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My name is Vanessa and I am the Home School Link Manager at Marnel Junior School. I have been in this role since 2015. I look forward to meeting those of you I've not yet worked with.
I understand that school and family life are not always completely separate. I am here as a link between home and school. If you ever have something on your mind and are looking for some advice, help or just a listening ear then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Family includes everyone so all pupils at the school are also welcome to come and see me; even if just for a chat.
I am available in school Monday, Tuesday and Fridays 9.20-14.20 and Wednesday and Thursdays from 9.20am -16:20pm.
How can you contact me?
What services are offered?
When else might our paths cross?
I work closely with the whole school so we may see each other at:
Who can access the Family Support service?
Your child's emotional wellbeing is incredibly important to us. With statistics being released stating that 3 children or more in ever class room could have mental health problems we are putting multiple strategies into place to identify and support our pupils with their emotional wellbeing.
Empowering and educating children to look after themselves both physically and mentally is part of our school ethos. It is embedded in our curriculum through the use of the Jigsaw scheme. Staff at the school have regular training on how best to support your child's emotional wellbeing. If they need more than what is offered in the class room then we have a variety of interventions in place to support their needs. This could be RELAX Kids, Social and Emotional Groups, Lego Therapy, 1:1 sessions or ELSA. Please don't hesitate to contact your child's class teacher if you are worried about your child or want to find out more about what is being offered in school.
To help monitor your child's wellbeing we use an assessment tool called Motional, this is currently being used on an individual basis but one of our targets for this year is that all children are having regular Motional assessments. We assess the children using the Motional framework and then allocate social and emotional interventions accordingly. It may be that your child needs a few one of sessions or something more long term, either are possible. To find out more about Motional please see the link below.
Sometimes children need a little more support than what can be offered in school. If this is the case we will get in touch with you to discuss the possibilities of referring to external agencies for support. There are lots of great agencies, both locally and nationally that can support you and your child if you are concerned about their mental health. We will always aim to guide you through these services and what they have to offer, assisting with form filling and making referrals where needed.
One of the most heard of organisations is Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). They have some resources and information available for parents and carers on their website and full referrals can be made by school where needed.
In August 2018 our Family Support Worker, Vanessa Dore took part in training to become a RELAX Kids coach. This has enabled us to run RELAX Kids course continually throughout the school year. These have been done in groups, 1-2-1's and with parents.
RELAX Kids uses research-based mindful and relaxation techniques alongside values and positive psychology (positivity, strength building, gratitude, resilience and compassion) to help support children's emotional health and wellbeing. It is great for confidence building, concentration, self-esteem and emotional regulation and resilience.
Your teacher, Vanessa or Mrs Simmonds may get in contact with you and suggest that a 6 week programme may be beneficial to your child. But like wise of you feel your child would benefit from some group or individual work or you would like some tips or technique to try at home please get in touch.
Check out the RELAX Kids website for more information, tools and products:
Due to the current COVID restrictions there will not be any School Health support clinics running this term. This does not mean you can't access School Health services. School Health can support you and your family with a variety of things including; fussy eating, healthy diets, personal hygiene, puberty and hormonal changes, toileting, sleep and mental health. You can access their services by using the Southern Health ChatHealth service by texting across your concerns. Please see the poster or link below for more details.
Alternatively please speak to your child's class teacher or Vanessa Dore our Home School Link Manager for more details on a full referral into Southern Health.
A Young Carers Group has been previously run in school during a lunch time once a week. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions this group is currently not running in school; we hope to have this back up and running as soon as restrictions are lifted. The group is open to all ages and is for children who are carrying out a caring role at home and or have a sibling or someone in their immediate family with additional needs. They take part in a variety of activities including craft, cooking, mindfulness, games and relaxation. The children love to be around each other and have the chance to talk to a member of staff if needed. The children do not have to talk about being a Young Carer or share this with the rest of the group. The whole purpose of coming to Young Carers is to have fun, relax and feel supported. If you think your child is a Young Carer and would like them to attend the group in the future, then please let Vanessa or their class teacher know. If your child is currently has previously attended Young Carers Group in school and you would like to discuss more support, please get in touch with Vanessa by contacting the school office. For more information on Young Carers please have a look at the following websites or come in for a chat!