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Headteacher Update Podcast: Supporting vulnerable pupils – ACEs & trauma in the primary school

 Helen Frostick Shahana Knight and Dr Pooky Knightsmith

This episode takes a practical look at how primary schools can support our most vulnerable pupils, including looked after children and those living with trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

We discuss key tenets of best practice and offer practical ideas and advice for supporting children. We ask what form ACEs and trauma can take and what impact this can have on schooling.

We ask what being a trauma-informed school involves, consider therapeutic approaches in the classroom and across the school, and how to create calming classroom environments.

We also ask:
  • How can we make behaviour management more effective and less reactive?
  • What are the common mistakes schools make and how can we avoid them?
  • How can we respond to emotionally based school-based avoidance?
  • How can we schools help vulnerable children to successfully manage their emotions, including calming them at key times of the day?

This episode is hosted, as ever, by National Leader of Education Helen Frostick and our guests are:

  • Dr Pooky Knightsmith is a passionate ambassador for mental health, wellbeing and PSHE. Her work is backed up both by a PhD in child and adolescent mental health and her own lived experience of PTSD, anorexia, self-harm, anxiety and depression.
  • Shahana Knight writes regularly for Headteacher Update on issues of mental health, wellbeing, trauma, attachment and therapeutic teaching approaches. She is director at TPC Therapy, a mental health service for children.

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