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 Atherton’s Pastoral suite, children are encouraged to write down any concerns. These will be addressed by a member of staff.
Pastoral Support Mentor
Mrs Atherton is our Pastoral Support Mentor. Mrs Atherton works with both the parents and children to support children with interventions 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 Atherton also works closely with our Safeguarding Team to support those children who may need additional support as requested by Social Services.
Play Therapy and School Counsellor
St Matthew’s uses trained professionals from external providers to offer ‘play therapy’ and counselling sessions for children. The schools Needs team will discuss the children who they feel will benefit from play therapy or counselling and then this is discussed with parents before the intervention starts.
Pets as Therapy – Reading Dog Workshop
We have had a Reading Dog in school which has proven a very popular and worthwhile intervention for some children. Reading to a dog can help to raise a pupil’s reading standard, boost their self-confidence, improve concentration levels and behavioural problems. The visits can have a positive impact on a child’s educational, social and emotional welfare. Our Reading Dog has retired and St Matthew’s are looking to welcome a new Reading Dog to the school.
Children in St Matthew’s are able to reap the benefits of attending Forest School. We have a small forest area on site which has been used throughout the covid pandemic however we will look to return to the Forest School facility located in private woods in Langton Green village accessed via minibus. These sessions 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 speak to parents each morning on the gate 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 such as secondary school applications, behaviour at home, accessing local support services, applying for FSM and attendance.