Practical support for identifying and meeting need

Expectations of schools – the graduated response

Universal – support for all children and young people

Learning environment

  • A key adult within settings to build a positive relationship and provide daily contact/check-in and weekly mentoring
  • Meaningful reward systems involving regular monitoring and support
  • Adult support with recognising emotions behind the behaviours, for example ‘wondering out loud’ or using emotion coaching >
  • Provide a quiet, calm area that supports emotional regulation, with adult support to problem solve and repair and restore
  • Visual supports to help name and identify emotion, with frequent verbal reassurance and positive feedback
  • Preparation for any changes are made clear with key adults being consistent, with time for processing and understanding
  • All staff are made aware of students SEMH needs that may affect their wellbeing and behaviour, securing evidence of adaption to support

Access to the curriculum

  • Quality first teaching is planned and communicated so children are aware of what to expect
  • Use of varied group and personalised learning to maintain connection with individuals throughout learning to ensure understanding
  • Differentiation across the curriculum, with supporting materials to increase engagement and build success
  • Modify level, pace, amount of teacher talk
  • Curriculum is varied in content and includes play, mindfulness, physical regulation and PSHE
  • Consistent class rewards and boundaries, routine, language and approach

Targeted – additional support for children and young people with an identified need

Learning environment

  • Regular emotional ‘check ins’ and reassurance from key adults across the school day
  • Daily/regular access to staff in school with experience of SEMH and a commitment to building a positive relationship, e.g. mentor, ELSA and lead behaviour practitioner
  • Daily mentoring and age-related play based activities to build positive attachments and relationships
  • Emotionally available adult to co-regulate emotions
  • Access to a safe base to calm and regulate
  • Sensory breaks, brain stem calmers > (PDF) and physical repetitive sensory activities to relax and calm.
  • SENDCo support and discussion on a regular basis to secure evidence of need from all key adults supporting or involved with the child/young person
  • Assessment and investigations for wider learning need that may now be presenting

Access to the curriculum

  • Increased access to a combination of individual, small group and whole class activities based on emotional needs
  • One to one support for new concepts and the reinforcement of classroom routine
  • At least weekly sessions focused on identified and assessed SEMH need with a trained therapeutic adult, e.g. mentor or ELSA
  • Consideration of an alternative (differentiated) curriculum that allows flexibility to teach according to emotional need
  • Fixed sessions for alternative activities which are not reward based but to enable emotional breaks for more enhanced wellbeing
  • Bespoke reward systems for positive engagement, developed language for motivating children around their values and interests
  • Phased or chunked learning with visual ‘Now and Next’, allowing for regulation breaks, mindfulness or calming activities
  • Varied methods for securing progress and evidence of learning for students to engage with a recall visually e.g photos, video logs, art or games

Specialist – additional support for children and young people with an ongoing and significant identified need

Learning environment

  • Increased access to smaller group provision such as nurture or social skills groups.
  • SEMH support in place for unstructured times such as break times and lunch times.
  • Staff to actively engage and share time with children during unstructured times (eg. Physical Regulation, Bonding through play activities)
  • Some opportunities for alternative provision which is time limited but in wider out of class environments (e.g Forest school, outdoor kitchen play)
  • Mentoring/supervision to support wellbeing of staff, establish a network of secure support.
  • Regular updates of education focused SEMH assessments e.g. Boxall, Thrive, SDQ
  • Access to specialist support of external agencies e.g. EPS, Mind, WMIM, SEMH OutReach, CAMHS

Access to the curriculum

  • Child or young person taught a personalised, differentiated curriculum, adapted and reviewed regularly to meet need
  • Child or young person accesses additional SEMH support from emotionally available adult in most lessons
  • SEMH interventions structured around interests, flow activities and guided by assessments to provide structure/progress
  • Daily ‘check ins’ in a calm environment to regulate across the day with an empathetic, emotionally available adult
  • Timetabled SEMH sessions in either small groups or 1:1 including social skills groups
  • Structured opportunities in specific nurturing or sensory environments that can sooth and regulate
  • Focus of support to extend and include secure care giver to the child