Students flourish, learn and fulfil their academic potential in a safe and happy environment. At St Helena we prioritise the wellbeing of our students.
We firmly believe that we have a collective responsibility and moral obligation to look after each other. A highly skilled team is on hand to support every child, and indeed, the whole family in times of challenge and crisis. We support students to overcome adversity and develop the strength they need to become happy, resilient and independent.
In addition to our provision, we work collectively with a broad range of organisations and charities. This hybrid approach ensures we support all our students and have adaptability to enhance our provision in this ever-changing world.
Our partnership with Child our students access on-site counselling and speech and language therapy. Families can source additional support through an experienced Parent Support Worker.
We work closely with the School Chaplaincy service whose highly skilled youth workers offer young people a listening ear and support when needed.
We work with Essex Young Carers to identify and target support for our young carers where it is needed. In recognition of our support of young carers, St Helena received the Young Carers in Schools Bronze Award.
A Nurture Dog, from Pets as Therapy, comes into school to spend time with selected students.
We continually strive to be a school where all students feel nurtured. Anti-bullying ambassadors help to shape our Anti-bullying policy and the strategies we use to identify, tackle and prevent bullying. An LGBT+ Forum group helps highlight the need for tolerance and inclusivity.
Outside of School:
We also work closely with a number of external agencies and can refer students directly to them.
These agencies include:
- Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service
- The Children’s Society
- Essex Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service
- Our Local community police officer
- OutHouse East and many others.
To support families experiencing additional challenges, we have links with GO4 Community Cafe (emergency food Parcels) and Colchester Food Bank (vouchers) as well as the Essex Free Uniform Exchange.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Provision
Support to students with learning difficulties and their families is provided by our highly experienced Learning Support team. Individually tailored programmes are put in place for students with Educational Healthcare Plans. These range from structured literacy and numeracy support, to reading recovery and mentoring sessions.
Staff across the school are committed to promoting inclusion and independent learning alongside classroom support. Students’ learning difficulties are identified through close liaison with primary schools, through testing by departmental staff and by outside professionals. SEND plans are produced, up-dated and managed by departmental staff and close contact is maintained with parents.
Our site is accessible for students with physical impairments. Lifts provide access to both of our first-floor facilities and a range of support is available for students with sensory impairments. We also ensure that the curriculum is accessible for all students.
For further information about support for SEND students see the St Helena School SEND Information Report.
English as an Additional Language Provision
Before the student arrives:
Year Leader and Core Subject Team Leaders assign the student to a supportive tutor group and place in the highest set available.
Form Tutor identifies buddies who can support the new student during lessons and break-times. They may discuss with the tutor group practical ways in which the new student can be made to feel welcome.
Year Leader and admissions find out relevant contact details to establish a link between the school and the student’s parents/carers. This may involve identifying someone who can support parents/carers with limited skills in English.
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and English as an Additional Language Learning Support Assistant circulate relevant information to subject teachers and members of staff who may be involved in organising and providing additional support before the student starts.
On arrival, the EAL student completes the following assessments:
- Reading tasks
- Writing tasks
- Mathematics tasks
- EAL questionnaire
Guidance is provided for tutors and subject teachers. The Bell Foundation EAL Assessment Framework for Schools is used to assess and support EAL students to make accelerated progress. There are specific levels of support depending on the language acquisition of the student. The framework is also used to monitor and record progress. Student progress and EAL interventions are reviewed half-termly.