Improving wellbeing and resilience:
At Gosforth Central Middle School we are passionate in supporting the wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We have high aspirations for all children and young people. We want our school to develop the qualities of confidence, resilience and motivation in their students, to ensure that young people are prepared for adult life. These character traits support academic attainment, are valued by employers, and support children and young people to make a valuable contribution to society. Activities to support children and young people to develop these qualities, resilience in particular, will contribute to making children and young people happy at school and engaged with their learning and so help to ensure the best possible outcomes for them.
Promoting staff health and wellbeing
Promoting staff health and wellbeing is also an integral part of the whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing. Our senior leadership team lead and manage staff with regard for their wellbeing and a healthy balance between work and other commitments. Regular staff training, surveys, action plans and staff wellbeing activities are set to staff to ensure their wellbeing is maintained.
What is counselling and how can it help children and young people?
Counselling is an intervention that children or young people can voluntarily enter into if they want to explore, understand and overcome issues in their lives which may be causing them difficulty, distress and/or confusion. A counselling relationship has identified boundaries and an explicit contract agreed between the young person, counsellor and, where appropriate, parent or carer.
Good mental and emotional wellbeing is an integral part of children and young people’s holistic development. When this development is inhibited, counselling can be an effective and important resource. The aims of counselling are to: assist the child or young person to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and their relationship to their world; to create a greater awareness and utilisation of their personal resources; to build their resilience; and to support their ability to address problems and pursue personally meaningful goals.
How can school based counselling help children and young people?
Counselling can be beneficial in a number of ways, for example it can help:
• Reduce the psychological distress that children and young people may experience as a result of facing a range of life difficulties;
• Support young people who are having difficulties within relationships, for example, with family or with friends;
• Many pupils report improvement in their capacity to study and learn following counselling, and frequently report that counselling helps them to concentrate;
• Young people who are having difficulty managing their emotions.
Pastoral/counselling referral process:
· If a staff member has concerns about a child, they will contact parents and put a referral form to their Head of Year this will then be passed on the Kate Wood (School Counsellor and Pastoral Lead);
· If a parent/ carer has concerns about their child, they should contact their child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year and if deemed necessary a referral form will be submitted to Kate Wood;
· At times, Kate Wood will contact parents to arrange a meeting to gather more information however this is not always deemed necessary;
· A child can self-refer by completing self-referral forms and posting it in the box located in the foyer. In Year 7 and 8, counselling can be undertaken without parental / carer consent, providing the young person is ‘Gillick Competent’ (see below). Year 5-6 parents / carers will always be contacted for consent by the Head of Year;
· If a referral has been received by the pastoral team, an intervention will be agreed and your child will be placed on a waiting list – this waiting list will be based on perceived urgency of need rather than strictly by time.
‘’As general principle it is legal and acceptable for a young person to ask for confidential counselling without parental consent providing they are of sufficient understanding and intelligence.’’
Gillick v West Norfolk AHA, House of Lords 1985