Student voice is a key cog in the decision making process in every NET academy. Each academy has a Junior Leadership team that runs a very active academy council with nominated Junior Leaders and Class Secretaries who represent each class. School council meet on a fortnightly basis to discuss current issues effecting academy; the Junior Leadership team vote on any action that needs to be taken. Students learn how a democratic system works from an early age and they develop skills in public speaking, decision making and listening to one another’s ideas. Students are empowered by the process and are valued as key stakeholders in every NET academy.
The primary academies all use a system called ‘Talk It Out’ so that students are able to communicate their worries to an adult. The rationale behind the idea is to ensure that every child at Northern Education Trust always has somebody to talk to. This is both reactive in addressing current problems and a proactive means of teaching our pupils that there are strategies available for them to manage their own mental health.
Every child has a laminated card with their name on that they keep in their draw in class. The child posts this card in a centrally placed, internal letterbox to alert the adult that they wish to talk to someone. Pupil Support then checks the post box daily and finds the child at an appropriate time to talk to them. ‘Talk It Out’ is valued by all children because they know they have the option to talk to someone should they need it. The ‘Talk It Out’ system encourages children to talk to someone if they are worried about an issue which is an important factor in improving their mental health and provides them with skills to improve their own well-being as they grow up.
All Northern Education Trust academies have an incredibly strong praise culture that is evident as soon as you walk through the door with ‘applause moments’ to be heard, displays dedicated to praise and the way teachers and students interact with one another.
Other rewards include:
Praise is also the bedrock of our ‘Expectations for Learning Policy’, which encourages children to make positive choices through praise and rewards.
At The Oak Tree Academy, we are keen to ensure childrens’ well-being is of importance. We employ a counsellor who provides therapeutic work for identified children one to one who need support for their well-being. Our Welfare and Attendance Officer and Pupil Support Officer work closely with multi agencies and families to ensure appropriate provision and referrals are made to support childrens’ mental health. Our PSHCE curriculum supports children’s well being continually. We regularly talk about how we feel in front of the children to model ways to self regulate and we provide and encourage daily exercise opportunities for the children and are explicit about the benefits of this on mental health and well-being.
Local community contacts for wellbeing:
Miss Sanderson (Welfare and Attendance Officer) and Miss Cumiskey (Pupil Support Officer) 01642 602029
Academy Councillor – Julie (Please contact her through the Welfare and Attendance Officer and Pupil Support Officer on 01642 602029)
Northern Education Trust takes safeguarding very seriously. Our academies ensure that safeguarding is a key priority in all aspects of academy life, and that safeguarding is a key part of our curriculum content. We see safeguarding as being the responsibility of all members of our academy communities.
Please see below a copy of the latest ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE) guidance from the Department for Education.
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ is also available in other languages here: https://national.lgfl.net/digisafe/kcsietranslate
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