Family Team

Pastoral Team - Breaking down barriers to learning

At Polden Bower, we recognise that excellent partnerships with parent carers are an essential element in the success of both our schools. It is through working together that we can achieve the best outcomes for every student. Parent carers are always at the heart of our planning, along with the students and other professionals.  This enables us to work together to ensure a consistent and successful approach so that pupils can make progress. We are always looking at ways in which we can work together better.  

The Pastoral Team consists of two teams, the Family Team and the Health & Wellbeing Team.

Joint Team Aims

  • To ensure the health and wellbeing of all our students is priority.
  • To provide effective and consistent link between home and school.
  • To work with families and other agencies to identify and support student’s pastoral needs, to ensure they can remain engaged with education.
  • To support students and families so they can overcome their social, emotional and behavioural needs.

Our experienced and approachable practitioners take the time to get to know all of our students and families and truly engage with them. Relationships are a two-way process, and by working together, the aim is always to achieve the best outcomes for all of our students. The Pastoral Team strive to bring about positive change for our students, alongside parent carers, teachers and other professionals. 

How do we work?
We work towards making positive change by:
Identifying children in need of intervention, and

  • Helping families to find and access local support groups and other useful information
  • Sharing strategies to encourage desirable behaviour and to manage behaviour
  • Supporting families to manage their child’s emotional behaviour
  • Providing useful information about starting school
  • Helping to develop positive attitudes to school and improve attendance
  • Supporting during key transitions times such as changing schools
  • Signposting to relevant specialist agencies
  • Providing confidential and impartial advice
  • Discussing family concerns
  • Working with their families to remove social and emotional barriers to learning and development.

In addition to our Pastoral Team, we have a range of internal staff and external organisations that we commission to provide targeted interventions, such as:

  • Attendance
  • Behaviour
  • Communication
  • Emotional well-being and mental health – ELSA & Thrive
  • Relationship & Sex Education (RSE)
  • Counselling
  • Group work and 1:1 support for students (including Girls and Boys Group)
  • CLA/PLAC mentoring

More about the Family Team
The Family Team also deliver accredited parenting sessions such as Stepping Stone, Triple P, Speakeasy, Emotion Coaching and more. They coordinate family activities during the school holidays, a regular Coffee Club at each school site and a range of parent carer workshops throughout the academic year. Being a parent carer can be challenging and demanding. There are times when parents need additional support and guidance. We offer support and can signpost families to other services including supporting the process of applying for direct payments, applying for short breaks, housing and finance.

Claire Michelle

Claire Michelle – Link Worker
Claire has worked at the Polden Bower since 2010. She works with parent carers and families to support, safeguard and collaborate to achieve the best possible outcomes for our students. Claire facilitates the EHCP Annual Reviews process, checking that all details are correct, capturing all stakeholders views and collaboratively setting learning outcomes for students for the year ahead and beyond. Claire monitors pupils EHCP outcome progress alongside class teams.

Claire also receives intervention referrals for a wide range of reasons including behaviour management strategies and support with DLA, PIP and Blue Badge applications. This can also include advocacy, support at agency meetings, reviews and appointments. Being a qualified life coach and putting extensive psychological and therapeutic studies into practice, Claire works alongside families to set goals, challenge limiting beliefs and nurture change in order to achieve better outcomes and greater independence for our students.

As a licensed facilitator for “Positive Parenting” programs, Claire runs specialist parenting courses for additional needs, ASD and managing anger in the family. These powerful and enlightening courses provide behaviour analysis and strategies, peer support and personal development. Claire is currently studying towards a BA Honours in Psychology.

Email Claire  07855264728

More about the Health & Wellbeing Team
The Health & Wellbeing Team work across Polden Bower to support student’s health, physical and emotional needs. The team work alongside other professionals to ensure that individual therapy plans are implemented and the correct equipment and resources are in place to support learning. They offer 1:1 sessions or group work through ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant); these sessions can cover a wide range of subjects and are designed around the young person’s needs. The team work hard to promote a nurturing environment where they promote self-esteem and general well-being for all students.

Fleur Cutler

Fleur Cutler - Health & Wellbeing Lead
Fleur has worked at Polden Bower since 1999. Fleur oversees the work of the Health & Wellbeing Team, working alongside parent carers, school staff and other professionals to support the individual health needs of our students, ensuring that each student has the correct equipment and therapy programs in place to support their learning. Fleur liaises and works closely with external professionals include paediatricians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language, hearing support, wheel chair clinics and Children’s Social Care. Fleur also oversees all first aid and mental first aid across Polden Bower. Fleur comes into contact with all families during transitions to our school settings.

Email Fleur 07851776567

Lynn Ferguson – Health & Wellbeing Assistant (ELSA/Thrive)

Should you need to contact any of the Pastoral Team, please use the contact details above or call the school number.