The Educational Psychology Service has been involved in supporting the development of nurturing approaches within Aberdeenshire schools and Early Learning and Childcare providers. Our aim is to support all provisions to develop nurturing approaches so that children and young people have the best chance to learn.
To do this we have developed a training package which can be delivered either face-to-face of online. The full course has been delivered to over 500 staff from primary and secondary schools and 65 Early Years Practitioners across Aberdeenshire and there are currently more staff working through the program.
The sessions focus on developing an understanding of the core theories underpinning a nurturing approach before moving on to explore how nurturing approaches can be delivered at a whole-school level. A follow-up course has also been developed which supports practitioners who are looking to introduce a more targeted approach to nurture within their setting.
Staff are invited to engage in a range of reflective planning and implementation tools throughout the session. These will help evaluate the impact of the approaches they implement. The evaluation information gathered thus far indicates that for the staff involved, the sessions have increased both their knowledge of nurture and their competence to put the ideas in to practice.
On-going advice and consultation will be provided by the school’s Educational Psychologist as practitioners move forward.
Emotion Coaching is an approach which supports children and young people to understand the different emotions they experience, why they occur and how to handle them. It is based on the principle that all behaviour is communication and emphasises the importance of nurturing and emotionally supportive relationships. They approach recognises that all emotions are natural, normal and valid. It uses empathy in moments of heightened emotion to teach children and young people how to develop effective responses to the various emotions they experience.
The Educational Psychology Service offers training on Emotion Coaching that provides insight into how to use the approach universally in educational establishments and also provides opportunities for reflection on classroom based scenarios. The training is delivered over three sessions with an opportunity for a follow up session to explore effective implementation of the approach and any further training requirements.
We have developed a Staff & Parent Wellbeing Toolkit- this toolkit has a variety of resources and activities which can be used by managers with their teams. To access our toolkit click here.
We also have an ALDO course which can be accessed via this link .
We have a short ALDO course available for all practitioners on Staff Wellbeing. The purpose of this short module is to increase your understanding of the importance of staff wellbeing and its links with pupil wellbeing. This resource can be accessed here
Solution focussed approaches
This is a 30 minute ALDO e-learn. This is an introductory course to the principles and practices of solution focussed approaches. These can be applied to working directly with young people or within your work team.
To access this course please click here
Restorative Approaches are used in schools as a planned response to relationship and/or behaviour difficulties and has been shown to be a more effective response than traditional punishments. Based on the idea that all members of a community have needs/values which must be met before they can achieve their best, the approach ensures that these needs are addressed and become the responsibility of the entire school community. We have prepared a presentation which can be used by schools to promote Restorative approaches in their schools.
EBSA Emotionally Base School Absence
School attendance is not only important for academic achievement, but to support the holistic development of young people as citizens within their community (Pellegrini, 2007). Emotionally based school absence (EBSA) is a ‘broad umbrella term used to describe a group of children and young people who have severe difficulty in attending school due to emotional factors, often resulting in prolonged absences from school’ (West Sussex Guidance, 2018, p.3).
Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology Service have adapted and created resources and guidance for Educational Psychologists to use when working with their schools when supporting children and young people who find it difficult to consistently attend and positively engage in school.
Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology Service have CLPL resources – which is approx. three hours and could be delivered in two different sessions- which covers the terms used to describe non-attendance, how to support children and young people, working with families and opportunities for reflection on best practice. These resources are ideal for HTs/DHTs, PTG groups and PSA, PSW.
Aberdeenshire have also produced guidance for schools and professionals to support planning for children and young people who experience emotionally based school absence (EBSA). EBSA-guidance-June-2022-final.pdf (asn-aberdeenshire.org)
Other topics & areas of interest
Through planning with individual schools and settings EPs can provide bespoke professional learning inputs in a number of other areas
- Understanding anxiety
- Cognitive behavioural approaches
Schools should discuss their training and development needs with the allocated school EP.