The children’s welfare in all areas is very important to us at St Matthew’s.
We would encourage all our children to discuss any issues of concern with their Classteacher or Teaching assistants as these are the adults the children are most familiar with. Parents/carers are encouraged to seek these members of staff if there is a problem which could impact on learning and well-being. The school leadership team are also available to discuss any issues of sensitivity.
This is located outside Mrs Odell’s Pastoral suite, children are encouraged to write down any concerns. These will be addressed by a member of staff.
Mrs Odell is our full time Pastoral Leader. Mrs Odell works with both the parents and children to support children who may need “Talk Time.” This is an intervention designed to support children who may be suffering from a loss/ bereavement, self-esteem issues, anger management, anxieties relating to a change in the home/ school situation, and lack of confidence to name a few. Mrs Odell also works closely with our Child Protection Team to support those children who may need additional support as requested by Social Services. Mrs Odell also provides “play therapy” and is supported in this work by Mrs Cheesman.
Pets as Therapy – Reading Dog Workshop
We are very lucky to be able to offer children the opportunity to read and talk to “Willow” our Reading Dog. She is a much loved Golden Labrador, belonging to Mrs Odell, and has received training on how to listen to the selected children who read to him. She settles quickly on a mat in our Pastoral suite, Willow particularly enjoys children stroking her while she listens to a story!
From Year 3 children in St Matthew’s are able to reap the benefits of attending Forest School at certain points in the week. The Forest School facility is located in private woods in Langton Green village. Children are taken over in the school mini bus with our Site Manager (Mr Aldridge) and the class Teaching Assistant to attend these sessions which are led by a highly skilled, fully trained, Forest School Teacher. As this is an outdoor learning experience we would request that all children come to school prepared to change fully into a warm tracksuit/ appropriate warm clothing, wellington boots and bring a waterproof jacket. There is cover for the children should it rain, however it is essential that children are warm and dry in order for them to participate fully in this exciting learning experience.
Family Liaison Officer
We are fortunate to be able support families and children with a FLO, Mrs Aspinall. She is available to meet every morning should there be any issues at all which are of a concern. Her main role is to listen and support, suggesting appropriate avenues of support. Mrs Aspinall has supported families with a wide range of issues; she is also our Team Around the Family and CAF Leader and holds regular meetings with families and extended service provision.