Duffryn Communities First and Duffryn Infant and Junior Schools
Children experiencing difficulties at home or who may have emotional needs and are identified in reception are referred to the project known as “Rainbow Class”. The Rainbow Class supports parents and children who have experienced several different difficulties. These might include bereavement, separation or relationship breakdown; or drugs and alcohol misuse. Often these children have missed out early development stages in life and need the opportunity to revisit them. All parents approached have agreed to their child entering the group and are very supportive because they realise that their child needs assistance.
What we did
Duffryn Community Link has strong links with the local infant and junior schools. In 2002 it was identified that there was a need for extra support for children in Duffryn. The LEA sent teachers on Nurture training but there was no funding to take this any further. The Communities First Partnership approached the Welsh Assembly Government for funding for the teaching posts in the Infant (full time) and Junior (part time) Schools. The children all have breakfast together, helping to create a “positive family type” atmosphere. All staff promote a non-judgemental atmosphere within the group.
Children are usually in the group for three terms but they can continue if there is identifiable need. They each have an individual education plan to work to during their time in the group. They learn self-confidence and self-esteem and how to behave appropriately with their peers. Assertive Discipline is also used to reward good behaviour, this usually starts a few weeks into the term to allow the children to get used to the teachers first.
The difference made
Without this facility the children would go straight into a mainstream class, where they might not only affect the other children in the class but the child may not receive appropriate interventions. The strategies the children learn, help them to cope in a mainstream class. Many schools are now taking on board this initiative and realise there is a need to help the most vulnerable children in society.
Additional support for familiesFor the families of children who are in nurture, Joanne, Claude and our volunteer Danielle are on hand to support.
Helen Murray, Co-ordinator Tredegar Park Ward Partnership Board; Director, Duffryn Community Link