In addition to all staff being trained in the G.R.E.A.T D.R.E.A.M. of Action for Happiness, key members of staff are Mental Health First Aiders. Each week the whole Prep School have a well-being walk and staff are always monitoring the moods and interactions of individual children. Working closely with parents and outside agencies such as School Counsellors, The Priory in Southgate and Art Therapies for Children, as a school we facilitate intervention where necessary, although prevention is aim. To this end we are developing a programme of parental sessions on promoting positive mental health and workshops for specific areas of interest.
We all know that usually, academic success does make children, their parents and their teachers very happy.
We all recognise that it gives children more opportunities, more choices and allows them to pursue the things they want to do.
In a results driven society, academic success has to be a schools’ major goal and that is certainly the case here.
However, that major goal needs to be part of an integrated and individual care package that each pupil receives so that they are all empowered to face their own challenges, and work out how best to overcome them. However, some of the biggest challenges pupils are likely to face are not classroom based and therefore, the importance of expert pastoral care cannot be over-emphasised in the pursuit of a successful and fulfilling school career.
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.”
(Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012)
At Immanuel College Preparatory School we recognise that the settling-in process for a child is eased when there is a strong relationship between staff and parents and the child knows that their parents trust us and are happy for us to care for them during the day.
We aim to follow the same procedures for all children joining our school, regardless of their age, making adjustments if the transfer is mid-year or the child is joining us from abroad.
During the Shavuot Term prior to starting at Immanuel College Preparatory School
- All families are sent a welcome pack, with information about day-to-day school life, uniform, relations and permission forms. Reception children and parents are invited to a tea party in the Reception classroom. Children joining other classes are invited to spend the day with the children. If all permission slips have been received then a contact list is given out at this point, so that families can make contact in advance to arrange play-dates and rotas.
- Pre-school settings are approached to share the EYFS summary for the children for the Academic Year prior to joining Reception and for children transferring from other schools a confidential reference is requested. Parents are given the opportunity to share information about their child as well. We recognise that the more we know about a child prior to them joining us the smoother their transition/ settling –in. If a child has any specialist care, such as an Occupational Therapist or Educational Psychologist, we approach them at this point as well so that we can build consistency of approach, for example using key vocabulary.
- On the first morning of term only the Reception children attend school. They stay for half a day, ending at 12noon. Children joining other classes begin on the first full day of term.
- Parents are encouraged to stay for a while whilst their child settles and then to say goodbye before leaving.
- One member of staff greets the children at the door and others are on hand to help the children choose an activity to start the day and to take them from their parent. Parents are welcome to stay whilst children are settling in the morning, but it is recognised that sometimes a child will cry when their parent leaves, however long they stay and therefore parents are encouraged not to stay for a long period. A member of staff is always on hand to take a child from a parent as they prepare to leave and to stay with that child as they settle into the day.
- A member of staff phones the parent to let them know that their child has settled on the first morning and this continues whilst the child is settling. This provides us with an opportunity to re-assure the parents that their child is now engaged in an activity and to talk about how we can work together to make the drop- off for the next day as smooth as possible.
- If a parent has left their child in an unsettled state, they are encouraged to phone the School Office and ask for an update on their child rather than to wait outside the classroom, as children sometimes see the waiting parents and this unsettles them once again. We offer parents the opportunity to wait in the foyer.
- Staff are always available to talk to parents about any concerns they have about their child.
- Home- School communication is a vital element of the settling-in process, as well as the ongoing positive dynamic between parents and staff. Staff are available at the beginning and end of each day to talk to parents, although depending on the nature of the conversation it may be more appropriate to speak on the phone, be in contact via email or in person. Parents can also call the School Office or email the class teachers directly.
- Parents Evening is held during the term, to give the parents the opportunity to discuss in more detail the progress that their child is making. The children’s work is available for parents to look at.
- A “Meet the Teacher Evening” is held within the first week of the children starting Reception to which all parents are invited. Parents are given a directory of who to contact in different situations, such as class teacher emails and booking for after school care. Parents receive year specific information, which is followed with weekly newsletters from the class teachers as well as a whole school newsletter.
- A second Parents Evening is held during the term.
- Parents are always welcome to make an appointment with the class teacher to discuss their child’s progress.
- Parents receive a written report of their child’s progress over the course of the year, reporting on the EYFSP, Characteristics of Effective Learning and general progress in all curriculum areas.
- Children visit their next class to familiarise themselves with their surroundings for the coming year.
- Teachers from each year group meet with the class teachers for the next year so thoroughly hand-over about each child.
Education equips pupils with the knowledge, understanding, skills and strategies required to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives. It encourages them to be enterprising and supports them in making effective transitions, positive learning and career choices and in achieving economic wellbeing.
(PSHE Association 2014)
At Immanuel College Preparatory School we believe that the Personal, Social, Health, Emotional development of each child has a significant role in their ability to learn.
We value the importance of PSHE in preparing children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. In addition we believe that a child needs to learn about the many emotional aspects of life and how to manage their own emotions. We are also aware of the way that PSHE supports many of the principles of Safeguarding, promotes British Values and contributes to the Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural (SMSC) Education that the children receive across their time in the school. These themes are woven through all of our teaching and learning, from when the children enter Reception until they leave at the end of Year 6.
At I.C.P.S. we aim to help the children to:
- recognise their own self-worth
- develop confidences and responsibilities and make the most of their abilities
- develop self-confidence and self-esteem
- make informed choices regarding personal and social issues
- develop a healthy, safe lifestyle with the ability to make appropriate risk assessments
- develop good relationships and respect the differences between people regardless of race, gender and mental and physical disability
- understand some basic principles of finances
- make a positive contribution to the life of the school and wider community
- develop independence and a willingness to “have-a-go”
All staff at I.C.P.S. take an active role in promoting pupil well-being through the taught and hidden curriculum, acting as positive role-models for the children, and supporting the children in their development into “whole, happy people”. During the academic year 2017-18 we underwent training in the Action for Happiness programme of Ten Keys to Happier Living which has been introduced to the children across the entire Prep School. G.R.E.A.T. D.R.E.A.M. is now being embedded in all we do, with specific year focus groups, such as Mindfulness in Year 3 and Resilience in Year 4.
Whilst we have key themes to guide our planning and provision at I.C.P.S. we recognise that flexibility is key to maximising the personal development of the children and therefore each teacher adapts the focus and pace of the sessions in accordance with the specific needs of their class.
Schools which excel at tackling bullying have created an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat one another and the school staff with respect because they know that this is the right way to behave.”DfE, Preventing & Tackling Bullying, March 2014
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is encouraged to tell the staff, through regular reminders about expectations of good behaviour and how they can help to keep our school a “safe and Secure” environment. As well as ensuring that we have a culture in which everybody has the right to be treated with respect, we also recognise that pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Our pupils are taught that bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. Our staff are trained to recognise the variety of forms that bullying can take, such as emotional, physical and verbal as well as how to spot the signs of abuse and what to do if they have any concerns. We have a clear set of procedures to follow should there be any cases of bullying.
Our anti-bullying policy is balanced with a pro-active approach that promotes positive behaviour management and where staff use specific verbal praise to re-enforce and extend good behaviour, rewarding good, kind and thoughtful behaviour within classes and around the school, with stickers, notes home and verbal praise. We believe that adults should act as role models to the pupils in their language and behaviour with a zero tolerance of shouting and sarcasm as well as any form of humiliating, threatening or intimidating language towards pupils or other adults within the school community.
We endeavour to prevent bullying through providing a rich curriculum in an effective learning environments in which:
- the contribution of all pupils is valued
- all pupils can feel secure and are able to contribute appropriately
- stereotypical views are challenged, and pupils learn to appreciate and view positively differences in others whether arising from race, culture, gender, sexuality, ability or disability
- pupils learn to take responsibility for their actions and behaviours both in school and in the wider community
- all forms of bullying and harassment are challenged
- pupils are supported to develop their social and emotional skills.
We mark an annual Anti-Bullying Week, which includes a whole-school assembly as well as class based activities, reinforcing the messages of the school.
In addition Bullying Prevention activities may include at different times:
- writing a set of school rules
- signing a behaviour contract
- writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
- making up role-plays (or using KIDSCAPE role-plays)
- having discussions about bullying and why it matters
Mobile devices and the internet are part of everyday life.
At Immanuel College Preparatory School we view ICT and the internet as a valuable learning resource and teach all our pupils to use it responsibly and safely. All children are taught how to stay safe online and learn what to do if they view or read something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Children begin their e-safety education in Reception and this carries on throughout the whole of the school, both in ICT specific lessons, PSHE sessions and Internet Safety Week.
As a school we hold an accreditation from National Online Safety. An online course is available to parents of our school, which is in line with the training undertaken by our staff.
If you would like some further information about keeping your children safe online, we recommend the following websites:
- internetmatters.org – Internet Matters is an independent, not-for-profit organisation to help parents keep their children safe online.
- thinkuknow.co.uk – Think U Know is the nationally acclaimed scheme highlighting the importance of staying safe online. There are videos for children to watch and lots of information for parents.
- nspcc.org.uk – The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has lots of information about helping to keep children safe, including useful information about helping children be safe online.
- parentinfo.org – Parent Info is a collaboration between CEOP and Parent Zone. The Parent Info website has a number of articles about children’s wellbeing on digital equipment. They also have a magazine that can be read online, called Digital Parenting.
- getsafeonline.org – Get Safe Online provides all sorts of advice for people and businesses, including a section on keeping children safe.