At Oakley Cross we have developed a number of partnerships and consult with a wide range of agencies in order to support our children with pastoral, medical and social needs.
At Oakley Cross we believe that a child’s education extends beyond subjects covered by the National Curriculum and Religious Education. PSHCE helps give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. It encourages children to develop their emotional intelligence, build their knowledge of factors contributing to a healthy lifestyle and develop respectful relationships with others.
Time is allocated within the curriculum to teach social and emotional aspects of learning and we have regular whole school assemblies to reinforce this work. Our policy therefore, seeks to embed PSHCE firmly within the school curriculum and requires it to be part of the explicit as well as the hidden curriculum. All children are encouraged to recognise and express their feelings and learn to contribute to whole class discussions. Some children may access small group intervention if they require extra support in developing these skills.
We have worked with our children, including those with SEND, to educate them in recognising what bullying is, how to report it and strategies to support themselves and others. Our anti-bullying policy gives further details.
We believe that children have a right to work and play in a safe, non-threatening environment. We are developing the roles of Buddies to provide support with friendships at break times and Peer Mediators who help with reconciliation following disagreements. This helps to foster a family atmosphere across the school. Through our curriculum work and our support of Anti-Bullying Week, the children are encouraged to explore the feelings, actions and consequences of bullying through the eyes of the victim and the bully. Children are also taught about diversity, racism and cyberbullying.
We are a Rights Respecting school and all of the children encourage one another to respect the rights under the UNICEF Convention. We hold regular ‘Family Days’ where the children work in mixed age and family groups across the school. They explore the difficulties some children face in the world and are taught about difference, acceptance and tolerance. We have Rights Respecting Ambassadors who nominate peers on a weekly basis who have displayed excellent examples of respect for the rights of others.
We have excellent partnerships within the The Centre (funded by a cluster of schools in Bishop Auckland) and regularly access additional support for our children. This is in the form of high quality group programmes including; self-esteem, behavior, anger management, emotions, anti-bullying and are designed to provide intense work for those children who find some of the social and emotional aspects of the curriculum more demanding.
At Oakley Cross Primary School, we also have a dedicated team of staff who know the children well as individuals. Our Learning Mentor (Mrs. Lowrie) works with children and families to encourage attendance and punctuality but also focusses on support for those children who find accessing certain areas of the curriculum more challenging. She provides emotional and social support programmes designed to build confidence and self-esteem.
Mrs Lowrie’s role in Oakley Cross is to support the children in overcoming any difficulties that are getting in the way of their learning. As well as supporting individuals, she also supports the family, when needed. The support each child gets will depend on their individual needs:
- Children referred to Mrs Lowrie may have difficulties with: feelings, making friends, social skills, and behaviour or home issues
- Children may come out of class to work 1:1 or in a small group with Mrs Lowrie.
- There is very good communication with all staff in school, parents, carers, pupils and outside agencies including: Social Services and the Police
- As part of her role in conjunction with the SENCO we may signpost to other relevant services
- Mrs Lowrie also tracks attendance for all pupils in school. Parents will be informed of a pupil’s lateness and attendance throughout the year.
- Supporting parents to gain access to learning
- Help parents to access areas of health needs
In addition to supporting children in school, we use the services provided from The Centre, where children can be supported through counselling, friendship and self-esteem groups, as well as providing family support.
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.