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Queensmead Primary Academy

What happens if my child has a social, emotional or behavioural difficulty?

The school has a wide-variety of strategies that can be used to help children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Your child's class teacher, the Behaviour Mentor, the SENCO, Inclusion Worker or the Principal will discuss these with you.

We have a Positive Playtimes Policy to ensure that playtime, which can be a challenging time for children with these difficulties, is well managed and supervised, with a range of different activities on offer for the children to engage in.

Social difficulties

If your child has difficulty with friendships or other social aspects of school the following strategies may be discussed with you:

  • The class teacher may try to help your child make an appropriate friend by sitting them with a particular child, giving them a job to do together or making them talk partners.
  • Teaching assistants or dinner supervisors may be asked to look out for your child on the playground and help them to get involved in the games and activities that are on offer.
  • A dinner time or after school club might be suggested for your child, to bring them into contact with other children with similar interests.
  • A social skills intervention to help your child to develop skills such as sharing, talking and listening to others and playing together, might be set up.
  • Referral to the Local Authority Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team might also be suggested.

Emotional difficulties

If your child is experiencing emotional difficulties the following strategies might be offered:

  • The class teacher may make time to talk to the child individually to discuss what they are finding difficult and to work out any ways that they can be helped to feel happier at school.
  • The Inclusion Worker or Behaviour Mentor may talk to the child individually and check up with them regularly so that they know they have someone they can talk about their difficulties.
  • The Inclusion Worker may run a course of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy sessions with them to look at the links between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
  • A group may be set up to tackle a particular set of needs.  At various times we have had an anger management Group, an anxiety group and a bereavement group.
  • We have staff who can use Theraplay techniques, which are a way of tackling children’s emotional difficulties through games and enjoyable activities.
  • Referral to the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team might also be suggested.
  • For severe emotional difficulties, referral to an outside agency such as the Community Paediatrician or CAMHS (the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) might be discussed with parents.

Behavioural difficulties

Some children need more help than others to achieve the behavioural expectations of the school. We have a clear Behaviour Policy (see the Policy section on the website), which children are well aware of and all staff adhere to. 

Children’s successes are celebrated (through rewards such as house points and the weekly Celebration Assembly) and a clear set of sanctions is imposed if a child’s behaviour doesn’t meet our expectations.

Teachers have a wide range of behavioural techniques to encourage children to behave appropriately, with an emphasis on positive behaviour management strategies such as: praising a child nearby who is doing the right thing; setting small achievable goals (such as not calling out for five minutes) and rewarding the achievement of them; reward charts for specific behaviours and keeping children active and interested in lessons.

Some children need more individualised support strategies, such as visual timetables, visual choice boards, reward and countdown charts, fiddle toys, sensory breaks, sitting spots for the carpet and ‘privacy boards’ (boards that can be put round a child’s working space to minimise distractions).

A few children may need 1:1 adult support in the classroom or playground to administer these strategies and to help them to follow the behavioural rules.

Children who are going through a phase of frequently being in trouble for low-level disruptive behaviour in class and are triggering a number of detentions may be put on a Report Card, administered by the Behaviour Mentor.  This card is filled in by the teacher after every lesson and discussed with the Behaviour Mentor every day.

A child who really struggles with their behaviour may have a Positive Behaviour Plan.  This involves a meeting with all staff involved and often the parents, to identify the triggers for inappropriate behaviour and draw up a plan for how to respond to these behaviours.

Referral to the Local Authority Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team might be suggested if the child’s behaviour does not improve with the use of these strategies.  This referral will be discussed with the child’s parents first.