“We can always chatter about things that matter”
Who is The Hut for?
- For ALL pupils at St. Bernadette school.
- At St. Bernadette school The Hut is used mainly for children who need support with their social skills and friendship issues. These difficulties spill over into the classroom and distract the children from their work.
- The Hut supports the SEAL project.
Examples of the different types of problems:
- Friendship issues
- Low self esteem
- Separation / Divorce
- Anger management ideas
- Raising self esteem
- Do not use the term “best” friends ( creates claustrophobic relationships)
- Role play
- Ideas of words / phrases to use
What difference has The Hut made?
- Teachers comment that the children return to the class more confident and able to work effectively.
- Less conflict in the play ground. More positive relationships between children who are not good friends.
- The Hut is a valuable resource that everyone is aware of.
- Children who don’t need to use the Hut know that it is there and that they can use it if they need to.
- Children leave The Hut calmer / happier and return to class ready to continue.
Learning Mentors can be re-active ~
- Dealing with difficulties as they arise.
Learning Mentors can be pro-active ~
- Invite children in for a chat before an issue becomes a problem.
- Deal with anxious children, tearful or upset children.
- Create an atmosphere of trust and security.
Learning Mentors are also aware of the good things that are happening in the children’s lives. Children often return to The Hut to say how the suggestions have worked and helped them or if they need follow up support.
The Hut is a private place for the children to come and talk about their concerns etc, and it is not confidential. Learning Mentors keep detailed records of each child’s visit and if anything is a concern / worry to them they notify the Head teacher at once. The children are always encouraged to talk to their parents/ carers about their visit to The Hut.
The Hut has become a success story for St. Bernadette School. Their catch phrase is
“We can always chatter about things that matter” and this has ensured that pupils are confident that there is an adult who will listen to them and that they will have the time to work out strategies to their problems or concerns. Removing barriers to learning is a key focus for the school and this, alongside the SEAL project, enables the pupils and gives them a voice and a way to make positive changes to their immediate life in school and give them strategies that they will take forward and use for the rest of their life.
Miss Karen Smith manages the role of Learning Mentor at St. Bernadette School.