The Alton works with Place2Be, a national charity which provides services to children who need emotional support. There is a special Place2Be room in the school where children can go to express and think about their worries, through talking, creative work and play, supported by a specially trained adult. This helps children to find new ways of coping with difficulties so they don’t get in the way of friendships or learning.
“Oh she has definitely changed…in the way she feels about her school life, her home life, and just the way she is in herself – she is a lot happier” – Parent
"Place2Be helps you feel less angry, make friends, get more confident, sort out your problems, make you feel special, make everything better." – Year 5 pupil
What difference does Place2Be make?
Place2Be is a national charity working in over 257 UK schools to improve the confidence and emotional wellbeing of children. We help children to develop resilience by supporting them when they are experiencing challenging life issues and helping them to develop self-confidence and lifelong coping skills. When they are supported in this way, they are able to learn more easily and that means less worry for parents.
How we help children
All pupils can find help with friendship issues and other worries by choosing to visit Place2Talk. These short lunchtime sessions are open to individuals and to groups.
Place2Be also works with children one-to-one and in small groups, offering regular time-tabled support for those who will benefit most. The school will often refer children for this service.
How we help families
We routinely meet with parents to discuss any concerns they may have about their children. Place2Be also run A Place for Parents, offering adults counselling support for any issues they may have.
How we help schools
Place2Be also supports teachers and school staff members to think through the emotional needs of children and advises and supports the school leadership which helps the whole school to thrive.
Times when we’re especially useful
There are times when children feel particularly sad, confused, fearful or angry, due to, for example, family challenges such as separation or illness, or even the death of a much-loved pet. Some children may become withdrawn; others may become demanding or challenging in their behaviour: that’s when having Place2Be in school is especially helpful.
Place2Talk – Self-referral service: This is a lunchtime service for all children. Children self-refer by posting a slip in the P2B post box. 15 minute sessions are arranged with the School Project Manager (SPM) for individuals or groups of children
Place2Think – for teaching staff: Support for teachers and school staff to discuss any issues relating to children or referrals. Timetabled sessions or drop-in times as required.
Place for Parents: Support for parents/carers. Referrals made through the School Project Manager are passed to a Parent Counsellor. 8 weekly sessions initially, but can be extended to up to a year. Sessions are usually held at the school.
PLACE2BE – CHILDREN:
Individual Sessions: 1 to 1 sessions for individual children, by referral only, for an hour a week. Referrals can be made by staff, parents or the children themselves. Duration = 1 to 3 terms. Children are collected and returned to class by Volunteer Counsellors (VCs). Written consent is required by parents and child before sessions start.
Assessment / information is collected at the start and end of the therapy by using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQs).
Confidentiality: General themes relating to the child's progress can be discussed with the SPM. However, specific details of the child's work within the room is confidential unless the counsellor has concerns about the child’s safety or the safety of anyone else around them. In this case, they will discuss this with the Place2Be School Project Manager who will then liaise with the appropriate school staff member.
Groups: Groups of up to 8 children on themes as discussed and agreed with the School Management Team (e.g. transition, bullying, self-esteem). Usually held in the Spring/Summer terms.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR PLACE2BE?
Any child requiring emotional support for any reason.
Any questions? You are welcome to talk to your Place2Be School Project Manager; either face-to-face or via telephone or email. At the Alton School, our School Project Manager is Melanie Hallows, who works on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
You can contact her via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Place2Be, please visit our website: www.place2be.org.uk