how to regulate them. This in turn leads to improved behaviour.
The four steps are:
- Recognising the child’s feelings and empathising with them
- Labelling and validating the feelings
- Limit Setting – this includes stating that whilst we understand their emotions at the time, certain behaviours are still not acceptable. Hence upholding our high expectations.
- Problem Solving - this will be part of restorative practice and will include next steps.
We recognise that in addition to our weekly PSHE lessons, some of our pupils may benefit from some small group/1:1 pastoral interventions focused on specific areas to support their understanding, knowledge and skills of themes such as:
- Managing stronger emotions
- Self Esteem
- Developing social skills
- Further interventions include Drawing and Talking and Protective Behaviours and Social Conversations.
If we feel your children would benefit from attending one of these interventions, we will inform parents/carers of this. We work together with parents to ensure that any strategies learned in pastoral sessions are shared with parents/carers, so that if they wish they can discuss them and/ or encourage their child to use them, when relevant, at home.
Supporting Wellbeing in the classroom
Each of our classrooms has a wellbeing basket. They include a range of resources such as ear defenders, fidget toys, sensory objects and prompts to support children with their learning.
Lunch club is run by Mrs Appleby and Mrs Maple. At ALTS we ensure that all children have the support they need to have an enjoyable and successful lunch time, leaving them ready to start afternoon learning promptly. Lunch club is an important part of this, where children eat together, after which they have the opportunity to play games and /or jigsaws - developing their social skills - or to complete arts and crafts activities. Free choice Friday is where Lego and the mini football/pool table make an appearance! All children also have time on the playground. Lunch time is roughly split into thirds, with 20 minutes spent on each of the following: eating, playing and time on the playground.