Emotional Health and Well Being

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                                                                               The Alternative Route
                                                                                    To Success



                             EMOTIONAL HEALTH
                              AND WELL BEING

Proposed by Education Leadership Team:                              May 2008
Adopted by Governors:                                               June 08

Proposed by Education Leadership Team:
Adopted by Governors:

F:\MSOffice\POLICIES\Emotional Health & Well Being front page.doc
                           - 2 -Emotional Health and Well Being
Grimshaw with Berridge (1994) and Cole et al.(1998) report that placement in an EBD
special school is usually triggered by overt and disruptive behaviour rather than
internalised emotional difficulties (see Achenbach, 1991): while the internalised
difficulties are often present they tend not to precipitate assessment for SENs (Daniels
et al., 1999).

Aim of the school:
To promote positive emotional health and well being to help pupils and staff to
understand and express their feelings, and build their confidence and emotional resilience
and therefore their capacity to learn, accept change and move forwards. We seek to
address internalised emotional difficulties in order that they do not manifest themselves
in disruptive and/or dangerous behaviour towards themselves or others and work to
prevent the onset of long-term mental health issues that may arise should emotional
health needs be left unmet.

Emotional health and well being is one of the four aspects of work that schools will need
to develop when working towards and maintaining National Healthy School status.

The national criteria states:

‘ A healthy school ensures that when pupils are unhappy, anxious, disturbed or depressed
there are open channels for them to seek or to be offered support, without stigma and
with appropriate confidentiality. A healthy school actively seeks to promote emotional
health and well being and helps pupils to understand their feelings.’

Positive interaction between staff and pupils is crucial if they are to learn and make
progress. Recognising how interactions can be affected by the feelings of staff at any
given time, we would say therefore that the national criteria should not only take into
account the needs of the pupils but also the needs of the adults working in the Federation.

Department of Health’s White Paper recognises that there should be more support for
emotional well-being and resilience as it is ‘fundamental to
people’s capacity to get the most out of life, for themselves and for their

The development of emotional health and well being in a school is engendered and
supported by:
    The taught curriculum, through PSHE and other cross-curricular links
    And also by the ethos and organisation of the school including the quality of
      relationships within the school and between the school, parents and community,
      and the role models provided by the staff and other pupils.

The school environment should:
    Identify of vulnerable individuals and groups and establish appropriate strategies
      to support them and their families
    Provide clear leadership to create and manage a positive environment which
      enables emotional health and well being in school, including the management of
      behaviour and rewards policies
      Have clear, planned curriculum opportunities for pupils to understand and explore
       feelings using appropriate learning and teaching styles
      Have confidential pastoral support systems in place for pupils and staff to access
       advice, especially at times of bereavement and other major life changes, at that
       these systems actively work to combat stigma and discrimination
      Have explicit values underpinning positive emotional health which are reflected
       in practice and work to combat stigma and discrimination
      Has a clear policy on bullying, which is owned, understood and implemented by
       the whole school community
      Provides opportunities for pupils to participate in school activities and
       responsibilities to build self confidence and self esteem
      Has a clear confidentiality policy

In the Bournemouth Alternative Needs Federation we:
     Use Emotional Indicators to assess how the children feel and their ability to
       interact and build positive relationships with others. The most vulnerable pupils
       have been identified to receive additional support through programmes devised
       and delivered by ELSAs see Appendix 1
     Have used the School Emotional Environment for Learning Survey [ SEELS]
       produced by Antidote to baseline how staff and pupils feel in relation to how
       capable, listened to, accepted, safe and included staff and pupils feel at the
       Federation and have planned intervention strategies on the basis of the results
       from the survey
     Seek to shape a learning environment that offers young people and staff the best
       possible opportunity to achieve and make a positive contribution through staff
       training, Supervision and other initiatives
     Timetabled staff so they may enjoy eating and socialising with each other at
     Have clear reward and sanctions policies
     Offer counselling to pupils by Federation staff and outside providers
     Ensure Senior staff are available at the end of each day to discuss issues of
       concern with colleagues
     Have establish a Work/Life Balance committee which meets regularly to review
       and extent support for staff
     Are committed to improving emotional health and well being and understand how
       it impacts on learning, relationships and life chances

The Emotional Literacy Programme

The Emotional Literacy programme is something that should be timetabled and planned
for like any other area of the curriculum, hence why the PSHE policy advocates the use
of the SEALs materials and other resources that have been brought into Federation.
A programme such as this is delivered with the explicit intention of
promoting, positive emotional health and well being to help pupils understand and
express their feelings in safe and appropriate ways in order to and build self-confidence
and emotional resilience which will underpin their capacity to learn, accept change and
move forwards. We must in class and in other Federation situations seek to address
internalised emotional difficulties in order to minimise the manifestation of unaddressed
difficulties in disruptive and/or dangerous behaviour towards themselves or others and
work to prevent the onset of long-term mental health issues that may arise should
emotional health needs be left unmet.

The programme is not only about them learning more about themselves but should
support, where possible, the development of a greater understanding and tolerance about
where others are coming from.

This work I know is ongoing with individuals and classes around the Federation. Not
done just in a restorative situation when something has gone wrong but planned for as
proactive intervention to support the 4 R’s framework.

The ELSAs support this work done in school by everyone with more specific tailored
work to be carried out with individuals who have been identified as being particularly
vulnerable. These children are identified in KS3 and PU through the indicators. When the
children move into KS4 – if they require additional support this will transfer to the
Connexions service.

The White Paper recognises that:
there is ‘an inseparable link between good emotional and physical
health and success in learning and achievement’
‘life skills and emotional resilience acquired in childhood and
adolescence help people cope with challenges throughout their

In the Bournemouth Alternative Needs Federation we:
     Recognise there is a causal connection between emotional health and academic
       achievement. We have anecdotal evidence from colleagues who are beginning to
       see some difference in the way some students are attending to their work in class
       because they have been learning alternative strategies to deal with emotional
       situations they have struggled to manage in the past. For example, being assertive
       as opposed to aggressive when challenged by others and being able to ignore
       provocation because they are developing greater emotional resilience. We
       recognise that at present there is little hard evidence but are keeping abreast of
       working currently being undertaken by the Southampton Psychology service to
       substantiate the feelings of people working in this field.
Appendix 1

                                         ELSAs                     Tell me more!
            Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training 2008/9
(Available for Primary TAs, and Secondary TAs who work with Years 7 and 8)

1.0 Emotional Literacy

1.1 Emotional literacy is generally thought of as the ability to recognise, understand,
    manage, and express one’s own emotions, and to listen to and empathise with the
    feelings of other people. The concept therefore includes both intra- and inter-
    personal competencies. Emotional literacy can be seen as playing a key role in
    emotional well-being and self-esteem, with evaluation studies indicating positive
    impact on children with challenging behaviours and those with low self esteem.

2.0 Context

2.1 Emotional literacy has a part to play in each of the 5 outcomes of Every Child
    Matters (DfES 2004). Its importance is recognised in the National
    Strategies (B+A strand), with materials addressing whole-school and classroom

2.2 All primary and secondary schools have access to the online Social and Emotional
   Aspects of Learning (SEAL) materials. Many schools are now incorporating these
   into their curriculum through whole-school assemblies, followed up by class work.
   Primary themes include New beginnings, Getting on and falling out, and Good to be
   me. There are ideas for follow up with small groups of children who need additional
   support (Silver Set).

2.3 The National Healthy School Standard promotes emotional health and well-being.
    with the B+A strand, the emphasis is on a whole-school approach which reaches all
    children and adults in the school.

2.4 Schools have programmes to address emotional literacy at Wave 1 (eg SEAL) – ie all
   children                                     in a school. Many schools run small groups
   (Wave 2) to target children with identified needs, to proactively address issues such as
   self-esteem, social skills, social use of language, play skills, supporting young carers
   etc. This can be supported by Silver SEAL materials. Nurture groups cut across
   Waves 2 and 3 - a small number of children will spend the greater part of their week
   in the group, hence receiving intensive support (Wave 3), whilst some will be there
   for an hour or so a week to work on specific targets, eg self-confidence (Wave 2).
2.5 There remain a small number of children who need individual support for their
    emotional, social and behaviour needs. Currently there is a gap in provision at this
    level. It is at this Wave 3 level that ELSAs work.

3.0    Are ELSAs something new?

3.1 The idea of a specialist TA for emotional literacy began in Southampton. A small
    number of TAs were employed centrally and trained by the Educational Psychology
    Service (EPS). Quite quickly, schools were asking for training for their own TAs
    this, together with on-going support, was provided by the EPS.

3.2 The idea was taken to Hampshire by Sheila Burton, an ex-Southampton EP, and the
    school-based model was further developed.

3.3 Evaluation studies in Hampshire and Southampton indicate that schools highly value
    their ELSAs.

3.4 In Bournemouth, Bicknell School and PACs have 16 trained ELSAs whose work is
     integrated into the emotional and behavioural support offered by the school. 26 TAs
     primary schools in Bournemouth completed the first centrally-based ELSA course in
     February 2008. Feedback from the course was extremely positive (See: Outcomes of
    Trainining 2007-08).

4.0    What does an ELSA do?

4.1 The ELSA will initially work with the SENCO or class teacher to set objectives for
    each child, based on the difficulties the child is having and the results of baseline
    questionnaires. Areas to be targeted may include recognising and labelling emotions,
    self esteem, managing anger, social skills, and friendships.

4.2 The ELSA then carries out a number of individual sessions with the targeted child.
    Each session is planned in advance by the ELSA, and includes a range of activities
    such as games, role play, puppets, making something, talking and listening, and
perhaps a
    worksheet (although the sessions should not be worksheet based). The ELSA will
    each session and make notes of any points s/he wants to raise with the SENCO/class
    teacher. Typically ELSA work takes place over 6 - 12 weekly sessions.

4.3 Feedback indicates that ELSA work is likely to be most effective, to become better
    embedded, and to have a ‘ripple effect’ throughout the school, when there are at least
    2     trained ELSAs in the school.

4.4 Parents are encouraged to be involved with planning support for their child, and
    should be informed about the work of ELSAs in the school. They may be invited to
    complete an initial baseline questionnaire about their child’s emotional development.
    Progress on the ELSA programme is reported back to parents through the school’s
    usual procedures eg IEP reviews, which will include the ELSA where possible.

5.0   What commitment is needed from a school that wishes to train a member of staff
as an

5.1 The school will need to identify one or two suitable TAs to attend the training.
    Often they will already work with children who have emotional and behaviour
    problems and show empathy and understanding.

5.2 The school releases the member(s) of staff to attend all the training days,

5.3 The school agrees to provide the ELSA(s) with a space to work; funding to ensure
    that suitable resources are available; time for planning, delivering and monitoring
    ELSA work with usual line-management arrangements; plus some release time for
    attending Network Meetings half-termly.

           Table 1. School commitment

            Resource               Amount                             Location    Frequency
            TA release time for    5 days                             Off site    Initial
            training                                                              training
            ELSA (TA) release
            time for
            - By line manager      Min. 1 hour                        On site     Eg Half
            - By school/area       1.5 hours                          Off or on   termly
            EP (Network                                               site        Half termly
            ELSA (TA)              Dependent upon needs of         On site        Dependent
            delivery time          school. Time will include                      upon age of
                                   face-to-face work, planning and                child. As a
                                   preparation, and                               guide, 45
                                   review/evaluation time. As a                   minutes per
                                   guide, for each hour of face to                week.
                                   face work, allow 15 minutes of                 Younger
                                   non-contact time (although                     children
                                   more will be needed initially).                may
                                                                                  better to
                                                                                  frequent but
            Games, puppets,        Comprehensive range. Cost          Kept on     Annual – to
            books etc              will depend on existing            site        replace and
                                   resources. Say £250-500                        extend
                                   initially. Some schools                        range.
                                   approach their PTA for help.
6.0   What on-going support is provided?

6.1 ELSAs will receive line-management in school – usually from the SENCO or HT.

6.2 Bournemouth Educational Psychology Service offers support with an EP,
    half-termly, in area locations (Network Meetings).

6.3 ELSAs can access the school EP via the SENCO, as part of the school’s allocation of
    EP time.

7.0   What next?

7.1 ELSA work is already forming part of the provision mapping available for children
    emotional needs in many schools in Bournemouth. We hope that in time all schools
    Bournemouth will have at least one, and ideally 2, trained ELSAs.

7.2 The next course runs from September 2008 – February 2009, five days –
    one per month. There are no written assignments. This will be for primary TAs, and
    secondary TAs (who work with Year 7 or 8). Applications are via CPD Online,
through your
    CPD Coordinator.

Lynne Harris
Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist
April 2008

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