At Westacre Middle School we recognise the challenges that families face in bringing up children. There may be times when you need extra help and support. If this is the case, please come and talk to us. There are many ways our school can help and support you and your family as outlined in this offer of early help.
The Early Help Offer at Westacre Middle School is an approach not just the signposting to a service. Westacre is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our children and their families, so that they can be safe, healthy and fulfil their potential.
Our Early Help Offer means providing support as soon as a problem is identified and finding the bespoke support that can help a child and family. It includes both universal and targeted /specialist services. All staff work to create a school ethos that promotes trust between adults and children, so that children know who they are able to talk to if they have any concerns or worries.
Mrs Catherine Doolin (Deputy Head teacher) is our Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Mrs Donna Evans (Head teacher) Mr Paul Barber (Deputy Head teacher) and Mrs Rachel Humphries (Assistant Head teacher) are all Deputy Designated Safeguarding leads. The Governor with responsibility for child protection is Maxine Thomas. All staff receive annual safeguarding training through the DSL, as well as regular updates through continuous professional development. We believe and promote the message that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. The DSL is PREVENT trained and delivers training to all staff. We follow the mantra; NOTICE CHECK SHARE
All staff at Westacre Middle School have been trained to identify early cases of child sexual exploitation. As a school we use the CSE Screening tool and the Get Safe risk assessment if we have concerns. Staff have received training on FGM and know how to identify if a child may be at risk. All staff receive Safeguarding Training as part of their induction and this training is updated regularly throughout the academic year.
Within school we provide the following early help support for all children creating an atmosphere where all children are listened to and supported appropriately:
Pupil strategy meetings: The senior leadership meet with heads of year; the SENCO and the pastoral lead every two weeks to discuss the needs and provision in place for children and families. Through these meetings the team can discuss early signs of intervention needed for families and children, using concerns brought forward by teachers or parents as well as communications with other professionals. It is then that the assessment of Early Help can be carried out. An action plan is then drawn up for each individual child which may include: support from the pastoral team, referrals to external agencies, access to in school provision like lunch club, bespoke target and reward systems or pastoral interventions.
Pastoral team: We have a team of 4 pastoral staff who offer bespoke pastoral interventions including: anger management; dealing with anxiety and stress; social skills, protective behaviours and regular, “catch ups,” with children who have been identified as needing some extra support. Our Pastoral lead is safeguarding trained.
We have a visiting school councillor who works with children identified as needing support to cope with social and emotional difficulties.
We recognise for some children the start of the day can be difficult so we offer a meet and greet for some children where a named TA will meet a child and settle them in to class. All support staff are in communal areas at the start of the day to welcome the children and pick up anyone who is having a difficult start to the day.
We provide a breakfast club from 7.45 to 8.15am every morning which can be accessed by all children. A breakfast can be bought and there are board games available, along with mindfulness colouring to promote a calm start to the day.
There is a break and lunchtime club provided for children who may find it difficult to access being with a lot of children on the playground. This is a very nurturing environment where social interaction is modelled and promoted by organised activities and games.
Each classroom has a, “Time to talk box,” where children are able to put their name in if they have any worries and a member of staff within 24 hours will make time to have a one to one conversation with the child.
We access the support of Young carers when needed and will make referrals. We have young carers come in to deliver assemblies and facilitate a follow up drop in.
We have two members of staff who are trained in grief counselling and are able to supplement the support of organisations like footsteps.
We work closely with school health and host a drop-in health club every two weeks run by local school health workers.
CAMHs CAST: We work closely with this professional body which is a service that sits within Worcestershire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). They work directly with young people experiencing or at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties. The service offers consultation, advice, support and training which can be specifically tailored to suit the professional seeking the service.
Mental Health First Aid Trainers: We have 3 members of staff who have all received the Mental Health First Aid training, supporting staff to spot signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide non-judgmental support and reassurance, and guide the young person or adult to seek professional support when needed. We promote the use of the Kooth website and have had them come in to deliver assemblies.
We have strong links with our community Social Workers who we use for advice and information to help us signpost families to the correct agencies to offer support. We work closely with Targeted Family Support Workers and social workers so we are well informed about our children and can contribute to any support needed.
Attendance: The Deputy Head teacher meets with our Educational welfare officer every week to monitor every child’s attendance. If a pattern of poor attendance is identified, we act quickly and offer a meeting in school with parents/carers. We use bespoke target and reward systems along with support for families who are struggling with school refusers. Good attendance is recognised and rewarded for all children. Our school operates a first day response system.
Wellbeing is an integrated part of school life. Every day after lunch there is a wellbeing time in every classroom where relaxation techniques are modelled such as yoga and mindfulness colouring. Every class has a term of yoga lessons delivered by a trained yoga teacher. There are monthly healthy recipes shared in school to help promote healthy lifestyles.
Our school delivers comprehensive Personal, Social, Health and Economics, (PSHE) and Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) programmes. These support the children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe and how to build healthy relationships and how to identify unhealthy relationships. These programmes broaden their understanding of strategies to develop their resilience, as well as their awareness of their mental health and approaches to keep this aspect of their lives healthy.
We have rigorous e-safety procedures in place including half termly digital literacy (e-safety) lessons, termly parent computing showcase sessions include e-safety workshops, regular re-tweeting of National Online Safety resources and weekly updates from monitoring software and immediate updates from monitoring software of any urgent actionable events.
We have a very comprehensive transition system in place both at entry to and exit from the school. This involves staff and pupil visits to other schools and appropriate information sharing. Extra transition visits are offered for any anxious or vulnerable children.
Communication is at the heart of our provision. We encourage all our children and families to talk to us and share any concerns they have. We recognise that to better help all our pupils we are at our best when we work in partnership with families. All our staff are trained to share any information or concerns they notice so we can address them and put in appropriate support. We actively engage and communicate with all the agencies that offer support in our area and want to work together with external agencies towards the best outcomes for our families.
In the table below are some local and National organisations that can support children, young people and their families
The Family Front Door giving
access to Children’s services.
|Telephone: 01905 822666 Please contact if you think there is a child who is at risk. There are trained social workers ready to also give advice if you need it. If you feel a child is at risk of immediate harm call the police on 999|
Worcestershire Children First is responsible for the delivery of services to children and young people across Worcestershire.
Worcestershire County Council: Early help and family support.
|Support and advice for safe use of the internet and social media.||www.saferinternet.org.uk|
|Support around bullying including cyber bullying||www.childline.org.uk CALL 08001111|
|Mental health support services||https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/|
|Supporting children and families with child sexual and criminal exploitation||
|Support with Domestic violence|