At Oatlands Infants we strive for all pupils and staff to feel confident, calm and included in our school and local community. We believe that achieving this will enable pupils to make the best possible progress whilst feeling happy and enthusiastic about themselves and their learning.
Advice and Concerns
If you feel the need to seek advice about your child's mental health and wellbeing we have key members of staff in school for you to contact via the office. We also have two members of staff who are trained Mental Health First Aiders who can support pupils, staff and parents who may be experiencing mental ill-health. These are Miss Kathryn Haddon (Deputy Headteacher) and Miss Megan Foy (SENDCo).
We are still living with the effects of covid and we are aware that families may need some additional support, both children and parents. Below are links to websites with useful information and ways to contact professionals who can provide further assistance.
Compass Phoenix (formally Compass Buzz) is an exciting, innovative and free project that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 5-18 (25 with SEND) in schools across North Yorkshire.
All staff at Oatlands have been trained at Level One standard with key staff completing Level Two, Three and Four training.
The children participate in weekly 'Jigsaw' sessions every Thursday afternoon. Jigsaw is a fantastic approach to the teaching of PSHE and is used at both Oatlands Infant School and Oatlands Junior School. It is a whole-school philosophy that builds all the elements of social skills, emotional literacy and mindfulness.
Each year group has a Jigsaw 'friend' that is used as a distancing tool to aid children in real-life situations that they may be faced with in their lives. It also guides the children through the 6 jigsaw puzzles of learning:
What Does Jigsaw Cover?
Lego Therapy is a small group, interactive session of around 40 minutes that has been proved to be effective for children and adults with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, developmental disorders, anxiety and depression. The goals of Lego Therapy are to: improve motivation to initiate social interaction with peers, improve ability to sustain interaction with peers and develop flexibility of thought and problem solving skills.
Through the sessions children are encouraged to communicate with each other - while supported by a member of staff - by being given different roles.
The ‘engineer’ gives descriptions of the pieces needed and the directions for assembling them.
The ‘supplier’ finds the pieces described and hands them to the builder.
The ‘builder’ follows the engineer’s directions and puts the pieces together.
The different jobs with a joint purpose mean that the children practise attention, turn-taking, sharing, joint problem solving , listening and social communication skills.
At Oatlands Infant School we run Lego Therapy twice a week for selected children whose needs fit the criteria. We have a teaching assistant who has received training from the Communication and Interaction Enhanced Mainstream School (EMS) who has, along with the SENDCo, delivered further training to other members of staff.
Mindfulness Club runs on a Thursday for Year 1 and 2 children and is led by Miss Foy. It is an 'open door' club where children can choose to attend when they feel they need or want to. Each week the sessions are catered for the children's needs, such as making dream catchers if the pupils have shared that they are suffering from bad dreams or struggling to sleep. Other activities include yoga, filling a worry jar, practicing breathing techniques, mindfulness colouring and sharing general worries and concerns.
Each year has a Nurture Group which run every Monday afternoon for years 1 and 2 and every Wednesday afternoon for Reception children. This is a session which children are invited to attend if parents and teachers feel a child would benefit from small-group activities that focus on mental health and wellbeing. Activities are practical and interactive giving the children opportunities to practise: team work, asking and answering questions, social cues such as eye-contact and turn-taking all while in a supportive, caring and calm environment.
We celebrated 'Wellbeing Day' with a number of activities including yoga sessions, mindfulness workshops and arts and crafts. The children and staff enjoyed the day and learnt lots about being present, how to manage your emotions and strategies for keeping calm.