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How do you help children who are upset or angry or who can't make friends?

My child has a problem in coping with his temper. What can the school do to support him in managing his emotions and temper?

The school will always want to work with you and your child to find out why there a problem. The way that children are supported will change, depending on the answer to that question.  For example, a child whose parent has left home (due to separation, TDY, illness etc) will need a very different approach from a child who doesn’t like being told, “No!”.

We have TAs who will work with angry or distressed children. However, we will also want to work with you since the child will respond better if behaviour is managed consistently consistent at home and at school.

How do you help children who are worried or anxious?

Our first priority is to talk to you and your child to find out what is causing the anxiety. If it is a group anxiety, eg for SATs, the teacher will work with the whole class. If it is a private anxiety due to something happening in school, the teacher or a TA will try to resolve the issue in school. If the anxiety comes from home, we will work with you to try to support your child.

My child used to be on the SEN register for behaviour. Why is behaviour not an SEND anymore?

Since September 2014, behaviour is no longer counted as an SEN. The recommendation is that we should be looking beyond the behaviour and thinking about why the child is misbehaving:

  • Are they enjoying the attention?
  • Are they covering up a learning difficulty?
  • Are they struggling with expectations of behaviour in school?
  • Are they finding things hard at home, or in the playground?

Without knowing the answer to these questions, the help we can offer you and your child is less effective.

How will children with behaviour difficulties continue to be supported if they are not on the SEND register?

Primary School Teachers are very well aware of all of the children in their class and of the children’s needs. Once they have a better understanding of why a child is mis-behaving, your child’s class teacher will talk to you about what support is being offered and why. A child does not have to be on the SEND register to receive support.

My child finds it hard to make friends. What can you/we do to help?

First, we will watch your child in the playground and classroom for a while to see what the problem is, and also if it appears to be making them anxious: some children are happy to be on their own.

Once we know what the issue is we might talk to lunchtime supervisors to ask them to encourage your child to participate in games, or we might set up a social skills group with other children who are friendly. It depends on the reason for your child being on their own and your child’s age.

What do I do if my child comes home every day in a furious temper, even if she’s been calm at school?

Please tell your child’s teacher so we can try to work out why. Some children are tired by school and only manage to hold it together in school at the expense of their temper after school. If this is the case, letting your child rage for while, then giving them time to calm down will often help. Overtired child tend to get cross easily!

However, there are other possible reasons why your child might be cross, so if you think it is something else, please talk to us. We will believe you.

What should I do if I can’t get my child to come to school?

First, try not to get cross while you try to find out why your child doesn’t want to come: is there something they want to do at home or is something bothering them at school?

Come and talk to someone at school. Depending on the reason for your child’s reluctance to come, we can make suggestions that may help. If you would rather talk to someone who isn’t from school, you could contact the school nursing service. Inevitably, school will need to be involved, but a school nurse may be able to smooth the process.

Please bear in mind, however, that unless they are genuinely ill, your child doesn’t have a choice: the law is that children must be in school and the authorities are becoming increasingly likely to prosecute parents of children who aren’t in school.

It is very unlikely that changing schools will be a solution. It is our experience that children who move school soon encounter the same kinds of difficulties in their new school. It is generally better to work with the child to help them to become problem solvers in their existing school.

Where can I go for help if my child is struggling with homework/home learning?

 

Come and talk to your child’s class teacher. Homework or home learning  should not be a struggle- it is an opportunity for a child to practice what they have learned in school.

Some children will protest that they have never seen the kind of work they have to do or that they don’t know what to do in an attempt to either persuade you to do the homework or for them not to have to do it. You know your child best. If in doubt, please come and talk to the teacher to check though.

What support is available in order to help my child through difficult times – separation and divorce, bereavement, serious/terminal illness, accidents  etc?

It is useful for teachers to know about difficult things at home because young children are hugely affected by their emotions. If we know they are having a hard time at home, we can offer them help in school.

The help that we give the child will depend on their age, their stage and the help they want.  For some children, we need to keep an eye on them; for others we need to offer talking-time or access therapeutic interventions. You can help us to make the best provision for your child by making sure that you keep us up to date about any particular difficulties.

If it looks like the difficulties are going to endure, we may suggest doing a CAF which is an information gathering process which leads to the formation of a Team Around the Child (TAC).  A range of different professionals are involved in TACs, all focused on supporting your child through difficult times.