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Supporting social and emotional development / pastoral care

Expectation 1

The school / setting recognises and responds to the pastoral support needs for children and young people with additional needs. Staff should take into account the individual’s social and emotional needs and other relevant contextual circumstances. For example, family breakdown, family illness, moving home, bereavement and other key challenges and changes.

Examples of good practice

› Practitioners actively reflect on the emotional environment to ensure there is a calm and purposeful climate for learning, where children and young people feel they belong and where their contributions are valued.

› Children and young people can identify an agreed safe / calm space, or the key person uses observation to determine the most appropriate safe / calm space.

› Language used in the classroom / setting demonstrates unconditional positive regard for children and young people. There is an understanding of the impact that negative language and reward systems can have on a child / young person (Therapeutic / Restorative Approaches).

› There is an awareness that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), additional needs and from disadvantaged groups are vulnerable to bullying and an appropriate level of support and monitoring is in place.

› Relationship, Sex and Health Education, (RSHE) is used to develop wellbeing and resilience.

› The school / setting proactively promotes the emotional regulation of all children and young people to ensure they are ready to learn. Emotions are regularly discussed and explored.

› Peer awareness and sensitivity towards different groups are raised at a whole school level, usually informally and sometimes in small groups, perhaps using appropriate books to generate discussion. Work is done with classes and groups regarding specific needs or conditions as appropriate.

In early years, the Children’s Learning and Well-being Audit is used to support identification of needs at the earliest point.

Expectation 2

Children and young people feel safe and valued. They know that they can approach staff and that their opinions and concerns are valued.

Examples of good practice

› Every child or young person has a named and trusted member of staff as a stable point of reference, in early years this is usually their key person, who they can turn to if they need support or have any concerns.

› Negative attitudes, beliefs and perceptions towards individuals and groups are challenged, in the learning environment and the wider school / setting and society.

› The voice of child / young person is central to school / setting improvement and is encouraged and acted on.

› School councils, or equivalent, are established where possible – the impact of this is reviewed and documented in terms of whole school development.

Last updated 25 August 2021

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