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Social, Emotional and Mental Health

What is SEMH?

SEMH refers to a broad array of special educational needs based on a child’s difficulty regulating emotions and behaviour. As we gain more understanding of the connection between mental health and education, SEMH guidance has become an essential tool to support our pupils.

Children with SEMH needs struggle to build and maintain relationships and find it difficult to engage positively in educational settings like the classroom. They may act out due to fear, whether because they feel anxious or they struggle to understand the environment around them.

That is why our graduated approach for supporting pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs is an important strategy for us to meet those unique needs through additional strategies and interventions not commonly found in the classroom. Pupils attending our school with SEMH have specific needs and require additional strategies and interventions to support them.

The importance of recognising SEMH needs

Although SEMH needs often manifest themselves as behavioural issues or difficulty learning, they go far beyond these observable struggles. They are an integral part of a pupil’s wellbeing and are linked to their ability to lead fulfilling lives both in and out of school.

Recognising SEMH needs in pupils is an essential responsibility for our school.

Our staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to spot and support SEMH needs, and can proactively prevent escalation through the creation of an inclusive, supportive learning environment where children feel safe to explore, make mistakes and, most importantly, learn.

Early recognition of SEMH needs is essential. The earlier we identify these requirements, the sooner we can implement appropriate interventions and strategies to support our pupils. Recognising these needs as soon as possible can help pupils build resilience, develop coping mechanisms and ultimately reach their full academic and social potential.

Furthermore, a child who feels understood and supported at school is more likely to engage positively with their peers, teaching staff and the learning process itself.

Our graduated approach

Our graduated approach outlines the strategies we have in place to support pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.