Inclusion & Mental Health Team
Our school has an Inclusion and Mental Health Team comprising:
Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs Rowena Evett-Collins,
SENCO, Miss Sammy Black
SENCO Assistant, Mrs Tracey Hewitt,
Director of Mental Health and Well-being, Mrs Hollie Edwards,
Positive Behaviour Mentor, 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 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 our Deputy Headteacher and Lead for Inclusion:
My position involves working very closely with teaching staff and all members of the Leadership Team, SEN Team and Mental Health and Well-being Team in order to aid the progress of all children with additional needs within the school. At Herne Bay Junior School, we successfully create a culture within school that values all pupils, allowing them to feel a sense of belonging and make it possible to talk about problems in a non-stigmatising way.
We have been recognised for the work we have undertaken in supporting the mental health of pupils and staff in school by achieving Silver status for the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award.
As a school we recognise 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 ensuring a whole school approach to mental health, including preventative activity and promotion of good mental wellbeing and resilience among pupils and staff.
We are a Headstart Kent school and clearly recognise the value and need to invest in supporting our children’s mental health and emotional well-being. We aim to support our pupils by developing their skills of resilience and perseverance as they take steps towards secondary education. 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:
Sammy Black is our SENCO:
I have taught in Junior and Primary schools in London and Kent for over a decade. I am embarking on the SENCO Accreditation course through Kent University and will be mentored by Mrs Evett-Collins throughout the year.
Being a Senco can be very challenging due to specific boundaries and regulations governing special educational needs and disabilities. Ultimately, it is hugely rewarding and I am very privileged to be in a position where I can enable children to 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 have 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 TAs 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 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 work closely with Mrs Hewitt to ensure children’s gaps in phonic knowledge are filled quickly during their time in Year Three.
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 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 our school 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, Read Write Inc, Memory Skills etc.
I work closely with teachers and teaching assistants offering support and providing strategies and resources to aid children with their behaviour, learning, 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 children.
The Mental Health and Well-being Team:
Hollie Edwards is our Director of Mental Health and Well-being.
As Director of Mental Health and Well-being, part of my role in school is to ensure our children understand what mental health is, help them to identify and recognise their many different emotions and know how to express them in a healthy manner. As a school, it is important to us that our children’s well-being is supported on a day-to-day basis; this was recognised in May 2019 when we achieved silver status for the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health in School award. This may be by using mindfulness, through class discussions during P4C and PSHE, outside doing the daily mile or by having a 1:1 conversation.
As a qualified counsellor, 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 how they are feeling in a way that is comfortable for them as individuals.
Another important part of my role is supporting teaching staff by facilitating supervision. I also deliver training to all school staff and parents/carers. It is essential that everyone involved in a child’s life has an understanding of the issues that may affect them, how they may present themselves and why. I would like every person, no matter what their role, to feel confident in supporting the well-being of our children.
Herne Bay Junior School encourages discussion related to mental health and well-being in a non-stigmatising way.
I am also a DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) in school.
We recognise that for children to achieve their full potential, they must first feel happy, safe and secure; I aim to create that for every child in our school.
Caroline Gower is our Positive Behaviour Mentor:
Life as Positive Behaviour Mentor can be very varied and challenging but never boring…
My role within the school is to promote positive behaviour; it is about taking the time to listen and talk to the child. Most issues on the playground are typical childlike behaviours, sometimes children demonstrate behaviours which can lead to poor choices. In these cases, I will talk to the class teacher and/ or other members of the SEN and Mental Health and Well-being Teams. Between us we work to 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; sometimes just for a chat about a worry or a concern they may have. Listening to them is an important aspect of my role. 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 very rewarding.
Within the team, we encourage children to follow the school behaviour trail. This may lead to formal sanctions, such as a detention if needed, or some Restorative Justice work.
I spend time with small groups of children every break and lunchtime. These pupils can find these unstructured times difficult and respond well to quieter and more structured play. We play games, chat and eat lunch together. My aim is to ensure each child returns to the classroom calm, happy and ready to learn.