Menu
Home Page

Pastoral Care and Mental Health

 

We encourage our children to see themselves as belonging to Holy Cross School and having a responsibility towards each other. In order to promote this, we offer children opportunities to become house captains, members of the School Council and buddy mentors.

 

On this page you will find a variety of services that offer support locally, nationally and online.

As a school we take mental health and wellbeing very seriously and we are leading the way in highlighting this area.  Mrs Westrop is leading our Mental Health Provision - if you have any concerns please contact her.

 

The school is a community in which behaviour is based on mutual respect and consideration for others. The class teacher, who knows each child well, is responsible for the care of children in his or her class, building on the good standards set in the home.

 

The values, standards and attitudes of the school community are made clear to the children by example and discussion, so that they are absorbed by them and made their own. Rules exist governing behaviour within the school and are designed to promote a safe and secure environment for all. Discipline is viewed from a Christian perspective with an emphasis on trying to help children understand their social responsibilities. Self discipline is encouraged and children are taught to respect and value themselves as well as others.

 

Usually, children are reprimanded when they disobey rules or instructions and are invited to apologise or redress in a practical way, the wrong done. Particular problems are referred to the Assistant Head Teacher or Head Teacher. Should a child display persistent, challenging behaviour, consultation is arranged between teacher and parents so that the matter can be discussed. The Education Authority permits, in cases of serious, persistent indiscipline, exclusion from the school.

 

We are naturally concerned with the general well-being of all our children. Everyone working at Holy Cross is encouraged to see themselves as part of the community. Effort is made to care for each individual child by all members of that community.

 

Once at school, children are not allowed to leave the premises unless special permission has been given. If your child is unable to attend or needs to leave early during school hours, the Head Teacher must always be informed of the reason by letter or telephone.

 

We encourage our children to see themselves as belonging to Holy Cross School and having a responsibility towards each other. In order to promote this, we offer children opportunities to become house captains, members of the School Council and buddy mentors.

School Counsellor

We have a school counsellor, Mrs Kerrie Hammat, from bccs-Brentwood Catholic Children's Society- who works with us 2 half days per week and who is available to work 1:1 with those pupils and families who need it.

Brentwood Catholic Children's Society

 

bccs is an established and reputable children's charity delivering vital mental health and emotional wellbeing services in schools across Essex and East London.

Our diverse school team is made up of both Counsellors and Social Workers who provide support services for over 1,600 new children each year and at any one time, will be caring for around 3,500 children. These children may be experiencing all manner of hardship - from bullying, abuse, bereavement and anxiety, to compulsive and eating disorders, low self-esteem, self-harm and exam stress.

bccs employs only qualified and dedicated Counsellors and Social Workers to care for these children, which enables us to support almost any problem that might arise without delay. We work in partnership with over 100 schools and provide our service on site at school. Our unique approach is to intervene as soon as problems are identified and work with the child and their family for as long as it takes to put things right.

As an extension to our services, we also provide therapeutic support to children, young people and families in our dedicated counselling suites in our premises in Rayleigh, Essex.

bccs also offers expert training to teaching staff and specialist support to parents for developing skills to enhance the wellbeing of children and young people.

Dot Com Children's Foundation

 

Dot Com is the friend that is always there for children to listen to their problems and worries and she always tries to do the right thing no matter how hard it is.

Through her internet adventures in an amazing fantasy world online she shows children that courage is not the absence of fear, but doing the right thing no matter how scared you feel.

Dot has red hair and glasses and is not really worried about the way she looks or what she wears, she cares about the way she is as a person. She looks at other people for who they are inside not what she sees on the outside.

Love, kindness, happiness, peace and determination are her core values and through her stories and adventures she shows children how she tries to stick to these values no matter what problems come her way.

Dot tries never to hate and always tries to find a way to love everyone even if their behaviour is difficult to understand. She believes that if you try to be a good friend to everyone and do the right thing that your good values will help you to stay safe.

Dot has a fantasy world where her magic mouse can suck her into her computer and take her on adventures anywhere in the world to help children. When she is online in these adventures she discovers her dog Wizard, who is her best friend, can talk and is always there to keep her safe. In the fantasy world Dot meets other friends who can help her like Cursor the Cat, who is a cat with ‘Cattitude’ and works in Internet Security and Data Protection. He is a cat who battles with the Cyber Rats, a gang of out of control rats who live to cause chaos on the Internet and who dislike children.

Dot’s fantasy world is a very important escape mechanism for children. Dot’s Internet adventures and mission to help children all over the world gives children who are lonely and afraid a friend who will always be there for them. She gives them a mechanism to dream of going to a safe place with friends and people who will help them. She also helps them believe that if they ask for help that they will be listened to.

The mechanism to help children in the real world of school is the ‘Dot Com Journal’. It is a way for children to communicate with adults about the most difficult and sensitive issues in life. The journal belongs to the child, the teacher does not mark it and the children can write in it with any pen in any colour. It is their special journal and the teacher helps them understand that they can choose if they want to share it with any other children, but the teacher will read it. 

The journal is a safeguarding tool in the hands of the child because through what they choose to write and draw they can tell adults about their problems. The teachers are trained to understand that the journals must be kept in a safe place and locked away so the children cannot read each other’s journals unless they choose to share. The teachers are asked after every lesson to read the pages that have been completed and initial and date it so the child knows it has been read.

From a safeguarding position the teacher can also prove that they are reading the child’s work and will take action if anything that is written looks like it is a cry for help.

Dot also has a real family and school life where she faces all the issues and worries of day to day life and is trying to make sense of the world around her. The content of the journals is a pull together of all the core safety messages that the emergency services would like to teach children and also includes information gathered from a number of important organisations who work to try to protect children.

The key themes in the programme that are repeated throughout the journals are:

  • We all have the right to feel
  • Others have the right to feel safe with us
  • We can talk with someone about anything even if it feels awful or small

The children are introduced to the programme by meeting Dot and the other characters in her life, which include animals. The characters and the stories in their lives provide teachers and adults with a ‘one step removed’ way of discussing issues. So the teacher can ask ‘how might Dot (or someone) stay safe in that situation?’

The first thing the children learn and repeat in every journal is that Dot is special and they write and draw about they ways in which they are special and unique. This is fundamental as children who do not feel valued are very vulnerable.

The programme helps children learn how to value themselves and also how to choose their core values so they can make safer choices. They learn that:

‘Feelings are just feelings but behaviour is a choice with either consequences or rewards’

‘Stop, Feel, Think, Do’

They learn about Dot’s uh-oh signs, which are the body’s early warning signs of danger, or sometimes talked about as ‘fight or flight’ signals.

Finally they draw their helping hand, which is their own safety network of people whom they could share their journal with and could turn to for help.

The programme also helps children as they draw close to the age of criminal responsibility to think about their core values and to think about strategies for staying safe. They will learn the value of the law and their rights and responsibilities as children.

They will look at the value of religion and how the core value of almost every religion is ‘treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’. They learn how if we share good values we can live together peacefully.

When the programme is introduced to children it is suggested that the ‘Dot Minute’ card be shown to the children and made available. If a child is feeling worried or afraid by something then they can ask the teacher for a Dot Minute and also if a child starts to disclose something that the teacher believes needs to be said in private they can tell the child to stop because they need a Dot Minute in private. This keeps both child and teacher safe.

 

Essex Emotional and Wellbeing Mental Information Portal For Schools

Welcome to the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Information Portal for schools.

This Information portal is designed to support you in finding online material and content in supporting children and young people in educational settings.

 

Thurrock MIND

We are a mental health charity founded in 1980, and since then have been developing and delivering high quality services with, and for, people with a mental health problem living in Thurrock.

We are affiliated to Mind and work in partnership with Thurrock Council, Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, our NHS providers and other local voluntary, community and faith groups.

We want to make sure that everyone who experiences difficulties with their mental health gets the respect and support they need, at the time they need it and for people who are likely to develop mental health problems, to stay well.

We provide a range of services together with information and advice on mental health problems.

 

Inclusion Thurrock

A psychological therapy service and Recovery College. Inclusion Thurrock offers a simple gateway for those wanting to access talking

 

Young Minds
YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

 

Advice on depression, anxiety, ADHD & self-harm

 

YoungMinds Parents Helpline
0808 802 5544 (9.30 to 4.00pm, Mon- Fri)
web: www.youngminds.org.uk

We offer free, confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25.

 

Papyrus-is the UK Charity for the prevention of young suicide.

CALL: 0800 068 41 41 TEXT: 0778 620 9697

EMAIL: pat@papyrus-uk.org

OPENING HOURS

Mon-Fri 10:00 am to 10:00 pm Weekends 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm Bank Holidays 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm

 

Eating disorder advice

Beat
Adults over 18 including parents, teachers or concerned adults
0345 634 1414 - . (Mon-Wed, 1pm-4pm)
Support forums (7 days a week) email: help@b-eat.co.uk
Under 25s.
0345 634 7650 - (Mon-Wed, 1pm-4pm)
Support forums (7 days a week) email: fyp@b-eat.co.uk
web: www.b-eat.co.uk
Beat provides helplines for adults and young people offering support and information about eating disorders and difficulties with food, weight and shape. We also have an email service and an online one to one service.

Addiction advice

 

FRANK
0300 123 6600 (UK), 24 hours a day
live chat (UK), 2-6pm
email
SMS: 82111 - Need a quick answer? Text a question and FRANK will text you back.
website: www.talktofrank.com

 

Samaritans

Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Email: jo@samaritans.org
Website: www.samaritans.org

Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

 

Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line

Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (9.30am - 4pm Monday to Friday)
Email: info@rethink.org
Website: http://www.rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice

Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England and Northern Ireland.

 

Saneline

Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm-10:30pm)
Website: www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/helpline

Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them.

 

ChildLine

Telephone: 0800 1111
Email: http://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Pages/Email.aspx
Website: www.childline.org.uk

ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything - no problem is too big or too small.

 

Elefriends

Website: http://elefriends.org.uk/

Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. Elefriends is run by Mind.

If you're a carer needing support you can contact all of the above as well as Carers Directand the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, both of whom are able to provide support and advice on any issues affecting you.

APPS

 

Headspace

Live a happier, healthier life with just a few minutes of meditation a day on the Headspace app.

 

KOOTH

XenZone is a provider of online mental health services for children, young people and adults.

Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.

Please click on this link if you wish to be directed to Kooth.

 

Colorfy is a lovely colouring mindfulness app that first started off in print version. Based in science of creativity and how colouring can create a feeling of flow that is associated with a meditative state. It is beautiful, and just looking at the lovely colours made me feel happy. You can paint from pre-loaded templates or even create your own.

 

The Mix

The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people. We are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing - from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to us via online, social or our free, confidential helpline.

Top