How quickly we have settled into our new routines at Gateway. Whilst planning for our full return to school, the wellbeing of the pupils was at the forefront of our minds. Ensuring that school was a safe and familiar place to be became the founding stone of our strategy. We put a robust risk assessment in place and spent time on the training day ensuring staff were able to put that risk assessment into practice. We spent time planning our pastoral strategy for supporting the children’s return and tailored that strategy to each key stage.
Preschool and Reception have enjoyed stories and games designed to encourage discussion about feelings. In Key stage teachers are using emotion faces to help the children talk about their feelings, teachers are then able to provide support where needed. Emojis and Feelings Books have been engaging for year 3 and 4, encouraging thoughtful reflection on the whole range of emotions and the understanding that we are all different. In year 5 and 6 both year groups are receiving Mindfulness lessons to teach the children strategies to calm the mind and cope with stress.
We learnt last term, how useful our mindfulness app ‘Headspace’ was in creating a calm start to lessons, and have continued to use it in the classroom. However, there are times when we need individual support and so we have made provision for a new school counsellor to be available to parents who would like their child to have professional support.
Watching the children arriving at school in the sunshine this morning it was clear to see that coming back together at Gateway is a joyful experience. Celebrating events such as Roald Dahl day and with the collaboration of the whole of the Gateway team, we know we are back to a bright future.