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Early Help

Early Help at St Mary’s C of E Primary School

We are a caring, nurturing school and fully understand that family life does not always run smoothly. We recognise that from time to time you may need a little extra support or help.

We are committed to the safeguarding of all our children.  The purpose of our Early Help Offer is to provide the right kind of support for families at the right time, to achieve change that lasts. We can help you to identify any problems quickly and work with you to prevent the problem reaching crisis point.

There are many ways in which we can support you so, if ever things are not right at home, do come and talk to us.  We aim to provide support that considers the needs of the whole family.

What does our Early Help Offer include?


Support might be short or long-term but will always be tailored to meet the needs of you and your family.

Areas of support might include:

  • Support and advice during difficult periods i.e., illness, bereavement, financial worries, and domestic abuse.
  • Support for parents in multi-agency meetings.
  • Assistance in completing paperwork and forms e.g., Disability Living Allowance, housing and benefits.
  • Drop-in sessions in the morning
  • Pre-loved uniform
  • Support getting your child into school.
  • Adult Education and Family Learning courses.
  • Attendance monitoring with regular meetings. These aim to improve attendance and punctuality.
  • Signposting to other services in the local area/community.

As well as the above, we also work with Barnardo’s, Families First, The Local Community Policing Team, Advisory Teaching Services, North Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership, Educational Psychology Service, Youth Support Team, Speech and Language Therapists, Winston’s Wish.

All support given is confidential. However, any concerns relating to the safeguarding of children will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Safeguarding Policy. 

St Mary’s Early Help Offer: Within school we provide the following Early Help support for all children, striving to ensure concerns, no matter how small, are listened to and supported effectively, maximising the chances of effectively safeguarding all of our children:

✓ Educational Psychologist: We have access to an Educational Psychologist. They use their knowledge of child development to assess difficulties children may be having with learning and offering recommendations and support.

✓ CAMHs: We work closely with this professional body which is a service that sits within Worcestershire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). They work directly with young people experiencing or at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties. The service offers consultation, advice, support and training which can be specifically tailored to suit the professional seeking the service.

✓ School Nurse: We work closely with our school nursing team, who are able to provide advice and guidance to parents on a variety of health and wellbeing issues. They visit school regularly for such things as vaccinations, height, weight.  

✓ Speech and Language Support: We recognise that Communication is both a vital and complex skill that develops gradually over time from the moment a child is born. It is important that children develop a firm foundation of earlier skills such as listening and playing so that they can successfully develop later skills such as using tricky sounds and spelling. At St Mary’s, we are able to put interventions in place to help develop speech and language and refer to the Speech and Language Team if needed.

✓ Links with our Community Social Workers and other support agencies including the Educational Health services. In addition to the above professionals, we also work closely with the Church.

✓ Attendance: Every child whose attendance is below 90% are carefully monitored and support offered wherever possible. Formal attendance meetings are held and improvements recognised. Where attendance does not improve, we enlist the support of the Education Welfare Service, to further support families wherever possible.

✓ Prevent Trained Staff: All of the staffing team have received the PREVENT training, with additional training in place for our DSL and DDSL. Training takes place to ensure are all able to identify the early stages of radicalisation and what to do.

✓ Child Criminal Exploitation: All staff have been trained through the whole school safeguarding refresher training delivered annually, and are able to identify early indicators of potential cases of child criminal exploitation.

✓ Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): All staff receive annual refresher training on FGM. Teachers know how to identify if a child may be at risk. They know the signs to look for and most importantly how to refer, following the schools safeguarding procedures.

✓ PSHE and Relationships and Sex Education Programme: Our school delivers Personal, Social, Health and Economics, (PSHE) and Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) programmes through JIGSAW. This programme further supports the children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe. It also broadens their understanding of strategies to develop their resilience, as well as their awareness of their mental health and approaches to keep this aspect of their lives healthy.

✓ Online safety: Each year group is taught 6 units of online safety lessons throughout the year, linking directly with areas of computing they are working on. We have run presentations led by the NSPCC to support both children and parents to develop a greater awareness of the dangers they face online each day, as well as strategies to keep themselves safe. Regular hints and tips to protect children online, relating to specific areas of interest for children such as Fortnite and Tik-Tok are shared via the school newsletter and our Termly Wellbeing Hub Newsletter. Our Online Safety lead, also shares hints and tips for parents, as well as leading on a whole school Internet Safety Day.

✓ Nurture Area: Our Nurture area in the library provides a safe environment for children to share any concerns in private and within a safe, welcoming environment. The Nurture Team (Miss Townsend, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Blundell) are available to support all children with social, emotional and mental health needs.

✓ Mindfulness: A small intervention group run weekly by Mrs Blundell, to support identified children to become more resilient and teach them tools to manage their physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

✓ Let’s Talk box: As a resource for children to be able to share any concerns and worries, our school has a set of strategically placed ‘Let’s Talk Box,’ where children can record their concerns, safe in the knowledge that one of the Nurture Team will respond within 24 hours.

✓ Calm boxes: every classroom, from preschool to year 6, has a ‘Calm Box’ in the classroom, containing sensory objects to help children regulate. Children can access these as and when needed.

✓ Extra-Curricular Clubs: Extra-curricular clubs are offered to all children to encourage a healthy lifestyle, relationship building, physical activity and sports, social development skills and enhancement of the curriculum. We also liaise with other agencies and people within the local community.