At Sacks Morasha, we believe in providing every pupil with support in all areas of need. If your child has a specific need, be it academic or emotional, we have a team of professionals to support them. If we feel your child needs a more tailored plan or approach, we will put you in touch with the right professional whilst taking advice to support your son or daughter in school. If you would like to hear more about how we can help you and your child further, please get in touch with the SENCo via our Contact page.
In September 2017, our first cohort began participating in our Pyramid Club, run by Norwood. The aims of this club are:
- to help the children to develop friendships and build their confidence;
- to offer fun learning activities for young people who are often excluded by their peers;
- to improve children’s coping skills and emotional resilience;
- to avoid the development of more serious mental health problems in the future;
- to encourage a more positive attitude towards school and learning, thereby helping to raise attainment
There is no single definition of a child who attends the Pyramid Club. The reason they have been offered a place at a club is that their teacher has noticed that they may not always appear comfortable in a big group – perhaps they get a bit lost in a busy classroom, or they may be new to the school or going through a difficult patch for some reason. The aim of the club is to give them some breathing space, let them build up their confidence in a smaller group, and then, hopefully, feel better about themselves in the classroom and outside of school.
Heads Up Kids is a social and emotional wellbeing programme commissioned by Norwood. It is an eight-week group work programme that is run in the class, by the class teacher. The programme seeks to give children an opportunity:
- to think about their feelings and how they feel about themselves;
- to explore their friendships and consider how they interact and communicate with others;
- to enhance their social skills;
- to build emotional resiliency in the classroom and playground;
- to boost their confidence and self-esteem;
- to help them work collaboratively;
- to help them develop problem-solving skills.
Following the eight-week programme the teacher will then facilitate Heads Up Kids’ circle time sessions for the remainder of the academic year in order to consolidate this learning.
Talking Mental Health (Anna Freud)
In January 2018 we first led sessions with the children in KS2 entitled ‘Talking Mental Health’. These were based on materials created by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The aims of the session were to know:
- what language we can use to talk about mental health and wellbeing;
- who are our trusted adults are and how to ask them for help and support;
- the difference between small feelings and big feelings;
- how to be a good listener.
Overall we hope the children know the difference between small and big feelings, and how to handle them. Our parents have said:
- “Thank you so much. Such an important session, I am so grateful for this to be addressed during Year X.”
- “Dear Morasha staff – May I take this opportunity to thank you all for this amazing and vitally important session on mental health. PG today’s children and the next generation will be kind, tolerant, understanding and proactive in regard to such an important part of so many people’s lives.”
- “Many thanks for the email – and great that you have run this session for the children. We look forward to talking it through with XXXX later.”
- “Excellent! Mental health issues are always so low down on the agenda, so I thank you for addressing them with the children.”
We are continuing with this programme and sessions are planned for all classes in KS2 in 2020.
Children's Mental Health Week (11th-15th February 2019)
As part of Children’s Mental Health Week we learned all about how to keep our mind and body healthy. We discussed how you must look after yourself both on the inside and outside. KS1 focused on the body and KS2 focused on the mind.
We ran workshops on SMART Tech, for Year 5 and 6 with pupils from Immanuel College. We also invited parents from these year groups for coffee and a SMART Tech presentation.
The highlight of the week was the Intra School Tournament where all pupils in KS2 competed in team games under a blue sky and radiant sunshine. Ks1 had fun doing art activities and team games in school.
Watch out for Children’s mental health week 2020- ‘FIND YOUR BRAVE’.
3D Dimensions (PSHE)
Our 3D Dimensions scheme of work develops fully-rounded children who are healthy, sociable and emotionally literate. It covers key concepts and skills to support pupils’ SMSC (moral, social and cultural) education, focusing on Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. Naturally, British Values are at the heart of 3D Dimensions and we will also use it to discuss Extremism and Radicalisation with pupils. 3D Dimensions prepares children for life in modern Britain today. It also helps pupils develop and apply skills and attitudes to allow them to become full and active citizens in our wider global community.
Pastoral Health and Wellbeing Room
By Simon Rocker, The JC
Sacks Morasha Primary has dedicated a new wellbeing room in order to improve the pastoral care of children.
When an office at the North Finchley school became vacant, it leapt at the chance to create the new facility.
While the school maintains high aspirations for its Jewish and secular education, “we also want to be focused on the wellbeing of children and staff” said Deputy Head Teacher Justin Kett.
We want a special space where we can have types of conversation that it can be difficult to have in an office, or in a corridor, or even a classroom.
“It needs to be a safe space, a comfortable space, conducive for sensitive one-to-one conversations with children, or parents, or staff.
Twice a week the school runs a lunchtime club in the wellbeing room, once for years three and four, the other for years five and six. Children can come simply to play games if they prefer it to the usual break space; or they may have something on their mind to discuss.
One of the wellbeing team, Mr Kett, Headteacher Hayley Gross or teacher Rivka Broza, will be on station there.
When it comes to receiving attention, “it is the squeaky wheels that get oiled first,” he said. “For example, children who are struggling in class, or who are gifted, or who are particularly confident, they are the children who get noticed first.”
But there are others who are more reticent about coming forward with an issue. “We want to make sure that children who are less confident or able to speak out are able to discuss what is troubling them,” he said.
Another initiative that has helped children has been to get parents to agree not to give them smartphones until the end of their school career, in the last few weeks of the end of year six. It was introduced last year and is being repeated now.
“We saw the improvements in class as a whole,” he said. “Parents have been understanding and supportive.”