Parent and Child Support at Brough School
Hi. I’m Claire Coppini. I have worked here for 7 years. I am a county approved Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) and have lots of other skills and qualifications including counselling, mental health first aid and nurturing. I’m also a mum myself, and have worried about most of the things us mums worry about and have just been through the daunting time of year 6 to year7 transition with my son. The wellbeing of students at Brough School is priority to us and if additional emotional support is needed beyond the classroom, then I take on that role. Parent’s wellbeing is equally important and I am happy to support and advise whenever you need me. In light of Jules Montgomery, our Parent Support Advisor, leaving us, I have been privileged to step into her shoes and work a lot more with parents. Last year I was very fortunate to work with and help some wonderful parents and their children, I hope to build this role and continue to support Parents and Children from Brough School. I am available to speak to at most times including before and after school. Please feel free to come and have a coffee and a chat if something is bothering you or you have any worries or concerns. Nothing is too trivial and sometimes it helps to speak to someone who is not a close friend or family member, and as I always say to the children….If I don’t know the answer I will find someone who does. I can help with many issues from bereavement and anxiety and changes in behaviour, to toileting and friendships. If your child is unhappy at school we want to know and put strategies into place as soon as possible to help you and your child. You call contact me via the school office or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the coming school year I would like to promote the subject of positive mental health with the help of my colleague Louise Wilcox. We’ll be giving parents tips to help relax you and your child and some of the signs and triggers that can affect our mental health, as well as advice on what you can do to if you suspect poor mental health. Mental health over the years has become such a taboo subject and one that has hit the media very recently with very mixed opinions. People hear the words “mental health” and start conjuring up all sorts of images and thoughts. It is worth remembering that we all have “mental health” and for a vast majority of us our mental health is positive and healthy, but for some it’s poor, and of course our mental health can fluctuate as can our general health. These can cause barriers to your child’s learning.
I am also focussing on the social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) as a whole school approach and from time to time I would like to send home a fun activity that can be done together with your child as a family. There will be an opportunity to share these in assemblies. I’ll let you know a bit more about SEAL when the time comes. If you think you would like some help or advice based around home/family time please come and see me. I look forward to meeting you soon.
Speaking to your child about traumatic events
In light of the recent atrocities in Paris, which have been extensively covered by the media, we have put together this information sheet to help parents discuss any questions their children may have.
Inevitably, children will hear, see or read stories from the media and many other sources about human violence and terrorism. Children will need their questions answered, and they turn to their trusted loved ones for help and reassurance.
It is important to be honest whilst keeping your personal, political or religious views out of the conversation. Your child’s main reason for questions are purely for reassurance of theirs, and your safety and security.
If your child asks about a recent traumatic or terrorist event, make time to sit down with them and give them your full attention and ask them what they already know about the events that happened – this will help you to gage what they know and guide your conversation. Ask them why they want to know – Are they scared or curious? Or have they heard people talking, but don’t really understand?
Your conversation should reassure and not increase fear. Empathise with your child’s fears even if they seem irrational. Be aware that your child may develop anxieties at being separated from family members for any length of time, again it is important to reassure and remain calm with your child. Praise them for being brave and strong through their difficult times. It may be a good idea to give them something (inexpensive) of yours to look after until home time to remind them that you are always there for them even when they can’t see you.
Things to include in your conversation:
- Terrorist attacks are rare. Bad things happen in the world and it’s only a very small group of people who do these bad things, but we don’t really know why they do bad things.
- Most places and people are very safe and we don’t need to worry.
- Talk about times when your child has been separated from you for an amount of time but were reunited safely.
- Schools and work places have safety procedures, and staff are trained in what to do in an emergency to keep people safe. We carry out practise drills to help us all remember. (e.g. fire alarms)
- Ask your child how they would feel safe and offer some problem solving techniques together.
- There is no way of knowing if it will happen again, just reassure your child that you will be there for them and keep them safe.
- If they want to know if children were hurt or killed, then express how sad it makes you feel, expressing that it is very rare that it happens and it’s ok for them to feel sad too.
If your child’s worries are prolonged or you feel they have escalated further, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Class Teacher or Mrs Coppini as we do have strategies to help.