Welfare and Wellbeing
Welfare and Wellbeing at Riverston School
The welfare and wellbeing of our students is central to all aspects of life at Riverston School. It is our belief that progress can only be achieved if our young people are flourishing socially and emotionally. As well as ensuring we have robust support mechanism in school, we also work to equip our students with the tools to be resilient and effective problem solvers so that they are fully prepared to navigate the challenges adult life can bring.
The size of Riverston School ensures that each student receives individual attention to enhance his or her personal well-being. Form Tutors oversee academic and social welfare. For those more vulnerable students, who require more robust support, key workers are assigned to provide additional personalised intervention. Access to a therapy team and school nurse is also available. The Pastoral Team oversees the care of those students who are school refusers or who are either in the short or long term being educated out of class.
Regular Parents’ Evenings compliment the reporting system. Full subject reports are issued once in the academic year. Student certificates for attainment, conduct and effort are issued termly. In addition to the more formal meeting programme with parents, Form Tutors and subject teachers maintain regular contact with parents via email, telephone calls, the Student Day Book and in some cases Home-School Communication Book. Assessment grades are provided on a termly basis.
A well-designed programme of Life Skills is delivered throughout the school and covers topics to prepare students for life. The Director of Welfare and Wellbeing oversees the day-to-day management of pastoral care, coordinating support to students in the school.
The significant numbers of students who require Learning Support are well provided for at Riverston. The school employs an ever-expanding Learning Support team, which includes:
- Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)
- Asst. SENCO
- Learning Support Assistants
- Key Workers
- Speech & Language Therapists
- Occupational Therapist
- Dyslexia support assistant
- School Counsellor
- Drama therapist
- Specialist Teacher for Dyslexia
- School Nurse
- Numeracy intervention.
And, on an ad hoc basis as required:
- Specialist Teacher for Hearing Impairment
- Specialist Teacher for Visual Impairment
Staff work closely with Local Authorities to ensure appropriate and relevant sharing of information. This includes developing close working relationships with (but not exclusive to):
- Local Authority Social Care teams
- CAMHS – in various local authorities
- Social Workers
- Team Around the Child teams
- LAC personnel in Local Authority (Looked After Children)
- Local Police
Safeguarding is the most important aspect of our care for young people at Riverston School. All members of staff undergo regular safeguarding training and have a clear knowledge of appropriate processes for the reporting of concerns. The school has five identified Designated Safeguarding Officers, responsible for monitoring the welfare of our young people. All members of staff undergo regular safeguarding training and have a clear knowledge of appropriate processes for the reporting of concerns. The safeguarding team regularly liaise with Children’s Services and families to ensure all our students are cared for and supported in the best way possible.
Heads of Key Stage and Form Tutors
Our tutors are the basis of support for a student throughout the school year. They also provide the first point of contact for parents and families. Form time consists of daily 45 minute sessions each morning. As well as basic check ins, registration and general housekeeping, the robust and cross curricula form time programme includes careers support, speech and language interventions and activities and social opportunities within the form group. Our team of experienced tutors are on hand throughout the school year to offer advice and support to parents and students. They also communicate information to other staff members, ensuring all teachers and LSAs are kept up to date with the specific needs and circumstances of individual students. It is this communication which facilitates a whole school approach to student welfare and an outstanding level of care for all our young people.
For some of our students, a higher level of personalized support is required. These students are appointed a key worker when they join us. This is an identified adult who checks in with a student throughout the day or week, may liaise with outside services when required and advises on social issues, academic worries or simply provides a listening ear when a student needs to off load. While the form tutor varies year on year, a key worker stays with their young person throughout their time at school.
The S.A.F.E (safe area for education) Hub is a fully resourced Centre for students struggling to engage with school due to factors not associated with behaviour. This could include mental health difficulties or heightened levels of anxiety where they require wrap around support while remaining within school. The S.A.F.E Hub works in tandem with our therapy Centre, where our therapy team will support the Pastoral Team in providing specialist intervention for students.
The S.A.F.E Hub includes a fully resourced calm room, which provides a nurturing, quiet sanctuary for children to withdraw to if the school day is becoming overwhelming. Within the S.A.F.E Hub classroom students will be supported in continuing with their studies, ensuring that they do not fall behind academically but feel safe and calm while they work. The end goal is always reintegration and so each student will have a carefully considered and thoughtful strategic plan to help them to return fully to the main body of the school when they are ready. The goal of the S.A.F.E Hub is to reduce absences caused by anxiety or mental health amongst our school community.
Positive behaviour, encouragement and celebrating success are part of the fabric of our school. All students take part in a House system in which students earn points for their House. Points are awarded for excellent work and effort, or contributing positively in some way to our community. The top 20 students who received the most House Points throughout the year are rewarded with a trip out at the end of the summer term.
Students who produce outstanding work in a particular area will be awarded a subject postcard and 5 house points. The postcard will be sent to the student’s home so that parents/carers can share in their achievement.
The school operates a system of rewarding examples of the Seven Olympic values, as well as three additional values regarded as important to demonstrate within our school and the wider community. These values are: determination, courage, respect, friendship, excellence, inspiration, equality, resilience, integrity and responsibility. Each student receives a sticker for the value they have shown from the Headmaster and this is placed in their Day Book. This is further rewarded by 10 House Points and a postcard is sent home to parents celebrating their achievements.
At Riverston School our cohort of children requires careful consideration when issuing sanctions. The vast majority of negative behaviour is caused by lack of understanding, as opposed to having malicious intent. We have therefore moved away from a punitive system in order to focus on positive reinforcement and social thinking. It is through developing their understanding that our students are able to modify their behaviour. Our Speech and Language therapists, and therapy assistants form the basis of our behaviour intervention. Resources such as ‘Size of the Problem’ ‘social mapping’ and ‘zones of regulation’ are used to help our young people understand not just how they went wrong but also how to deal with a similar situation next time.