The Roche School’s safeguarding and pastoral care initiative, Room at The Roche, has proved popular with pupils. Launched at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, Hut 5 can be found in the playground and is a safe space for children who can drop in to discuss any problem or anxiety at all and be sure of support and understanding from dedicated staff.
Room at The Roche, has been developed by the pastoral care team with one of our trained staff available to lend an ear. It works on a drop-in basis during morning and lunchtime breaks and is all about building resilience and confidence. Teachers can also refer children; it is confidential but we can contact parents if the children are happy for us to do so and if the situation warrants it. We also have a database of outside professionals and we can use that to point families in the right direction for further help.
Mrs Louise says that Room at The Roche gives an insight into some of the anxieties that children may feel. “Many of those dropping in so far have been Reception children feeling overwhelmed at starting school. Some may miss mummy and daddy or have difficulties mixing with other children. Other problems include homework and friendship groups. We help them develop their own resilience and coping strategies and can intervene to help if necessary. We encourage them to express themselves through the use of art, Lego, clay, Plasticine and we also have ‘worry teddies’ and soft toys for the younger children.”
Older children too have been great at developing support groups. Year 5 and 6 children volunteer to help out and they can relate to how Year 1 children are feeling.
Summing up, Mrs Louise says that, “From Reception to Year 6, every problem that we deal with is valid and it is great to have a dedicated team to support the children.”
The message to all pupils is that, “Sometimes it is OK not to be OK!”