Inclusion & Mental Health Team
Our school has an Inclusion and Mental Health Team comprising:
Assistant Head Teacher, Mrs Rowena Evett-Collins,
SENCO, Ms Helen Jones,
SENCO Assistant, Mrs Tracey Hewitt,
Family Support Advisor and Pupil Counsellor, Mrs Hollie Edwards,
Behaviour Support Leader, Mrs Caroline Gower.
At Herne Bay Junior School, we strongly believe that children are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so that they achieve their best and become confident individuals living fulfilling lives.
The Inclusion and Mental Health Team are responsible for making sure children identified with additional learning, emotional or behavioural needs, have their needs met
We have a set of core values which will help our pupils become creative, independent learners, working towards developing their potential in every aspect of their lives. The Inclusion and Mental Health Team encourages and enables the development of these values, which are building blocks for a sense of self-esteem, emotional and physical wellbeing, creativity, expectation, resilience, independence, reflection, enjoyment, aspiration, collaboration and risk taking.
These values will give our children the skills to progress through their education and on into their working lives with a sense of achievement and self-worth.
Rowena Evett-Collins is the Assistant Headteacher and Lead for Inclusion and Mental Health:
My position involves working very closely with teaching staff and all members of the Leadership Team, Mental Health and Well-being Team and SEN Team in order to aid the progress of all children with any additional needs within the school. At Herne Bay Junior School, we successfully create a culture within the school that values all pupils, allowing them to feel a sense of belonging and make it possible to talk about any problems in a non-stigmatising way.
I am the lead person in school for Mental Health, however it is the responsibility of all members of school staff and community to promote good mental health at every opportunity. This part of my role focuses on establishing a whole school approach to mental health, including preventative activity and promotion of good mental wellbeing and resilience among pupils and staff. This involves providing continuous professional development for staff wherever possible. Equally, I will be working with outside agencies and professionals to provide interventions for pupils identified with poor mental health.
We are now a Headstart Kent school and clearly recognise the value and need to invest in supporting our children’s mental health and emotional well-being. https://www.headstartkent.org.uk/
Within school I am also the lead DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead). As DSL I will be the main point of contact for staff or parents who have concerns about any pupil’s safety or wellbeing.
At Herne Bay Junior School, the Inclusion Team and Mental Health and Well-being Team work very closely to provide advice and guidance for families to enable them to support their children to make progress in their learning. Between us, we are able to support parents and carers with learning, additional needs, behaviour, emotional issues and wellbeing.
Quite often you will meet with two of us so that we can share our expertise and ideas. We provide an open door policy and this means you would be able to contact us or meet with us easily should you need to. You will find us at the gate in the mornings and home times.
If you have any questions or queries about your child’s wellbeing and/or education, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The SEN Team:
Helen Jones is our SENCO:
Being a Senco can at times be very challenging due to specific boundaries and regulations governing special educational needs and disabilities, but ultimately it is hugely rewarding and I am very privileged to be in a position where I am able to see children grow in confidence, achieve academically and succeed in many more areas of their life.
My specific role within school is to ensure that all children identified with a special educational need and/or disability has access to available provision to support their successes at Herne Bay Junior School. To make certain this happens; I liaise closely with parents, outside professional agencies and class teachers regarding any additional educational needs. I provide support and training to teachers and TA’s to ensure they have the skills, understanding and knowledge to deliver specific strategies and interventions in and out of class and feel confident to do so. Monitoring is a vital part of my role to make sure children are achieving in all areas of the curriculum and school life and to also ensure that their current level of support is correct for their specific needs.
I will often have to refer and make arrangements for children to be seen by professionals such as educational psychologists, specialist teachers, occupational and speech and language therapists and ensure all recommendations are acted upon and reviewed regularly, allowing all children to access the curriculum and have the chance to progress and achieve. I attend various professional meetings to make sure correct information sharing is provided and the needs of the child are made clear.
Within my role I carry out various assessments and observations to determine areas of need, these include dyslexia, dyscalculia, speech and language, memory and gaps in phonic knowledge, which are then supported through targeted interventions/provisions. I also manage RWI providing support to our reading teachers in years 3.
I liaise closely with Herne Bay Junior School’s Mental Health and Well-being Team ensuring the needs of all children are met both academically and emotionally.
Tracey Hewitt is our SENCO Assistant:
I joined Herne Bay Junior School in September 2018. I have worked in mainstream primary education for more than 20 years supporting the teaching and learning of children, including children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). I previously worked at Herne Bay Infants, which means I am in the privileged place of already knowing nearly all the pupils in the juniors (and quite a few parents).
My role as SENCO Assistant means I work very closely with Helen Jones (Senco). Together we will identify and plan to support individual children. I will assist in identifying through assessment and/or observation, children that may need additional interventions, such as Speech & Language Communication Needs, Fine Motor Skills, Gross Motor Skills, RWI, Memory Skills, Phonic difficulties & carry out Dyslexia screening.
I work closely with teachers and teaching assistants offering support and providing strategies and resources to aid children in their behaviour, learning and emotional & mental health.
I may also meet with parents to discuss strategies and interventions that we are putting in place to support their child’s education.
One of the most important and rewarding parts of my role is supporting the children, I do this by being available to discuss any concerns/questions or worries that they may have and through discussion, finding a solution or pathway to allay any fears, this may be via a dialogue with relevant adults and/or other children.
The Mental Health and Well-being Team:
Hollie Edwards is our Family Support Advisor and Pupil Counsellor:
My role involves supporting our children, and their families, for a variety of reasons. I can signpost to various outside agencies for a wide range of support needs, such as housing, finances, family breakdown or emotional difficulties. However, sometimes all that is needed is a listening ear. You can find me on the gate in the mornings and afternoons if you would like a quick chat; however, I also have a room we can use if the conversation needs to be more private.
As part of my role, I see children for 1:1 counselling in school. Supporting the mental health and well-being of children is vital in today’s society as we are seeing an increase in emotional difficulties, such as anxiety. Speaking to a counsellor gives them the opportunity to express about how they are feeling in a number of ways, such as drawing, playing games or talking.
As part of the mental health and well-being team, I also deliver staff training to the whole school. It is important for all staff to have an understanding of the issues that may affect the children they are working with, how they may present themselves and why. I want everyone, no matter what their role in school, to feel confident in supporting the well-being of our children.
For children to achieve their full potential, they must first feel happy, safe and secure.
Caroline Gower is our Behaviour Support Leader:
Life as Behaviour Support Leader can be very varied and challenging but never boring…
My role within the school is to promote positive behaviour; it’s about taking the time to listen and talk to the child. Most issues on the playground are typical childlike behaviours, sometimes children do show other behaviours which may lead to poor choices. In these cases, I will then talk to the class teacher and/ or other members of the SEN and Mental Health and Well-being Teams. Between us we can find the best way to help and support the child/children.
In my role children do come and find me for all sorts of reasons; just for a chat about a worry or a concern they may have. Just listening to them is all it takes sometimes. Being able to point the child in the right direction or support them to make the right decision in regard to their behaviour is always so rewarding.
Within the team, we encourage children to follow the school behaviour trail. This may lead to formal sanctions, such as a detention but will be closely supported by signposting, if needed, or Restorative Justice work.