At Bridgwater College Academy, the safeguarding and wellbeing of our students is of the upmost importance to us. Wellbeing underpins all that we do for not only our pupils, but also parents, cares, families, staff and all stakeholders linked to the Academy.
Every member of staff will strive to put the wellbeing of our students first and is trained in safeguarding to support our students. Everything we do is student focused and we want to ensure that every child at BCA is safe, happy, and healthy.
Across the Academy we also have an experienced and highly skilled team of professionals including senior staff, Phase Leaders, Heads of Year, and pastoral support staff, as well as our dedicated safeguarding team, who lead in this area.
We aim to empower all our students to support their own wellbeing and make positive choices, and to know how and where to seek help when they need it. We provide quality, age-appropriate input through our PSHE curriculum, Personal Development lessons and tutor programme, and regularly signpost students, staff and parents to further information and external organisations to support them in this area. We raise awareness of current affairs, events and key issues within our community to help our students be respectful, responsible, and resilient both in and out of school.
Below are some links which can support you in having positive conversations with your child/children around mental health.
BCA Emotional & Mental Health Provisions
- We work on attachment with parents and children, aiming to build better relationships at home and with peers.?
- Provide a non-judgemental caring and trusted sounding board for families to voice their concerns and fears.
- As a school we care so invest in trying to build positive relationships with children their families. Caring for families as best as we can around our education.?
- We help the child to review relationships in all their environments. Try to help them to better communicate their worries and fears.?
- We work on how they view themselves within their world.?
- Try to build self-esteem, lots of encouragement, praise and help to identify and improve any known or unconscious negative thoughts and feelings they may have about themselves which ultimately impacts on their behaviours and mental health.
- Practically we help them with the hand brain model (Dan Siegels). Help them to grow in their emotional intelligence, why do we sometimes respond the way we do? Fight flight freeze fawn and faint.?
- Through this, we try to help the child to practically review any negative behaviours supporting them to make better choices for themselves. Which reduces anxiety.
- We try our best to form valuable relationships with children and young people so they feel they have a voice and can be heard in school. Building resilience helping them to be more confident within themselves also in their reactions and when communicating with others.?
- We use Tuning into Teens now supporting parents to practically learn steps on how to support children through the teen years. Supporting parents’ mental health too.
- We signpost families and young people to known recommended mental health support.?
Home School Liaison Worker
- Our HSLW supports parents and students by offering advice. This can be to support with strategies at home, accessing support leading on TAC meetings. They also do home visits as part of our Nursery Induction Programme.
- Our School Nurse offers a lunch time drop-in clinic each week. Students can also arrange 1-1 appointments at the clinic or via the PFSA.
Counselling is an opportunity for students to talk about their difficulties in a safe, respectful and confidential environment where they will not be judged. The aim is to help them explore their thoughts and feelings about themselves, their relationships and help them to find a way forward.
Some areas that students may wish to seek counselling for are: Anxiety, Bereavement, Depression, Trauma, Stress, Relationship difficulties, Panic attacks, Phobias, Lack of confidence/ self-esteem, Difficulties managing emotions or exam pressures.
- Counselling will take place in a room set aside by the school.
- This room will be a safe place where no one will interrupt or listen to what they are sharing.
- Each counselling session is timetabled once a week and lasts up to an hour.
- Counselling is available for any student within the Academy from Yr5-Yr11.
- Students can ask parents to phone in or can go to their teacher/tutor or Academy Leader and they will complete a referral form on your behalf.
They focus on students where their emotional wellbeing is stopping them from accessing their class and lessons full time. They may see the LM every day or as just a check-in when there has been a crisis at home.
- There two Learning Mentors working across Primary. They work with approximately 30 students each on a rolling programme. Some of this is in class and some on a 1:1 basis.
- They follow schemes of work that deal with strategies to control anger, understanding how they are feeling and regulating their emotions.
Pastoral HLTAs Secondary
They focus on students where their emotional wellbeing is stopping them from accessing their class and lessons full time. They may see the students every day or as just a check-in when there has been a crisis at home.
- There four Pastoral HLTAs working across Secondary. Some of this is in class and some on a 1:1 basis.
- They follow CBT based schemes of work that deal with strategies to control anger, stress, understanding how they are feeling and regulating their emotions.
We have one TA in Primary who is trained to deliver the ELSA programme. She works with 8 children across Primary at a time, on a 1:1 basis. This is agreed with class teacher and SENCO.
ELSA Groups Secondary
In secondary we run ELSA groups each half term. Heads of year can refer students to these programmes.
This is a KS2 provision that has different groups timetabled. These include Nurture, Sensory and Social and Emotional.- Again see above. I will send grid with all interventions on.
There is also time for academic work to happen in a smaller group.
Small Group Interventions
Forest School, Social Stories, Talk About and Team Skills are interventions run on a half termly basis in which children can develop their social skills, self-esteem, confidence and in turn improve their mental health.
BCA Progress Centre
The Progress Centre provides a safe learning environment where students can access mental health support through focussed key worker relationships, group work and individual programmes.
We form valuable relationships with our young people so they feel they have a voice and can be heard in school, within their families and their peer community. Promoting good mental health through positive behaviour and healthy choices increases our student’s confidence and ability to manage inside and outside of the school community.
This is achieved by:
- Behaviour and Intervention Programme - Through this, we help our students to practically review any negative behaviours, promote positive relationships with staff and increase resilience. Building self-esteem by encouragement, praise and help to identify issues, both behavioural and emotional.
- Group programmes: Anxiety, bereavement, relationships, peer issues. Small group work with identified students to help support through shared experiences, discussion and information.
- Individual emotional support. A safe space in moments of high anxiety or upset, alongside key worker support and focussed discussions.
- Close working with support organisation, CSC
- Supporting the families to voice their concerns and fears.
If students need external agency support, we may refer to, The Mental Health Support Team or CAHMS for support / assessment.