Trauma-informed practice. Where do I start?

The short answer to this is with Dr. Bruce Perry’s reversed triangle diagram of the brain, the implications of which need to be understood by all staff, if schools are to meet the greatest challenge of the day: securing the wellbeing of our children. Perry summarises the model in ‘The Boy who was Raised asContinue reading “Trauma-informed practice. Where do I start?”

Opening the can of worms & fear of trauma informed practice

To open a can of worms is to attempt to solve a problem only to inadvertently complicate it and create even more trouble. The metaphor refers to fishing – the tendency of live bait to wriggle loose from any open container, creating a messy issue for the angler. The idiom is used to describe uncontrollableContinue reading “Opening the can of worms & fear of trauma informed practice”

Settling back to learning in September – how leaders can create the conditions

Many teachers will be feeling apprehensive about their ability to settle classes in September; fretful dreams about losing control will be disturbing sleep, amplified this year because of the unchartered waters that lie ahead. For all of leaders’ planning, and their re-planning following eleventh hour DfE guidance, September is a step into the unknown forContinue reading “Settling back to learning in September – how leaders can create the conditions”

Punished for being remarkable – A level results, 2020

“It wasn’t too bad Miss!” That’s the kind of feedback we want from our A level students after a terminal exam. It’s a sign they’ve fulfilled their potential, the breadth and depth of which we know intimately by now. Mercifully, it’s also what we hear most of the time, or words to that effect, becauseContinue reading “Punished for being remarkable – A level results, 2020”

Preventing anxiety-based school refusal: a guide to working with children and families

Contents Foreword What is school-based anxiety? The purpose of this advice Identifying the cohort at risk Guidance for pastoral leads Guidance for parents/carers Guidance for children and young people Foreword This guidance draws heavily on comprehensive advice from Babcock EP service which you can read in full here. It doesn’t attempt to cover in any explicitContinue reading “Preventing anxiety-based school refusal: a guide to working with children and families”

Meeting the challenge of school refusal, post lockdown

School leaders will already be thinking about pupils who may struggle to return, post lockdown, or whose attendance will be a concern. Within some very good guidance to improve school attendance, Milton Keynes psychology service identify common triggers for school refusal as follows: Transition between primary and secondary education Loss or bereavement within the family AContinue reading “Meeting the challenge of school refusal, post lockdown”

If #BlackLivesMatter, we have to stop the discriminatory use of exclusion

More years ago than I care to remember, I was sitting on the warm, freshly cut grass of a school playing field watching the kids playing football when a colleague joined me.  “Are you on duty?” “Yes” (thinking that perhaps I should be standing up) “Have you noticed the new lad – *Phillip?” “No –Continue reading “If #BlackLivesMatter, we have to stop the discriminatory use of exclusion”

Making the most of the adolescent brain to create safe school communities

I scandalised book club recently by confessing that I walked the wrong away around the ASDA one way system. In my defence, this wasn’t an act of deliberate defiance so much as a reflection of my lack of visual awareness; there were arrows, yes, but no obvious movement of people one way as the storeContinue reading “Making the most of the adolescent brain to create safe school communities”

Five ways to help children heal when schools reopen

We may not yet know when schools will reopen for all, but one thing is certain; they will need to be therapeutic. We are living a financial catastrophe; a public health emergency; a mass community trauma. And trauma always falls hardest on still-developing children. The notion that they are naturally resilient is supported by none ofContinue reading “Five ways to help children heal when schools reopen”

An assembly about behaviour and fairness #trauma-informed

Why an assembly on behaviour, fairness and trauma? Lincolnshire is one of a growing number of LAs promoting trauma-informed practice in schools, and leaders – some already well well ahead on this agenda – are extremely receptive to the conversation. However, a concern that is often articulated relates to ‘consistency’. How can we be both trauma-informed and consistent?Continue reading “An assembly about behaviour and fairness #trauma-informed”