We are an attachment aware and a trauma aware school. We believe that the impact that eraly relationships with caregivers can have a huge impact on mental health. Also, that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)  are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of mental health problems

The Head teacher and SENCo are trained in attachment awareness and have delivered training to all staff, as well as on a national level. The key points for us are:

  • Understanding the roots of behaviour enhances our capacity to respond in ways which seek to make a difference to the vulnerable child rather than just control their behaviour
  • If a child comes from a background where attachment is not good or disordered they are very often frightened, lonely children who cannot navigate their way through life let alone school, with all its rules…
  • If that child then walks through our doors with messages given by caregivers that are confused or malignant, or bullying, or difficult, or neglectful, they will not be as ready to learn as they need to be. They may arrive one happy and positive, or oppositional, or defiant, or very challenging.
  • Children with attachment difficulties find it very hard to trust and to believe you mean what you say. For some of our pupils we are the centre of their lives
  • For some of our pupils sometimes, we are the only still point in the storm

‘If we learn that the nature of their attachment pattern is an important factor at the core of the problems we are dealing with in some children. If we understand that’s it’s not about you, or the curriculum, it’s about what is going on in their hearts and minds. Then we can find a space between the two where they are ready to learn and we can teach them.

Maggie Atkinson, Childrens Commissioner