Therapeutic and Academic Interventions
There are a range of both therapeutic and academic interventions available to pupils who come to New Leaf. Interventions are based on findings from initial and on-going assessments of pupils' academic and personal development using standardised testing materials such as WRAT5, Boxall Profiling, SDQs and Emotional Literacy measures
An academic intervention is a strategy used to teach a new skill, build fluency in a skill, or encourage a child to apply an existing skill to new situations or settings (Wright, 2012). At New Leaf interventions are targeted support sessions, tailored to support students in order to help them to accelerate their progress and/or to help them with emotional or social support to be more confident and happy at school. Interventions span all year groups and abilities and are usually guided by current data and student progress.
Current statistics show us that 40% of children experience some kind of trauma before the age of 18. For these children learning is not a priority, but getting through a day and surviving is. At New Leaf, we believe there is a need to understand the root cause of what is triggering a child's behaviour. Once we identify and meet the needs of our children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, the learning can really start to happen. A therapeutic intervention is an effort made by individuals to improve the mental well-being of someone else who either is in need of help but refusing it, or is otherwise unable to initiate help.
Drawing and Talking is a therapeutic intervention that “enables a child to express, in a visual form, worries and preoccupations from deep in the mind that they would not be able to talk about”. Drawing and Talking is a 12 week course of therapy that utilise drawing and questioning to enable a child or adult to process a trauma, worry or hurt by coming to a “symbolic resolution” whereby they are able to “heal old hurts”. During a course of therapy, an individual may go through 3 stages of processing:
- Initial stage- reflecting on their feelings towards a trauma or loss
- Conflict stage- acknowledgement of trauma or loss
- Resolution stage- Acceptance of trauma or loss
While traditionally a 12-week course, this may be extended to cater for individuals needs as they go through the three stages at their own pace. However, the goal is always to reach the “resolution stage”.
Attachment refers to the ability to form emotional bonds and empathic, enjoyable relationships with other people, especially close family members. The attachment bond with the primary caregiver, is essential to later attachment. A weak attachment bond can result in both social and emotional developmental disruptions; issues which may have an effect on a child’s ability to form healthy, secure attachments later in life. Children who have experienced complex developmental trauma or attachment inconsistencies frequently exhibit insecurity, behavioural and emotional difficulties. Attachment informed practice typically seeks to repair the traumatised child’s attachment relationships and/or promote attachment security. What we hope our Children will gain from Attachment & Trauma focused Therapy:
- The building of trust with a ‘secure base’ in order to increase self-awareness
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
- Awareness and coping strategies for dealing with trauma
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) curriculum aims to develop the underpinning qualities and skills that help promote positive behaviour and effective learning. It focuses on five social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills. The approach and learning materials help children and young people develop skills such as understanding another’s point of view, working in a group, sticking at things when they get difficult, resolving conflict and managing worries.