What does the Learning Mentor do?
At Smallwood we have a Learning Mentor - Miss Palmer who works with the children to help remove any kind of social and emotional barriers to learning. These barriers could be that someone is new to our school or perhaps experiencing difficulties, challenges or changes in their lives. The Learning Mentor works closely alongside the teaching and support staff and very closely with the pupil to identify what support is needed, and what targets, strategies and goals the pupil could work towards. They then adopt a nurture based and solution focused approach; tailor made to meet the needs of the individual pupil taking into account everyone’s views and ideas.
Where do they work?
We are really fortunate to have a dedicated Learning Mentor room called the Butterfly Room. This is a calm and peaceful space, stocked with lots of amazing toys, games and craft activities. Children attend a focused session, usually on the same day for half an hour a week, where they have the opportunity to work towards their individual goals and targets. Pupils are able to talk about how they think things are going for them, they can discuss any concerns and are encouraged to celebrate achievements and reflect and plan next steps. Each time a pupil attends the Butterfly Room they get to choose a butterfly to put up on the Butterfly Wall – as you can imagine by the end of the summer term the wall is an amazing, colorful and beautiful sight.
Every year in the summer term we buy some caterpillars and nurture and take care of them in the Butterfly Room until they transform into beautiful butterflies, we then release them onto the field.– (Rebekka & Davontay picture)
Outside the Butterfly Room is the “Inspiration Station” which aims to inspire and motivate the staff, pupils and visitors to our school. At present the focus is on Positive Thinking, and there are inspiration mini cards which can be taken away. (Pictures of display/quotes).
Who might attend the Butterfly Room?
As well as attending individual sessions children may also attend the Butterfly Room in small groups including Nurture, Friendship and VIP (Very Important People) groups. Group activities are structured as to give the pupils a sense ownership and belonging and usually run for a term at a time.
What if I have a question or query?
If you would like to talk to someone about the Learning Mentor provision here at Smallwood or perhaps you would like to have a look around the Butterfly Room please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Palmer via the school office.
Alternatively, you can speak directly to Miss Gibson (Inclusion Manager) who will be happy to provide you with any further information.