Trauma Informed Relational School

At Belmont we are very proud to be working hard to be a Trauma Informed Relational School.  We believe in these practices as the very best practice for the children in our care.  At the heart of all we do is RELATIONSHIPS.  Relationships really matter to us: – with parents; pupils; staff and all external stakeholders.

From our ‘Meet and Greet’ practice when pupils arrive at school and to their classrooms to being Emotionally Available Adults for ALL pupils we try our best to ensure that our relationship with ALL pupils are strong and built on trust and respect.  Circle time for staff once a week is a vital part of our week.  This gives us the opportunity to connect, reflect and build our relationships.  This process is then mirrored in the classrooms where the children get to enjoy their Circle time whilst learning key skills of respect; patience; tolerance and understanding.

In every classroom we display pictures that show the Zones of Regulation.  The staff and pupils identify how they are feeling at different points in the day to help them understand their emotions and feelings and the associated behaviours.  This has been an essential tool for the process of helping our pupils regulate their emotions and to express how they are feeling.

Our interventions team and the teachers and learning support workers all work hard to provide meaningful interventions to support the relational work across the school.  This may include Lego friendships sessions, Talk & Draw sessions; providing a calming down or cooling off safe space or other interventions that develop social skills and build relationships.

Our ongoing CPD (Continued Professional Development) programme for all staff ensures we are trained in THRIVE; Trauma Informed Practice and Restorative Practice. These principles keep us focused on the using the correct language to help our pupils with their emotional development; building their self-esteem and confidence; highlighting their strengths and areas for development and resolving conflict when it arises.  The caring and supportive environment of our school, and the skilled staff, provide the pupils with the time, space and appropriate interventions help to develop the pupils in a way that prepares them for life beyond Belmont.

We strive everyday to ensure everyone feels the benefits of our Relational practice.

Emotionally Available Adults

As well as having a form tutor, pupils are invited to choose two adults in school who they feel they relate to particularly well should they feel they would like to go and speak with someone at school, for support, advice or guidance in any way.

We remind pupils that we are all here to listen to them and help at any time, as well as to enjoy spending time chatting with them and sharing good news together.

Circle Time

During Circle Time, children will sit in a circle or half circle with their teacher, the teacher will take the lead initially, and then allow the children to shape the learning.

Circle time is a time to encourage positive group interactions with all the children. It can be used as a transition from one daily activity to the next, and has a clear structure. Circle time  encourages positive classroom behaviours such as putting hands up to speak, taking turns and listening to everyone’s contributions.

Further benefits of Circle Time include:

        • Improved impulse control
        • Sense of classroom community
        • Learning to listen and confidence speaking
        • Understanding how their behaviour can affect others
        • Better problem-solving skills
        • Building better relationships between student and teacher

Zones of Regulation

Our Zones of Regulation practice is a cognitive behavioural approach that categorises all of the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into 4 concrete coloured zones.

It supports pupils to:

  • Recognise and identify emotions
  • Recognise emotional change and begin to identify patterns
  • Expand their emotional literacy so that their communication and understanding is more accurate.
  • Regulate their own emotional state by identifying triggers and exploring coping strategies

It support teachers and LSWs to prepare for the day by making adaptations to lessons or initiating interventions to attempt to prevent undesirable behaviour or emotional dysregulation.

Interventions

For further information please click on the link: Interventions

Thrive

For further information please click on the link: Thrive

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Sleep
Anyone having trouble sleeping at the moment? Have a look at this workshop together and use the slides to come up with a sleep plan. There’s also a relaxation to help you drift off to sleep…. zzzzzz

I’d love to see your photos too. Click here: Sleep

Our Brain and our Breathing
At Belmont we learn how our brain works, how we react to things we find scary and what we can do to bring the thinking part of our brain back to make wise choices.

One way to remember the parts of the brains and their functions is to use animals to help us understand. These videos will introduce you to the owl, the elephant and the meerkat.

Luckily there is something we can use when things get overwhelming. The good news is – it’s free, we always have it and it  takes less than a minute of our time. It’s our breath!

Watch these videos to learn how to use your belly breathing and then practise at home so that when that stressful situation pops up it’s easier for us to remember what to do.

Perhaps you can come up with your own belly breathing technique – let me know, I’d love to hear!

Please click on the links below:

Setting Intentions
One way to help your children have ownership of what they want to get out of their day or to deal with any stresses is to help them with daily intentions or positive goals. Setting intentions allows children to be mindful about their mental, emotional and physical selves.

We try to set intentions with mindfulness, awareness and acceptance.

  • What is mindfulness? A state of living in the moment with awareness and acceptance.
  • What is awareness? Recognizing the thoughts, feelings, sensations and surroundings that may be experienced in a particular moment.
  • What is acceptance? Not passing judgement or being critical of those thoughts, feelings, sensations and surroundings in that moment and not comparing yourself to others.

Setting intentions at different times of the day at home fits in really well with what we do at school when we have our check ins with the children and they talk about which zone they are in.

There’s more information below, including an intention setting exercise that you might like to do with your children.

Please click on the powerpoint below:
Setting-intentions

Young Minds Matter

Young Minds Matter
We are delighted that our school has been given the opportunity to take part in a new, national programme to help make mental health support for children and young people more available when they need it.

We are one of 72 schools from Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean to work with the NHS in Gloucestershire to introduce Mental Health Support Teams into schools.

We hope that these teams will provide valuable support to our pupils to help them with life’s ups and down, for example, with issues such as anxiety, friendship concerns, exam stress and challenging behaviour.

This may involve group work and/or individual, one-to-one support, either at school or elsewhere. Where appropriate, the Mental Health Support Team will also link up with the specialist mental health services in Gloucestershire. They will also support parents and teachers to help children and young people who are experiencing difficulties.

Click here to read Parental Consent Form

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to make a referral to the service, please contact:

Kirstin Eccles: keccles@belmont.sandmat.uk