Providing early help to our children and families at Whatfield Primary School means we can be more effective in preventing problems from affecting a child’s ability to thrive and be successful. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to Year 6.
At Whatfield Primary School, we understand that family life can sometimes be difficult and complicated. From time to time there may be situations where you need extra help and support. To support and advise you at such times we have an Early Help Offer. Please see the information and links below for details of the range of ways in which we can assist or help you to find the support that you need.
Early Help Intervention
Summary Of Intervention
The class teacher is the first point of contact for any issues. parents/carers are encouraged to liaise with their child’s teacher so they are aware of any concerns that arise. Teachers are responsible for the well-being of all the children in their class and liaising with other staff within the school as required, ensuring that the appropriate support is in place as soon as a need is identified. If the teacher feels further intervention is required they will then be referred to the SENCO.
Meeting with SENCO
If either parent or teacher feels that support from an outside agency is required, an assessment or a referral; parents are invited to discuss concerns with the SENCO. During the meeting we can establish what is working well and what the concerns are using the ‘Signs of Safety’ approach. Advice and signposting to other agencies is offered at these meetings along with support with any referrals.
Specialist Education Services
Suffolk County Council support schools with consultations for advice when children present with SEMH, Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning and Physical and Sensory issues. These are at varying levels and work along side the graduated approach pf Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle.
Speech and Language Therapy
The school employs the services of COMMUNICATE a private speech and therapy service who regualry attend in school to assess and monitor progress of children that need support. They work alongside support staff who carry out regular sessions between visits. They also advise on referrals to the NHS for speech and language.
The play therapist will work with children on a 1-1 basis and targets will be negotiated with school. Using play in therapy helps people to express themselves in their own way; especially if they are struggling to understand how they are feeling, or are finding it hard to put their experiences into words.
Play Therapy can be a particularly helpful approach for children in need of therapeutic support
Drawing & Talking
Drawing and Talking is a safe therapy for use with our pupils who have suffered trauma or have underlying emotional difficulties which may be affecting their mental health and well-being. In the 20 minutes sessions pupils are encouraged to draw with our trained member of staff, who talks to them as they draw with the aim of finding a resolution to conflict and trauma experienced.
Thrive is a therapeutic approach to help support children with their emotional and social development. The Thrive approach includes an individual assessment which then offers practical strategies and techniques to support the pupils’ emotional and social development.
Some pupils may at times, need additional support with regards to their social, emotional and mental health. Therefore, specific support is given by our Nurture Assistants, this can be group work or 1:1.
Safeguarding & Child Protection Procedures
The school has a clear and detailed Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy. Currently, there are three members of staff who have Designated Safeguarding Lead training, as well as a Designated Safeguarding Governor. However, safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility at Whatfield Primary School and we all work together to ensure that the rigorous and robust systems that are in place are followed to ensure the safety of our children. We always act in the interest of the child. Our staff receive regular training and updates about all forms of abuse.
Details on how to access the School Nursing Team is shared with parents and carers. Their support includes Chat Health - a confidential text service provided by the school nursing team during term time: Monday to Friday 9.00am-4.30pm for help about a range of issues. Text a school nurse on 07507 333 356. For further information and support available from the school nursing team please see the link below. https://www.healthysuffolk.org.uk/advice
Early Help Assessment (EHA also known as CAF)
There are times when children and their families may need support from a wide range of local agencies. Where a child and family would benefit from support with more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) an Early Help
Assessment will be offered to agree and coordinate that support.
The Early Help Assessment is an evidence based, family friendly tool designed to support solution focused conversations between professionals and the family. Its purpose is to identify strengths and difficulties, engage and empower individuals to achieve positive change and prevent needs escalating.
Attendance data is monitored by the Senior Leaders. The schools appointed Educational Welfare Officer works closely with our school to support families and maintain good attendance.
Suffolk Children & Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Hub
Suffolk Wellbeing is an online wellbeing service, run in partnership with the NHS; pupils can be referred here by parents/carers to access support or through a medical professional. https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-andlearning/suffolk-children-and-young-peoples-emotionalwellbeing-hub/
Parent Support Workshops
• Triple P
• Triple P teen
• Triple P stepping stones
• Who's in charge
• Strengthening families
Parenting programmes run by Suffolk County Council and partner organisations in the voluntary and community sector are signposted to parents and carers in order for them to access the appropriate support The programmes bring experienced workers, parents and carers together to:
• Discuss issues
• Share concerns
• Gain practical advice and information
Suffolk Family Carers
Suffolk Young Carers
Supporting families and children/young people
Working in partnership with Suffolk Young Carers we offer monthly drop-ins with our Young Carers Lead, as well as a weekly ‘learn and play’ club.
For more information see our Young Carers page.
Who is a young carer?
A Young carer is a young person, who is caring for or is emotionally affected by a family member who has a physical or mental illness, disability or misuses drugs or alcohol.
Sibling carers a young person who is affected by a brother or sister’s disability, illness or additional need. If you feel your child is a young carer and would benefit from support please see the link below.
External Agency Support
The school works closely with external agencies to access additional support where appropriate for our pupils. For example, Family Support Practitioners, Social Workers, Local Police and PCSOs and so on.
Furthermore, we signpost parents and carers to external agency support. Some of those organisations include:
• Lighthouse – supporting children & families of domestic violence,
• Ormiston Families - support for children affected by a family member in prison.
• SENDIASS - Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service provides information, advice and support to young people and children with SEN or disabilities aged 0 -25, and their parents, about education, health and social care.
• Suffolk Parent/Carer Network -supporting families with children who have additional needs or disabilities.
• Child Bereavement UK
As a school we can offer advice on a range of concerns or we can signpost parents to other sources of information, help and support. We can offer advice on areas such as behaviour management, financial worries, domestic abuse and housing concerns, etc.
"If you or those who work with your family feel your child needs extra help because they have some unmet needs, you can choose to begin a common assessment framework, often referred to as a CAF, visit the Suffolk County Council website for more information. A CAF may be useful if your child is experiencing a range of difficulties; these might be around their emotional wellbeing or around their behaviour in the home or the local community. Most often it is when there is a combination of difficulties. Usually, if the only difficulty you and your child are experiencing is around your child’s behaviour at school, a CAF is not appropriate. Occasionally a CAF is completed when an early help service is not required. In this situation, we will still provide advice and guidance to make sure you get the support you need" (Suffolk Infolink)