Bearing this in mind, we aim to offer the child individual attention and the time to talk about their issues in a relaxed and completely supportive, empathic and non-judgemental environment.
Firstly, The Base doesn’t look like a traditional classroom.
It is spacious and has a soft seating area where we can talk one-to-one quietly with pupils about what may be troubling them. Given time to simply sit quietly for a while with a soft toy or cushion to squeeze, or a fleecy throw to cuddle up in is often enough and the child is happy to return to class.
When this is not the case we find that with time the décor, setting and a quiet, calm atmosphere helps the child relax enough to discuss their worries with an adult.
Our new Sensory Room was installed in December 2019 and is now welcoming children who need time to become calm and relaxed.
There are times when talking may not help and this is when children are offered the opportunity to have some time in the Sensory Room to relieve the stress and/or anxiety they are experiencing. We have found that 10 to 15 minutes works wonders.
There is always an adult on duty in The Base – from 8.30am to 3.30pm – so your child will never be left alone.
We do of course have a system:
If a member of staff feels a pupil needs ‘time out’ they can send the child to The Base. The adult completes a referral slip briefly explaining the reason why.
Alternatively the child may ask for ‘time out’ if they feel unable to stay in the classroom or on the playground for any reason. Again, the teacher will send the referral slip with the child.
We aim to ensure that children are always accompanied to The Base by either an adult or a trusted classmate. By making sure the child is always with someone, we hope to help the child feel they are never alone.