Strawberry Hill N.S. strives to provide a caring, happy, and secure atmosphere. Central to our ethos and to the holistic development of each child, is the promotion of Wellbeing. We are a trauma-informed school that promotes a positive mind-set for all pupils. Along with the SPHE curriculum, we also provide programmes such as The Incredible Years, FRIENDS for Life, Fun Friends, Zippy’s Friends, Roots of Empathy, and Mind Me – Mind You to name but a few. We also have a nurture room.

 

We are a Trauma Responsive School.

Trauma is not an event but our experience of the event and the meaning we make of it

Our staff have been trained and upskilled in the area of trauma responsive education and relevant equipment such as sensory toys and large beanbags to help children to de-stress and regulate have been purchased for all classrooms.

All adults (teachers, special needs assistants and ancillary staff) in our school community can recognise and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress, in terms of behaviour, relationships, the ability to regulate internal states and how that shows up in the classroom/school. 

  • We recognise that a child’s behaviour is a developmental response to past experience and can respond with flexibility when required. Instead of asking what is wrong with them and immediately beginning to label we ask the question – what might have happened that explains this behaviour?
  • Communication, relationships, routines and policies, staff training are seen as priority needs.

Having at least one supportive adult whom the child has a strong relationship with is paramount to success.

The following protective factors reduce the risk of a child developing extreme traumatised symptoms:

❖ Being able to talk about feelings

❖ Responsibility for jobs

❖ Sense of belonging

❖ Participation in a community group

❖ Being able to ask for and accept help

❖ Achievement at school

 

Nurture Room: We are delighted to have set up a Nurture Room in our school, to respond to the increasing social and emotional challenges for our young children. The nurture room is there to provide a safe, predictable and structured space, where strong trusting relationships between the children, the teacher and the special needs assistant are nurtured. The Nurture Room provides carefully routine sessions, where there is a balance of learning and teaching, affection and structure within a home-like atmosphere. It is a short -term, focused intervention which addresses barriers to learning from social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, in an inclusive and supportive manner.

The Incredible Years: This programme is a set of interlocking, comprehensive, and developmentally-based early intervention programmes for parents, teachers, and children. Delivered in small group or classroom settings, the programmes are designed to strengthen child wellbeing, promote social-emotional learning and academic competence, and prevent, reduce, and treat behavioural and emotional problems in young children.

FRIENDS for Life/ Fun Friends: It is a school-based positive mental health programme. The programme helps students to develop effective strategies to deal with worry, stress and change and teaches the skills required to reduce anxiety and promote resilience. The World Health Organisation cites FRIENDS for Life as the only evidence-based programme effective at all levels of intervention for anxiety in children (WHO 2004).

Roots of Empathy: The Roots of Empathy program is delivered to children who are encouraged to recognize and connect with the vulnerability and humanity of a small baby who visits their classroom throughout the school year with their parent, along with our trained Roots of Empathy Instructor Ms Barry. In this programme, emotional literacy develops as children begin to identify and label the baby’s feelings, reflect on and understand their own feelings, then bridge to understand the feelings of others. This enables children to build connections and healthy relationships which leads to inclusion and integration.

Mind Me- Mind You: It supports teachers in building the foundations of good mental health education and wellbeing in children. It fosters the creation of healthy relationships, personal development and skills central to maintaining future health and wellbeing. The whole school takes a focus a month, such as, Kindness, Gratitude, Resilience, Perseverance and much more. Lots of activities, discussion and skill development happen throughout these lessons.