Trauma Informed Practice
Here at Stopsley we are very proud that we are a trauma informed workforce, which means we are passionate about improving learning, mental health and quality of life for children.
Rising numbers of children are presenting with mental health difficulties in schools. Many children have a high ACE score (meaning multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences) known to leave children at risk of mental and physical ill-health later in life (The ACE study Felitti and Anda, a study involving over 17,000 people).
A trauma informed school is one that is able to support children who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose troubled behaviour acts as a barrier to learning. Trauma informed practice & training was born out of a response to major public health studies that have shown that when children who have suffered several painful life experiences, (ACES) are un-helped with these, there is a very high chance of them going on to suffer severe mental and physical ill-health.
Our commitment to being a trauma informed workforce, working towards being a trauma informed accredited school means that we are committed to:
- Providing vulnerable children with daily access to at least one named, emotionally-available adult, who believes in them, relates to them with compassion, empathy and unconditional positive provides appropriate limit setting, understands their attachment and mental health needs, knows their life story, and offers repeated enriched relational, regulatory and reflective opportunities.
- Catching children as they are ‘falling’ not after they have fallen. When the child is experiencing a painful life event, the emotionally-available adult/s will help them process, work through and make sense of what has happened, rather than waiting until the pain of the trauma has transformed into challenging behaviour and/or physical and mental health problems.
- The implementation of a Relationship Policy (click here to see ) for all staff to ensure they interact with children at all times with kindness and compassion. This includes no shouting, put-downs, criticisms, and shaming. The Policy extends to training staff in the art of good listening, understanding and finding the words to convey accurate empathy.
- A commitment to relating to children in a school or other setting in ways that help them feel calm, soothed and safe, instead of overstimulated, bombarded and anxious. This means protecting them from toxic stress inducing situations.
- Staff and adults interacting with all children in such a way that they feel valued as individuals throughout their day
- Staff and adults adjusting their expectations of vulnerable children to correspond with their developmental capabilities and experience of traumatic stress.
- Training staff in key conversational skills to enable children to address negative self-referencing and to help them move from ‘behaving’ their trauma/painful life experiences, to reflecting and developing coherent life narratives.
Our Safeguarding, Trauma, Pastoral and Wellbeing Leader, Ms Mann, is a TISUK (Trauma Informed Schools UK) qualified trauma and mental health school’s practitioner and leads on supporting children with trauma informed approaches. All staff have been trained by Ms Mann & TISUK in how to respond to a child’s need in a trauma informed way, and this support work is further enhanced by our Pastoral TA Mrs Allen.