Growth and Development of Interventions
Interventions at the Rowans
Poor mental health undermines educational attainment. Surveys suggest that disproportionately large numbers of pupils with conduct and emotional disorders fall behind in their overall educational attainment, missing school and/or being excluded.(Green, McGinnity, Meltzer, Ford and Goodman 2005)
Emotional well-being must be a larger part of any learning, and by association, the educational agenda … Schools may be the optimum sites for buffering the impact of stress and, building resilience and enhancing individual capacities for learning. (Nagel 2009)
Good leadership is essential to closing the attainment gap, high quality teaching is also crucial. Pupil Premium should be spent on reducing the attainment gap, the funding is not ring-fenced in schools and there is no official requirement to spend it on any particular activity. Schools have autonomy to choose how to spend funding…..but they will be held to account for their choices. (Funding for disadvantaged pupils, DfE 2015)
Reading intervention was introduced at the Rowans in September 2012. Initially there was a lot of resistance from staff and reluctance to release pupils for intervention. The Head of English was instrumental in promoting reading and modelling the intervention. With hard work and perseverance intervention has grown at The Rowans and has gone from strength to strength. It is now recognised by all as being very important in terms of both academic and social, emotional welfare and support.
In September 2013 an interventions TA was employed, and this allowed interventions to grow from just reading into literacy, numeracy and exam preparation, this was very successful and helped year 11 to achieve better GCSE grades in English and Maths. The importance of intervention was acknowledged and accepted by the wider staff and the impact across the curriculum was therefore more measurable.
In September 2014 the intervention team grew further with the appointment of a further TA and the redeployment of a 1:1 teacher. The head of maths and the SENCO also became part of the team, allowing it to further develop its skill set. Music intervention became part of the interventions offer.
In September 2015 the Deputy Head, Fiona May, took over responsibility for the interventions team, and it further grew with the addition of cooking, life skills, art therapy, Take Ten and Lego therapy. Interventions expanded from academic interventions to incorporate therapeutic interventions, thus offering a holistic approach and one which met the individual needs of the pupils. The interventions team for the first time supported pupils and parents with wide and varied issues, from supporting at medical appointments to helping with housing issues and leading CAF/TAF meetings. Interventions also included 1:1 teaching where necessary until full re-integration was possible. For the first time interventions also targeted the more-able, being able to offer further challenge-this happened for 2 pupils (one year 8 and one year 9) in maths. Communication with parents/carers was improved with letters being sent home at the start of each intervention explaining which intervention their child was having and the importance of the intervention.
2016 saw the introduction of a range of SPAG interventions as well as gardening becoming higher profile alongside the development of the garden area. 3 members of the interventions team attended training to enable the school to issue Medway foodbank vouchers. Mrs Jones also began a fortnightly coffee afternoon for parents and carers to come and share experiences and seek advice. EAL became a high priority with daily input for targeted pupils. Public Health England produced a toolkit for ‘measuring and monitoring children and young people’s mental wellbeing’. This was used by the interventions team to decide on the most appropriate measure for therapeutic interventions.
The importance of the physical and emotional wellbeing of the pupils continued to be a priority and support offered to both pupils and parents/ carers. The interventions team is supported by all staff, with the first point of call often being the form tutor or form TA.
- Review the effectiveness of the Warwick-Edinburgh Well-Being Scale in assessing the appropriateness and effectiveness of the therapeutic interventions
- Agree outcomes for the intervention with pupils so all are clear of the aims and the length of the intervention
- Allow pupils to self-refer for interventions
- EAL training for key interventions staff, followed by dissemination to the whole staff
- Introduce circle time at KS3 – once a week
- Included counselling/CBT as part of the interventions offer
- Comprehensively record any external intervention such as bereavement counselling
- Make interventions outcomes part of whole school progress data - Progress 5