Best Practice

Vulnerable pupils: Creating safe spaces in the school environment

A growing concern for vulnerable pupils has led to the creation of safe spaces, or sanctuaries, at Ripley Infant School as well as a focus on Attachment Theory. Paula Doleman and Kathie Skermer explain

You know it is going to be “one of those days” when a pair of shoes is delivered to the office door at 9:05am swiftly followed by a red card and the sound of a highly distressed child.

This is not an unusual scenario when there are children with unmet Attachment needs who have “flipped their lid” and are not able to self-regulate their emotions or even express their feelings in what would be considered a socially accepted way.

The red card is part of our time-out system and the shoes – well they were both a metaphorical and literal sign that things had “kicked off” with the child and that support was needed.

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