The World Health Organisation describes emotional and mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively... and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’
At Leeds West Academy, we feel it is important to remember that all children and young people experience difficult feelings and situations in their lives. Families often play the biggest role in helping children learn how to cope with difficult feelings and experiences. Schools and other services in children’s daily lives, also play a big part in this. For most children and young people, this level of support will be enough to help them cope with everyday life.
For other children, if their feelings, thoughts and behaviours affect their everyday life and stop them from making progress, or risk harm to themselves or others, they may be considered to have social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH). They may well need extra help to develop as young people and achieve positive outcomes as they progress through school. Leeds West Academy have three separate waves of support, which can be utilised at various points in a young person’s time at high school.
Waves of Support
Wave 1 or Universal services are services that all students have access to. These include access to a form tutor, a non-teaching head of year, Progress Leader, space days (timetable drop down days), a safeguarding lead and the SSPO if required. Further to this, students and parents have access to universal services such as play and leisure facilities, health visitors and GP’s.
Wave 2 or Targeted services are services that offer support for a specific period of time when a student faces difficulties in or outside of the academy. Leeds West’s targeted services include a referral into the additional needs team (ANT), a referral for cluster support, student support plan’s, early help plan’s, targeted lesson support and EP support through the cluster. The referral process ensures that there is a collegiate approach to supporting our young people.
The additional needs team (ANT) is a new resource for Leeds West Academy from September
2017, this resource includes a nurture provision which works with a group of year 7 and 8 over a twelve week period. Students have a Boxall assessment both pre and post the work to measure impact. The work of the ANT team also includes one to one sessions open to all students from all year groups who have referred in, lesson support and working closely with the cluster. Students who access this support have a student intervention log, which monitors and reviews the impact of interventions that are put in place.
|Bramley cluster is a group of agencies working together to support students and families that are going through difficulties. Agencies include the family support team, primary and secondary schools, school nursing, AIP representatives, BARCA and CSWS. Interventions include SEMH counselling, parenting classes, support with early help plans, a child and family therapist and access to educational psychologist time.|
Wave 3 or Specialist services – will not be accessed by the majority of children and young people with additional needs as their needs will be met by wave 1 and 2 interventions. However, if a child or young person has complex needs, including SEMH needs, and is unable to make progress despite support from universal and targeted services, specialist services may be needed. At this stage the SEN team along with the service leader (SEMH) work together to look at what additional support should be put in place to support young people’s needs. This support includes potential referrals to SENIT, alternative provision, MST, SENSAP, the SEMH panel and EHCP’s. These steps include a regular dialogue with the young people and their parents/carers as they key part of any process undertaken.
Case study 1 – Student A (Year 8), struggles with peer relationships and this leads to conflict in the classroom and around the Academy. Student A’s behaviour has led to isolations, Fixed term exclusions and non-attendance last academic year. The ANT team have given him access to a nurture group, lesson check-ins as well as support when needed. This support has led to a reduction in FTE’s, seclusions and improved attendance so far this academic year. This student was also nominated for Student of the week.
Case study 2 – Student B (Year 10), struggles to be in lessons and around peers and this had led to placements in alternative provision and non-attendance at school. The additional needs team have offered group work, one to one support, support in lesson and life skills groups. The young man struggles with attendance still but is engaging a lot more around the academy and work is ongoing.
Case study 3 – Student C (Year 11), has returned from elective home education, there has been a significant amount of work done between the year 11 team, and the additional needs team to support. This young person has anxiety around lessons and also completing the work, she has missed. The additional needs team has offered her a safe environment when she feels anxious and a quite space to complete work that she is behind with. This work has led to the young person completing mock exams and improved her relationships with staff in school.