Pastoral issues

Working together on school attendance

Attendance still isn’t back on track for many schools and new guidance is kicking in this term, putting this issue firmly at the top of the agenda. Suzanne O'Connell asks what school leaders and attendance leads should be focused on this year.


How governors can support whole-school wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing must be at heart of school governance, but how? In an article adapted from her contribution to a new book on effective governance, Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers some pointers and ideas


Effective whole-school mental health interventions

The unprecedented challenges for young people’s mental health constitute a public health crisis and schools find themselves on the front-line. Dr Michelle Jayman considers the barriers and facilitators to effective whole-school mental health interventions



Inclusion: How does your school ‘feel’?

The real sign of greatness is not exam results or other measurable outcomes, but how your school makes people feel, what your values are, and how they are woven into everything you do. Daniel Sobel reflects


Teaching emotional literacy in reception year

The reception year comes in the middle of two key transition points when anxiety and other emotions can threaten to overwhelm some children. Neil Henty discusses the importance of promoting emotional literacy in the reception year





Obesity – what can primary schools do?

Recent figures show a sharp rise in obesity among year 6 pupils. While this is a challenge for all of society, what steps can primary schools take to tackle childhood obesity? Tiffnie Harris advises





Statutory RSE – a role for all teaching staff

Statutory RSE is not just a list of topics to tick off a list, it should be relevant to children’s everyday lives and reach across the curriculum. Indeed, in many ways, all teachers are teachers of RSE. Lucy Emmerson explains


Welcoming the refugees seeking sanctuary from war

Every month there are pupils arriving in our schools from abroad as refugees and the Russian war in Ukraine means this issue is at the forefront of our minds. Suzanne O’Connell considers how schools can support newly arrived pupils, and how they might prepare and plan for longer-term integration


Safeguarding: Getting the basics right – every time

The basics of safeguarding revolve around identifying children at risk of harm and we can never take this work for granted. Elizabeth Rose recaps the four main types of abuse, the principles of effective staff training, and the basics of keeping children safe from serious harm



Inclusion is a verb: Belonging and schools

Inclusion boils down to belonging, but how can we ensure that children from a diverse range of backgrounds and with diverse needs feel that they belong in their schools and classrooms? Daniel Sobel offers some tips, reflections – and a checklist!


How would you respond? Playground fall-outs

Continuing her regular articles on responding therapeutically to common behaviour scenarios in primary schools, Shahana Knight looks at how we might respond when groups of children fall-out in the playground



How can we support pupils who have Long Covid?

How does Long Covid affect children and young people in the classroom and what can teaching staff do to help them? In the second of two articles on the impact of Long Covid on the young, Dr Sue Peters offers some practical advice



Emotionally based school avoidance: Five tips

Some pupils find it difficult to come to school and there are reports that emotionally based school avoidance has become an even bigger issue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this article, Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers five steps to re-engage with pupils who struggle to attend school


Safeguarding: What does a culture of safety look like?

Safer working practice in schools is crucial to establishing safe cultures and ensuring effective safeguarding. In this article, Elizabeth Rose explains how schools can minimise opportunity for harm perpetrated by those working with children


How do we talk about Ukraine? Engaging with young people over the war

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and the international crisis grows, students will be filled with questions and concerns. Just how should school staff approach these challenging conversations? Dr Stephanie Thornton looks at the likely impact of the war on young people and what we can ...

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