Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

Pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties are characterised by the following:

  • Shouting out, physical aggression, hitting, refusal to comply with reasonable requests from adults
  • Very impulsive behaviour, lack of awareness of safety both personal and for others
  • Difficulty in self-regulating emotional responses (extreme reactions to situations)
  • Difficulty making and maintaining friends
  • Withdrawn and uncommunicative
  • High levels of anxious behaviour
  • Very low self-esteem resulting in ‘can’t do, won’t do’ acting out behaviours or very low self confidence in all areas

Teaching and learning strategies typically used by schools for pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties may include:

  • School will assess, monitored and analyse behaviour records to identify hotspots, antecedents and other factors such as communication, sensory or learning difficulties
  • Interventions/support based on records and analysis
  • Provision of learning and social opportunities for the child to be successful
  • Additional support for the child at key times in the day
  • Learning opportunities in smaller groups
  • Small group work on understanding and managing emotions/social skills
  • Additional arrangements for developing play skills
  • Visual rule reminders, expected behaviours and references to emotional awareness consistently, displayed throughout the school
  • Each classroom should have an area for children to calm down in and/or for ‘time out’
  • Individual work station within the classroom is sometimes needed
  • Sometimes a separate room for allowing the child to calm down is appropriate
  • ’Meet and greet’ and ‘emotional’ check ins provided at transitions
  • Support around unstructured times e.g. playtime and lunch time. This could be organised activities and/or a quiet place for CYP to access
  • Circle Time/PSHE time to allow times for child to express feelings and develop social understanding
  • Nurture Group provision
  • Individualised learning timetable/package to include short focussed tasks and differentiated learning styles
  • Key identified staff for pupils, involved for their interventions/support and mentoring
  • Regular communication with home and review meetings