At the Sir John Colfox Academy, Bridport nurture is at the heart of the Inclusion, Wellbeing and Support Centre and a core value of the school. This ethos is based around the Six Principles of Nurture: children’s learning is understood developmentally; the classroom offers a safe base; nurture is important for the development of wellbeing; language is a vital means of communication; all behaviour is communication; and, transitions are important in children’s lives. Attachment Theory underpins the approach and the teaching staff has received training about the importance of nurture and the school has a Nurturing Code for all staff, outlining basic ways of ensuring that all classrooms are nurture friendly. The Inclusion Wellbeing and Support Centre team have worked closely with the Educational Psychologist, who provides supervision to ensure that there are clear measurable outcomes for their suite of interventions, based upon attendance, a wellbeing scale, Boxhall profiling, behaviour consequences or a combination.
Inclusion, Wellbeing and Support offers a range of interventions for our young people in a bright and comfortable environment. As one of our young people noted ‘It’s a special place’, it’s made to feel like a home, with the sofa and soft furnishings. The people here really care for us as people, not just ‘students’. There are two confidential intervention spaces as well as room for group activities and private study and well-defined kitchen and lounge areas.
The team of Mrs Cary, Mr Preston and Mrs Lamble are supported by a range of colleagues, including youth workers and counsellors. Current interventions include counselling skills; life coaching; ELSA emotional and wellbeing support; mentoring and nurture groups. These are accessible to students following a referral by the relevant Head of School or the SEN Department. Young people may also be timetabled in Inclusion Wellbeing and Support for a short or longer time and it is an essential stepping stone for young people re-integrating into school life. There is a Transition Mentoring Scheme to help support our young people during the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 and support, through a careers and futures programme, to assist our Inclusion Year 11 students with the transition to Post 16 provision or apprenticeships.
In addition, Inclusion Wellbeing and Support is open to all young people in the school who need a ‘listening ear’ and wish to self-refer. There are drop in sessions for this purpose every break and at lunchtimes between 12:35 and 1:00. The Centre is also open for all students who sign up for the ‘Open Door Policy’ before school, between lessons, at break and lunchtime and after school (except on Fridays). Many students join us for break and lunchtime to access this safe space.
The Inclusion Champions are students who support the young people who access the Inclusion Centre, which in turn guides and nurtures students with a range of needs and wellbeing issues. The Inclusion Champions are nominated by students within the Inclusion Centre and are selected by the Inclusion Team. They have a full job description, which includes mentoring other students, including as part of transition, and supporting the work of the Inclusion Centre, including its events such as the Summer Breakfast, Christmas Party, Foodbank February, Easter Egg Hunt and charity initiatives. Our Inclusion Champions proudly wear their badges so that they are easily identifiable.
Inclusion Wellbeing and Support provides a community within a community, enabling our students to have a sense of belonging.
Comments from Our Annual Review 2018-19
Our Inclusion students are surveyed annually to see if we are fulfilling their needs and to suggest improvements. Here is a range of comments from our student voice:
About the Staff
‘Friendly nice people.’
‘They respect me.’
‘I feel valued by the staff,’
About the Support
‘Good help and advice.’
‘I always get the help I need and have the right support.’
‘I get good advice from other students as well as staff.’
About The Centre
‘I almost always come out of here smiling.’
‘I am always calm here.’
‘Inclusion feels very comfy and homely.