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What we do at Gallions
At Gallions we believe that the Personal Development Curriculum is just as important as the Academic Curriculum. From the moment children begin their journey through Gallions Primary School, we focus on social and emotional development and we don’t stop.
At the heart of every great community, there are good people.
We teach our pupils to be kind, openhearted and empathetic. We help them learn about their own feelings and what makes them feel great and not so great. We help them imagine what it is like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Our pupils develop a clear sense of social responsibility and this means learning about the needs, desires and aspirations of others.
At Gallions Primary, we believe it is important to understand the many sides of today’s complex problems and working with others to achieve mutual goals means listening to others as well as developing and articulating your own perspective.
We do this through play, conversation, therapies, group discussion, campaigning and being politically active.
Introduction to the Team
Hi, I am Marie Smith and I am Assistant Head. My main role at school is to make sure that all the children that need extra help at Gallions are getting everything they need; this includes children with Special Educational Needs but can be anyone who is finding something difficult. As Safeguarding Lead, I also try to ensure all the children feel safe and happy. I grew up in Barking and have been teaching for over fifteen years. As a Thrive Childhood Practitioner and Mental Health First Aider, I understand the impact that poor mental health and well-being can have on children and young people’s readiness to learn – and other indicators, such as attendance, attention, behaviour, and attainment and I am excited to work with the rest of the team to make sure that all children and adults are thriving.
Hi, I am Nicky Harman and have worked at Gallions Primary School for 23 years. I have many roles at Gallions which include Attendance and Admissions Lead, Deputy Safeguarding Officer and most recently Mental Health First Aider. I am very excited about what my new role as Mental Health First Aider might involve. I am looking forward to ensuring that all pupils and adults feel that they have someone they can talk to if they have any worries and am excited to work alongside the Wellbeing and Support Team to achieve this.
Hi, I am Sarah Wright and I am the school Learning Mentor. My role is to support our pupils and families when they need additional help with many things ranging from friendship issues to family challenges and much more. I am one of the designated safeguarding leads and a member of the wellbeing team. Our priority is the safety and happiness of our pupils.. I am a Thrive Childhood Practitioner and am in the process of completing my qualification to lead Family thrive sessions to encourage the Thrive approach further within our school community. I have been at Gallions for almost ten years and am passionate about correcting the impact that poor mental health and well-being has on us all. I am excited to work with the wider school community and the rest of the team to create a stronger, happier environment..
Hello, my name is Billy Allgood and I’m Assistant SENCO, history lead, class teacher and a Licensed Thrive Childhood Practitioner. I have been teaching at Gallions since 2014 and grew up locally in East Ham. As a class teacher, I have seen firsthand how a positive and whole-school approach towards mental well-being can have massive impacts on a child’s resilience, self-confidence and academic attainment. I am so pleased to be part of the Gallions Wellbeing and Support Team and excited about our plans for the future
Hello, my name is Bisi Imafidon but pupils and parents know me as Miss Bisi. I have been at Gallions since January 2014 and I am the Extended Schools Manager. My role is to organise clubs and activities for pupils before school, during lunchtime and after school. In addition, I also arrange workshops for families. The well-being benefits of participating in enrichment and extra-curricular activities are life-changing. My daily mantra is to make a difference and I am always looking for new opportunities for our pupils and families. I have seen pupils grow in confidence and I am excited to grow our extended school provision in partnership with external providers.
My name is Andrea Blenkinsop, and I am a children’s counsellor at Gallion’s. I have been working here for nearly two years. My role is to provide children with a safe space to talk about anything that may be interfering with their everyday lives. In addition to offering counselling sessions, I also provide drop-in sessions so that every child has the opportunity to have a safe space without judgment.
I work closely with the school to support any child or adult who may benefit from seeing me. Research has shown that children who see a counsellor as a child find it easier to deal with the different emotions that arise in adulthood. Gallion’s places a strong emphasis on children’s mental health, and I believe this is why we work so well together. We both agree that every child is different, so I adapt my sessions to meet each child’s unique needs.
Hello, my name is Abi and I am the EMHP (Education Mental Health Practitioner) from Newham CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and am allocated to Gallions Primary School. I am passionate about mental health and have been working as an EMHP in various Newham schools since 2020 before I worked as an applied behavioural therapist and have a speciality in health and developmental psychology. I provide one-to-one six-eight week intervention for challenging behaviour and child anxiety, as well as groups for emotion regulation and positive relationship building. In addition, I offer workshops to parents on various topics such as sleep hygiene, child anxiety, low mood etc., workshops for school staff and consultation for staff and parents. To get in contact with me or to discuss a possible referral please talk to Billy Allgood.
What is our offer?
We have a three-tiered graduated approach to supporting mental health and well-being here at Gallions Primary. This is in line with Newham NHS Service and the SEN Code of Practice system of Universal, Targeted and Specialist.
We aim to teach every child the skills they need to be emotionally literate, self-aware and mentally well. A provision that is open for all is classed as Universal (Green level.) However, life experiences can lead to mental health fluctuations. Some children may require more than this and may be part of small group work, classed as Targeted (Yellow level). Children that may need specific support, perhaps on a one-to-one basis may need to access Specialist (Red level) support
The level of support each child needs to achieve these skills will depend on any barriers to learning and the level of social intelligence the child has when they join the school. We can increase and blend support to ensure every child has the social and emotional skills to achieve their potential.
Helping Hut (Universal and Targeted)
Gallions has the support from a qualified Learning Mentor who runs interventions throughout the day. At lunchtimes, she runs our ‘Helping Hut’ This is a calm space for reflection that can be used during break and lunchtimes with a range of activities including colouring and craft activities inside and music and gardening in the outside space. Pupils can find the Learning Mentor here to support and provide a drop-in service for playground issues.
One of the sources of support available to students is the School Counsellor, which has been running successfully for several years and has supported many children who have experienced difficulties by helping them talk about and explore their concerns confidently.
Students may access the service in several ways:
- By self-referral
- Referral by the pastoral team
- Referral by parents/carers
- Referral by teachers/staff
The service is also open for parents/carers who are concerned about a child to refer. For further information about the counselling service, please contact our School Wellbeing Team or 0207 476 1252
THRIVE (Universal, Targeted and Specialist)
As a school we always hold the emotional and well-being needs of our students at the heart of everything we do and, to support our students even further, we now have a whole-school Thrive Approach.
What is the Thrive Approach?
The Thrive Approach is a dynamic, developmental, trauma–sensitive approach that supports the development of the social and emotional well-being of children and young people.
There are five building blocks that comprise the Thrive Approach:
- The theories behind the approach, including attachment theory and child development theory
- Thrive-Online to support assessment, action planning and monitoring
- Relational skills
- Targeted Thrive activities
The aim of the Thrive Approach is to identify gaps on students’ emotional development and support them with a way to equip them with tools for a secure stress-regulation system that should enable them to settle, to feel safe, to concentrate, to be curious and to be willing to work alongside their peers and work in collaborative ways.
How does the Thrive Approach work?
Thrive Approach helps us understand how we develop socially and emotionally from birth through to adulthood. This model helps us to interpret children’s behaviours, identify their needs and choose the right intervention to meet those needs. Thrive Approach helps us to better understand the student’s needs being signalled by their behaviour.
We also look at the importance of relationships. It doesn’t matter what we are trying to teach, it is always about meaningful relationships where we value the young person, show a genuine interest in who they are and put their well-being at the forefront of anything we are trying to do.
How are students and staff at Gallions supported by the Thrive Approach?
Thrive uses an online assessment tool which creates planned practical strategies, techniques and activities. With the support of a Licensed Thrive Practitioner, Teachers complete a whole-class and individual assessment for each student to identify whose social and emotional age matches their chronological age, those who are functioning at a level slightly below their age, and those who would benefit from additional support.
These assessments enable the Licensed Thrive Practitioner and the Class Teacher to develop an action plan tailored to the stage of development of the students, drawing on hundreds of curriculum strategies and teaching suggestions that will feed into the whole class lessons/planning. Using the online tracking tools, we can chart results and monitor progress.
The action plans are reviewed every other term to see what has worked and what still needs to improve.
We base our relational approach using the VRFs (Vital Relational Functions) and following the PACE attitude (Playful, Accepting, Curious and Empathetic).
What happens in a Thrive session at Gallions?
Thrive sessions may be run on a one-to-one basis, in small groups or whole class, either in the teaching classrooms, the Thrive room or even outdoor spaces. Activities may include:
- arts and crafts
- sensory play
- relaxation techniques
- topic discussion
These planned activities are designed to meet the students’ needs and whilst building positive and trusting relationships can help the students to talk about their emotions and open up discussions.
Not knowing how to deal with stressful situations can lead to sadness, anger, fear, frustration, loneliness, etc. Young people may also present with more challenging or disruptive behaviour, and knowing that behaviour is communication, the Thrive sessions help our young people to manage their reactions to their emotions and help them back on track by providing strategies to help them feel more emotionally secure, which in turn leads to building their confidence in learning at school.
Our school has such a high number of young people who need Thrive-based interventions that we felt it was important to train as many people as possible. By the end of this academic year, Gallions will have 3 Licensed Thrive Practitioners.
Educational Mental Health Practitioner (Targeted and Specialist)
At Gallions, we are supported by an Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) which is overseen by Newham’s Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs). EMHPs deliver evidence-based interventions for mild-to-moderate mental health issues; support the senior mental health lead in each school or college they are assigned to, introduce or develop whole school or college approaches to mental health and well-being, give timely advice to school and college staff, and liaise with external specialist services to help children and young people to get the right support.
Our current EMHP, Abi Das, provides six to eight-week 1-1 interventions for children who need support with anxiety or challenging behaviour. She also works for Newham CAMHS so can provide advice on how to best access the service. As well as providing support to parents/carers in 1:1 sessions, the MHST will work closely with the school to think about how the whole school supports the well-being of students. This could be with group or whole-class work, assemblies, parent/carer coffee mornings, staff support, or staff training. Involving staff, students and parents/carers in this support is important.
If you would like more information about our EMHP offer or more information about what Newham’s Mental Health Support Team can offer you, please contact Billy Allgood.
Gallions is registered with Healthy Schools London(HSL)
Healthy Schools London (HSL) is one of the Mayor of London’s key programmes helping to deliver his Health Inequalities Strategy (www.london.gov.uk/health-strategy).
The strategy looks to tackle health inequalities by focusing on five key areas including Healthy Children – helping every London child to have a healthy start in life by supporting parents and carers, early years settings and schools.
HSL supports and encourages schools to develop and deepen their focus on health and wellbeing which will support the attainment, achievement, health and wellbeing of their pupils, staff and wider school communities.
We are working towards a HSL Bronze Award and we will be working closely with pupils, parents and staff to achieve this.
After lots of amazing work, Gallions is now a Gold STARS accredited school.
Zones of Regulation (Universal, Targeted and Specialist)
At Gallions, we have introduced a whole school approach to teaching and developing emotional literacy by following The Zones of Regulation framework. Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control. We teach carefully scaffolded skills aimed at developing metacognition; building awareness of their feelings; strategies for regulation; prosocial skills; self-care; and overall wellness.
Zones of Regulation teaches regulation by categorising all the different ways we feel using coloured zones. Blue for tiredness, sadness and boredom. Green for happy, ready, calm and proud. Yellow for worried, frustrated, silly or excited. Red for overjoyed, panicked, angry or terrified. Through our teaching, we make it clear that all emotions are acceptable but there are situations where it is beneficial to regulate our emotions in a healthy and socially acceptable way.
We know how important it is that all pupils are able to be supported in developing their emotional literacy. Therefore at the start of each year, we run a series of lessons using the Zones of Regulation framework. All teaching staff use the language of Zones of Regulation which helps create a consistent shared language for all pupils.
Some of our children will require extra support in understanding and developing their emotional literacy. These children are supported using a targetted approach which might be as part of a small, social-skills group; a targetted intervention run by one of our licensed Thrive practitioners or delivered by the class teacher where they notice an extra need.
For a few of our children or our neuro-diverse children, we may need to provide additional specialist support in delivering extra Zones of Regulation or emotional literacy teaching. This is often advised as part of a Speech and Language report; OT report; or other specialist support such as from Newham’s LCIS (Language, Communication and Interaction Service) or CNDS (Complex Needs and Dyslexia Service).
You can find out more about Zones of Regulation on their official website: www.zonesofregulation.com
Referring for Additional Support – Newham Early Help (Targeted and Specialist)
There may be a time when a family need more help due to
With parents’ consent, we can present cases to the EHSC Panel. The EHSC Panel is a fortnightly multi-agency meeting to discuss support for families. The panel is there to ensure that families have access to the right support, from the right service at the right time to prevent escalation in need and entry to statutory services. The panel members consist of Early Help, School, Health, SEND, Parenting, Youth service, CAMHS, Attendance, and Children centres.
If parents are housing issues, there are agencies that can support you with this.