Smile Studio

Parklands Community Primary Our School Smile Studio

The Smile Studio

Every now and again, we all need some extra support. The Smile Studio at Parklands offers a warm and nurturing environment where children and adults can be supported by our highly effective Learning Mentors. Everyone is welcome to come and spend time in this calming space to talk through any worries or work alongside the team to develop strategies that they can use in school and beyond.

Our Learning Mentors offer support to help children to attend school regularly. This work helps to overcome physical and emotional barriers that families may face. Improving attendance gives children the best chance at succeeding in school.

One of our school values is resilience. Working alongside the friendly faces in the Smile Studio, children are supported in developing this skill. By teaching children the strategies to manage themselves in different situations, they become more resilient and in turn are more prepared for their lives both in and out of school.
Don’t just take our word for it- here’s what our children and parents have to say…

Y3 child: The Smile Studio makes me feel happy and safe; like I’m at home.

Y6 child: The Smile Studio makes me feel happy. There are always kind people in there who can help me.

Y5 child: I really like the quiet space in the Smile Studio, it helps me to calm when I feel anxious.

Y4: It helps me to make new friends.

Parent: The Smile Studio is a safe, confidential room where support is given in a non-judgemental way.

In addition to always having a listening ear available, the Learning Mentors are trained to work with children and whole families to deliver specific programmes.
These include:

  • Support with sleep and routines
  • Team Around the Family work- supporting the whole family to overcome barriers
  • Bereavement Support
  • Exploring friendships
  • Managing transitions and change
  • Support with mental health difficulties
  • Qualified in first aid for children with mental health issues

Barriers to Learning

A barrier to learning is any factor which prevents a child from being in a suitable emotional, physical or psychological state to engage in lessons and learn.

Some examples of potential barriers to learning are:

Low self esteem, lack of self-confidence, friendship difficulties, medical needs, absence from school, lateness to school, feeling vulnerable, family difficulties and bereavement.

If a child experiences one factor or a combination of the above barriers to learning then this may lead to low self-esteem, disruptive behaviour or negative attitude to learning which can result in the child not fulfilling their potential. A Learning Mentor helps the child to develop strategies and skills to enable them to make positive choices and learn.

Learning Mentors work with pupils on a one to one basis inside and outside the classroom to address the barriers to learning.

Learning Mentors are also involved in running different activities which include:

Liasing with parents/carers and other agencies to support pupil progress and well-being.

  • Mediation work between peers, pupils and paretns/carers
  • Supporting children transferring schools
  • Providing advice, guidance and support for families
  • Organise Nurture group work and support for children encountering social, emotional or behavioural difficulties
  • Supporting families with establishing routines and boundaries
  • Offer counselling in relation to developing positive sleeping habits
  • Promoting the safety and welfare of pupils in school in conjunction with other agencies.

If you would like an informal chat or have any issues or concerns you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Prescott or Mrs Millett-Reid at school.

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