The Kingfisher Special School recognises that emotional health and mental wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility within the school and is therefore embedded within the culture and ethos of the whole school.  A wealth of strategies and interventions are available to enhance all children’s social, emotional and mental wellbeing, as well as those children exposed to more severe or multiple risks.  The ethos and environment at Kingfisher supports the holistic development of the whole child through various approaches and provisions within safe and supportive surroundings, provided by staff who ensure that an empathic approach is utilised throughout.  This incorporates a whole school Total Communication approach, as well as ensuring that all children’s basic needs are met to ensure that they are ‘Safe, Happy, Learners’.  Enrichment activities include such things as Educational Visits, outdoor learning experiences as well as structured and unstructured playtimes which provide opportunities for movement breaks, peer interaction, social relationship development, and physical fitness.  Access to a range of cultures, faiths and traditions are also provided to all children through Language Days, religious festivals and special visitors.  

What does emotional health and mental wellbeing support look like at Kingfisher?

The majority of the support available to all children is planned for as part of the curriculum and everyday classroom provision. This level of support focusses on primary prevention and aims to develop the social, emotional and mental wellbeing competencies of all children either individually or as a group. All such strategies are provided for by the class team according to each child’s individualised needs with input and support from other relevant school staff when and where necessary. More formal teaching of emotional health and mental wellbeing as well as resilience building will be delivered where appropriate as part of the PSHE curriculum. The class team will endeavour to work together with the family in order to share information that ensures the emotional health and mental wellbeing of the child is best supported.

Strategies of support at this level may include: 

Some children are more at risk than others of developing social, emotional or mental wellbeing difficulties. Whilst the needs of these children will remain embedded within the universal support available to all children across school; children who are displaying the early signs of emotional health or mental wellbeing difficulties may also require additional levels of support. For this group of children, staff may deliver specific 1:1 or small group strategies and/or interventions which support such children’s individualised needs. 

Strategies of support at this level may include: 

  • 1:1 Holistic Therapies
  • 1:1 Physical Fitness interventions
  • Sensory profiling
  • 1:1 SaLT interventions
  • Group Play Therapy

Children exposed to more severe or multiple risks 

A small proportion of children may continue to struggle with their emotional health and mental wellbeing despite the implementation of these additional interventions. Whilst these children may be relatively few in number, they are more likely to require the involvement of appropriately qualified professionals delivering evidenced based, therapeutic interventions in addition to the ongoing support strategies. These interventions provide support for children who may have more complex or enduring emotional health or mental wellbeing needs and/or who have experienced difficult life experiences such as bereavement, parental ill-health, family breakdown or moving into care. Interventions at this level may be delivered either by Sally Thornley, Play Therapist within school or through the involvement of external agencies such as a Clinical Psychologist, Educational Psychologist or the Children’s Learning Disability Nursing Team.