Firs Primary School places a high emphasis on pupil’s social and emotional well-being. One of the strengths of the school is the ability to be able to nurture, support and provide pastoral support for our pupils and families. (Our Firsy Family.)
The Orchard sits at the heart of the school and is the pastoral centre for the pupils and parents. The organization of the Orchard is the responsibility of the Learning Mentor.
Meeting the needs of the pupils:
The Orchard provides a safe place where children can come if they have a worry or a concern. They can talk to an adult, play games with their peers or talk things through with other children. It is open throughout the day. Children can come in at break and lunchtimes to eat, resolve their problems, have some safe space or just take 5 minutes.
As well as being a ‘chill out’ room for the children, The Orchard provides an environment where Lego Therapy, Inner Journey, Peer Support, Restorative Justice, Family Learning, Junior and Infant lunchtime clubs and specific social and emotional interventions take place. Children are provided with group and individual support to encourage them to express their feelings in a controlled, yet supportive environment.
Children can access spare clothing from The Orchard. We lend children uniform, coats and shoes, PE kits and swimming kits in a bid to support the children to feel part of the school community and feel included.
Meeting the needs of the families:
The Orchard and Learning Mentor provide and facilitate much needed support for our families too. They play a significant role in our ‘Parental Engagement’ strategy.
Our families are able to meet to discuss any concerns they have, access language classes to improve their English, engage in Family Learning and be supported to complete forms or raise questions they may have. The Learning Mentor will also attend medical appointments with our families if required to do so.
The Orchard is also accessed by ‘The New Communities Team’ to complete inductions for our new and vulnerable families.