Wellbeing and Pupil Welfare
Following government guidance (Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children) the school works with other agencies to provide a co-ordinated offer of early help for children with additional needs. The school also contributes to inter-agency plans to support pupils subject to child protection plans and we organise representatives of children’s social care to visit the school where necessary. Rhodes Avenue School has a designated Safeguarding Leader (Emel Ali), an Inclusion Leader (Matthew Henson) and Inclusion/Safeguarding Governors to ensure that the school has comprehensive and broad-based child protection procedures, policies and training in place.
Rhodes Avenue School believes that providing early support – as soon as an issue emerges (within the confines of school budgets) at any part in a child’s from the foundation stage to Year 6 – is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting at a later date. We aim to be proactive rather than reactive as the school believes that early help can prevent further issues arising.
Effective early help relies upon all relevant local agencies working together to:
- identify children and families who would benefit from early help;
- undertake an assessment of the need for early help; and
- provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to significantly improve the outcomes for the child.
Children and families may need support from a wide range of local agencies. Where a child and family would benefit from the coordinated support for more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. Early help assessments, such as the Common Assessment Framework, should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment.
The school steadfastly believes that pupils have a right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse. Safeguarding is about ensuring that everyone is safe from harm, safe from bullying, safe from people who could abuse, safe from discrimination or harassment and that we all feel safe in our environment. The school is confident in its systems, policy and practice and responds to government led initiatives, for example the Prevent strategy – Education Against Hate – (see Safeguarding page for greater detail) and/or click on this link .
Additionally government guidance outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) lays out the expectations placed on schools to be vigilant against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Teachers and school staff are in an ideal position to identify and respond to a victim or potential victim’s needs at an early stage and pupils who fear that they are at risk are likely to come to the attention of, or turn to, a teacher before seeking help from other agencies.
Our designated safeguarding lead adheres to the guidance that is available in respect of FGM and ensures that staff are alert to the possible signs that a child has been subjected to FGM or is at risk of being abused through it and what type of training staff have had. The school’s Safeguarding Policy has a reference to female genital mutilation.
Sex and Relationships Education
The governing body monitors and reviews the school’s Sex and Relationships Policy at the Curriculum Committee stage and also at a Full Governing Body meeting to ensure that it meets the statutory requirements. The SMSC/PSHE Leader attends training and updates governors at the aforementioned meetings. The content of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) which is contained in the National Curriculum’s Science programme of study are compulsory and are taught by class teachers. A copy of the Sex and Relationships Policy is available for parents and carers to download from the school’s website and free hard copies can be collected from the office.
Schools are vital for the health and wellbeing in the local community and we take our responsibilities very seriously our ethos is aligned with Public Health England’s thinking that there are close links between health, education and achievement and that we have a role to play in tackling obesity. We provide a comprehensive physical activity programme and pupils have at least two hours of directed physical education a week. There is a wide range of after-school fitness clubs (Gymnastics, Swimming, Football, Hockey, Athletics, Cricket, Capoeira etc.) available and intra-school competitions and competitive tournaments provide many opportunities for our pupils to be involved and enjoy an active lifestyle.
The school recognises that all children and young people need the foundation of positive mental health to benefit fully from all of the opportunities available to them. Everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable. At times, anyone may need additional support to maintain or develop good mental health. Data suggests that:
- 1 in 10 children and young people aged 1 – 15 years have a clinically recognisable mental disorder in any one year;
- 1 in 4 adults will experience mental health difficulties; at least half of these difficulties can be traced back to childhood.
The mental health of children and young people, adults in schools, parents and carers and the wider whole school community will impact on all areas of development, learning, achievement and experiences. All children, young people and adults have the right to be educated in an environment that supports and promotes positive mental health for everybody. Rhodes Avenue School recognises these needs and rights. It is committed to raising awareness, increasing understanding and ensuring that all schools can and do make a difference by providing a place where all children and young people feel safe, secure and able to achieve and experience success and well-being.
We aim to offer a learning environment that promotes and enhances positive mental health. The school currently employs a counsellor (Karen Lever) to support pupil well-being and the school’s art teacher (Rosie Sawyer) provides additional pastoral opportunities through her Art Space programme (see details of their provision below). The school also invites guest speakers to speak about mental well-being to parents and pupils and a range of appropriate texts are used in SMSC lessons in Key Stage 2.
The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying which can occur in or outside school. Cyberbullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as perpetrators forward on content with a simple click.
Rhodes Avenue school is not complacent about bullying and has measures in place to identify and prevent all forms of bullying. Annual pupil questionnaires, School Assemblies, Philosophy for Children sessions, Values Education, Anti-bullying week, E-safety week and the Computing programme of study are some of the resources and tools available to the school to teach netiquette to proactively gather intelligence, analyse behaviour incidents and track issues between pupils which might prevent disputes and develop strategies to prevent bullying occurring in the first place.
Additionally the school’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) programme of study has been developed to create a safe, inclusive environment where pupils can openly discuss the causes of their bullying without fear of further bullying and opportunities for pupils to discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying such as religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality or family diversity and teaches children that prejudice-based language is unacceptable.
Our school community adopts a whole school approach to healthy eating, the dining hall which is the setting for breakfast and lunch is viewed as a social hub and an integral part of school life. Catering Staff, Breakfast providers and Midday Meals Supervisors are recognised for the important role they play – socially and nutritionally – our meal time providers (Accent Catering) ensure that eating healthily through planned menus using fresh ingredients, avoiding GM foods and additives, and using herbs for flavour.
The School Council and our parent and carer Food Forum works closely with our school lunch providers – Accent Catering – and at termly meetings with the chef and Accent’s representatives menus and ingredients are discussed in order to create imaginative, flexible and nutritious options. Healthy cooking methods are also deemed to be important, with steaming, poaching, and oven baking replacing deep fried options.
Milk in school
From January 2015 the school has followed the standards that are set out in the Requirements for School Food Regulations (2014) with respect to milk that lower fat milk is made available every school day. We subscribe to the School Food Standards practical guide that explains milk and dairy are rich sources of energy, protein, calcium, vitamin A and riboflavin. The school encourages boosting children’s intake of calcium by serving the following foods:
- Milk based deserts (e.g. custard)
Height and Weight Programme
Rhodes Avenue Primary School backs the National Measurement Programme (NCMP) where pupils are weighed in Reception and then again in Year 6 in order to monitor children’s weight. Annual reports show that our school is well below national and local percentages for obesity. Children that are highlighted by the process are supported and the school works with the parents and carers of children who may be at risk. It is vital that the school participates in this programme because medical evidence suggests that children who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop a variety of illnesses in childhood and later life, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, respiratory illnesses, joint movement problems and psychological disorders.
Middlesex University – Supporting Children’s Mental Health in Schools (2nd March 2019)