Pastoral and Inclusion Notice Board

Pastoral News

Thu 29 November 2018

SEND Community Coffee Morning

A huge thank you to everyone who attended the fantastic session on supporting challenging behaviours. It was very well attended with around 40 parents, 10 of whom visiting from Charlotte Sharman and Friars Primary School. I’m sure you will all join me in thanking our wonderful EP, Pascale Mather in delivering such an interesting and and useful presentation which encouraged lots of discussion and sharing of ideas and strategies. We will continue to run half-termly coffee mornings in addition to continuing our trio of community coffee mornings in collaboration with our partner schools. The dates for upcoming sessions will be listed on the school blog in weeks to come! If you have any requests or areas you would like us to explore, please send me and email at or catch me on the Lant Street gate most mornings and afternoons.

Will Cannock, SENCo.

The slides from the event are available here: Positive Behaviour Charles Dickens

Our thanks go to Mr Cannock for organising an excellent event! Mr Eggleton

Pastoral News

Fri 07 December 2018


Our Wellbeing Lessons are continuing regularly and the pupil’s language whilst describing emotions is certainly improving. Pupils are now more able to describe how they are feeling in a number of different scenarios which has helped us to support them even better.

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to introduce a mood meter into your home. Please find one attached for your reference. You can print one off of the internet or create your own using coloured paper. The Mood Meter is a tool taken from the RULER resources which was created by Yale University. We continue to use this tool

The four quadrants help pupils to name their emotions. The emotions which are included may be helpful but it is encouraged to build up your own vocabulary which you would use naturally. Then slowly start adding more words to each quadrant to teach your child a range of emotions. As you do this, it is important to discuss what these emotions feel like and look like. What are the physical changes to your body? Explain that each of us (in your household) show these emotions differently and you may not necessarily know when each other are feeling one of these emotions. What are the signs that they can look out for? Let each other know what these emotions feel like to you.

The mood meter is one of the main RULER tools and should be kept somewhere where everyone can see it. E.g. fridge door.

To start using the mood meter you may wish to take 5 minutes to each share the answers to the following questions with your child.

Where are you on the Mood Meter?

What caused you to feel this way?

What word best describes your current feeling?

How are you expressing this feeling?

Given where you plotted yourself, what strategy or strategies will you use to get the most out of the day?

Pastoral News

Thu 13 December 2018

This week, many children discussed the feeling of anxiety which can often be called worrying or stress. They talked about different things that make them feel anxious. Together they looked at short and long-term strategies to support them when feeling this way. One suggestion to try at home to help your child put a problem into perspective is to use scaling. This is when you scale a problem from 1 to 10. You do your best to put the problem into perspective and see that the problem isn’t really that big! As a result, the children can use positive self-talk to explain to themselves that the problem isn’t that bad. In the short term, children could use mindfulness and breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions. Have a chat with your child to find out what strategies they use when they are feeling anxious.

Pastoral News

Fri 18 January 2019

Do you find it hard to keep up to date with what your child is playing online?

Mrs Harris will be leading an information session for parents sharing the latest online games and what to be aware of in order to keep your child safe. The information session will take place at 9am on 4th February in the main hall. Resources will be placed on the school website for anyone who is unable to attend the session.

Pastoral News

Fri 25 January 2019

This week, we welcomed Dr Marc Brackett from Yale University, USA. Marc is the creator of RULER which is embedded into everything we do at Charles Dickens School. Marc observed some of our wellbeing lessons which are explicitly taught in each classroom and even volunteered to teach a lesson in year one. Marc was impressed by the extensive vocabulary being taught to the children and inspired to see even our youngest children in reception talking about their emotions and how to regulate them.

Pastoral News

Thu 31 January 2019

This week, we are learning to use the “Blue Print.” This is a tool that helps pupils solve problems, make good decisions, and solve conflict or other challenges. It is also useful for parents, teachers and other adults as a problem-solving process for the many emotion-laden situations they encounter throughout the school day or at home. The Blueprint’s approach to solving problems can be used for interpersonal situations between two or more people for past, present, and future situations. It can be used as a learning tool to analyse situations faced by people in the news, historical figures, or characters in books, television etc. When used consistently and comprehensively, the Blueprint helps to create a more empathetic, productive and harmonious community.
The basics of using the Blueprint is to ask a series of questions designed to solve emotion-laden problems.

  • What emotions were caused by each person.
  • What caused each person’s feelings.
  • How each person expressed and handled those feelings, and
  • What each person might have done differently to manage the emotions more effectively and make the situation turn out better for all those involved.

Below is a template which you may find helpful to useful.

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Pastoral News 15/02/2019

Fri 15 February 2019

This week, many of our children have been learning about the importance of sleep. We talked about the importance of not having screens on for at least an hour before bed time, eating the right foods, dealing with worries etc.

Below is the activity we did with the children, you may want to try it at home.


Make sleep your superpower! Scientists say children need at least nine hours of sleep every night to feel happy and stay healthy.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for happiness. If we have too little sleep, it can make us grumpy, easily upset and less able to concentrate and learn. It can also mean we want to eat sugary foods that aren’t good for us and make us less likely to want to exercise.

Make a sleep plan.

My Sleep Plan – What will I do differently?

Adult Mental Wellbeing Support

Fri 01 March 2019

What is the Hub and how can we help?

When you’re worried about your mental wellbeing, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes it can feel like there are too many options to choose from, at others, like there aren’t enough. It can be difficult to know exactly what kind of support you might need, where to find it, and how to go about accessing it.

Maybe you just need to talk things through with someone, maybe you need longer-term support, or maybe you just want to join a group, take part in local activities and meet other people who share your interests. Maybe you want to find out more about accessing care and support from the local authority.

We are here to help take the stress out of finding, choosing and receiving support.

Our team can offer you:

Information: We can give you comprehensive information about what organisations, services and activities are available in your community, as well as information and tools to help you manage your own wellbeing.

Navigation: We will take time to talk to you and understand what the problems are. We are here to help you find your way around local services and opportunities, and understand how to get the most from them.

Support: We can provide practical support if you are struggling with day-to-day things like debt, a tenancy, benefits, or loneliness. We’ll talk to you about your goals and aspirations and how we can help you achieve them. We can put you touch with local services and even accompany you to appointments to begin with if you want us to.

Wellbeing Workshops: We offer a programme of workshops that provide information on mental health conditions and can help you to develop skills and tools to improve your health and wellbeing. They are free and open to anyone who lives in Southwark or is registered with a Southwark GP.

To access the hub, please use the following website:

Local Offer

Fri 01 March 2019

What is the Southwark Local Offer?

The Southwark Local Offer is a comprehensive guide to the services in Southwark and neighbouring boroughs that are available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25.

You can access the local offer using the following website:

Parent Coffee Mornings

Fri 01 March 2019

Soon we will be announcing the dates for our next set of parent coffee mornings.

We aim to provide talks on the following topics:

  • Supporting children with autism through visuals
  • Using Makaton to communicate
  • Mental health strategies being taught in the school
  • What is Southwark’s local offer?

If you have any suggestions for training or know of someone who could provide training then please do speak to Mr Cannock (SENCo) or Mr Eggleton (Deputy Headteacher).

Pastoral News

Thu 21 March 2019

An integral part of our well-being curriculum is the use of RULER. To learn more about RULER and to see some of their videos, please click on the link below.

Pastoral News

Thu 28 March 2019

We are excited to share that Charles Dickens school’s amazing Well-being scheme of work along with its strong teaching materials are now being used in eight other schools across London and beyond. This week Mrs Buchanan spoke about our work at a London conference for NHS Mental Health professionals, paving the way for other schools to follow suit. The work was also shared with many schools across Northampton who would all like to replicate what we do. We are currently researching what well-being and mental health support is being offered in local secondary schools to help our children’s parents make good choices about which secondary school would suit their child. If you are aware of excellent well-being/mental health work going on in a local secondary school, then please let a member of the school’s pastoral team know.

The Pastoral Team are:

  • Mr Eggleton (Deputy Headteacher)
  • Mrs Mesmain (Early Help Manager)
  • Mrs Khan (Havisham Class Teacher)
  • Miss Mulvenna (Micawber Class Teacher)
  • Mr Cannock (SENCo)
  • Ms Carver (Trainee Teacher and Mental Health First Aider)
  • Ms Young (Tiny Tim-Key Worker)
  • Mrs Keefe (Office/Member of Safeguarding Team)
  • Ms Nowell (Assistant Teaching school director-London South Teaching School Alliance)

Pastoral News

Fri 05 April 2019

Summer Term Parent Workshop Dates

Next term, we have a busy itinerary of parent workshops and coffee mornings. We will be covering a wide range of subjects focused around SEND but many of them will be beneficial for a broader range of parents. These sessions are open to all members of our local community so please share any events that you feel would be of interest to your friends and families whether they attend Charles Dickens or not! Below is a list of sessions to add to your diaries:

30th April (09:00 – 10:00) – Southwark Local Offer (Led by Mr Cannock)
An overview of the range of services and opportunities for families, young people and children within the borough that many people don’t know about! The session will be an opportunity to learn about where to find information about what is available in our local area and how to access these provisions.

8th May (09:00 – 10:00) Autism and the power of visuals, Makaton and Timetabling (Led by Mr Cannock)
A session looking at understanding autism and the impact that the use of visuals, signing (Makaton) and timetabling can have on enabling communication and behaviours to be quickly developed.

21st May (09:00 – 10:00) Emotional regulation strategies (Led by Mr Eggleton)
Returning by popular demand, a practical session on sharing and practising the strategies that children have learnt in school to regulate emotions with parents and families. The children have developed the ability to use a range of strategies and activities through our weekly wellbeing lessons and now you will have the chance to support your child use them at home.

11th June (09:00 – 10:00) Dyslexia: what works? (Led by Mr Cannock)
This session looks at evidence-based strategies that have shown to support learners with dyslexia develop reading, writing skills and confidence. This will also be an opportunity to have a closer look at the Nessy Programme that many children have access to and how you can support at home.

26th June (09:00 – 10:00) Working Memory: training the brain’s secretary (Led by Mr Cannock)
A session focusing on understanding the importance of developing working memory for children who find it hard to remember, process and act on new information. We will look at how we can support learners to develop their working memory every day using low stakes games and brain workouts.

2nd July (09:00 – 10:00) Offering a Language rich environment and narrating play (Led by Jenni Evans, Speech and Language Therapist)
Our speech and language therapist will lead this session on narrating play and developing a language-rich environment at home to advance children’s language development.

10th July (09:00 – 10:00) Speech and language games and activities at home (Led by Ms Pasantes)
This session will focus on general activities and ideas to support children with Speech and Language needs over the summer holiday.

For any additional information about these sessions, please contact Mr Cannock via the school office.

Pastoral News - Attendance

Fri 10 May 2019

Our target for every pupil is that over the whole year they achieve at least 97% attendance, which is no more than 5 days off in a year. The average national attendance is 96%, the equivalent of 7 days absence in a year. The following table shows the number of days off for each equivalent %.

As a school we are working very hard to make sure children do not have gaps in their understanding. Parents are reminded that they should not book holidays in term time as this has a significant effect on a child’s progress.

Last year our overall attendance was 96.3%.

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Pastoral News

Fri 17 May 2019

Well-being booklist

Thank you to Miss Mulvenna (Year 5 teacher and member of the Pastoral Team) who has created a book list, full of personal recommendations of books which focus on emotional well-being. We will soon have a new display in our library which will include these titles. For now, you may wish to look out for these books in your local library.


Pastoral News - Coffee morning on Emotional Regulation

Fri 17 May 2019

Our next coffee morning will take place on Tuesday 21st May and will focus on how the school supports the well-being of every child. This workshop is open to everyone. For anyone who is unable to attend the workshop but would like to know more, you can view a recent webinar which is on our school website, under “Social Intelligence.”

Pastoral News

Thu 23 May 2019

Thank you to the many parents who attended our recent Coffee Morning where we shared our approach to supporting children’s well-being. We are currently sharing this approach with other local schools, the Department for Education and schools much further afield.

If you would like to know more about our approach, then please visit our school website and click on the drop down menu for social intelligence.

Pastoral News

Fri 04 October 2019

Well-being Books in the Library!

Please come and visit our library. We now have a range of Well-being books to support children Nursery all the way up to Year 6. The books cover resilience, anxiety, worries and more. Please speak to Ms Pasantes if you would like any support in selecting a book for your child.

Peer Mentors

Our new batch of Year 5 peer mentors have been trained and are now on duty in the library. If your child has any worries or concerns, they can come and speak to a peer mentor during the lunch hour. The Peer Mentors are supported by an adult who can assist if needed. The Peer Mentors have already demonstrated maturity and kindness in their approach towards the other children which is lovely to see.

Year 6 to Year 7 Transitions

After half term, Mr Black will be running regular transitions meetings for any child who would like support or advice regarding their move to secondary school. We know that children often have questions or worries that pop up as the year progresses. Therefore, this will be a chance for your year six child to ask any questions in a supportive environment and put their mind at ease. The session will be drop in sessions during lunchtimes and will take place regularly throughout the year. After half term, we will publicise this more with the children and families.

Pastoral News - Transition Tea Party for Year 6 and Year 7 Pupils

Fri 11 October 2019

Transition Tea Party for Year 6 and Year 7 Pupils

Soon all Year 6 pupils will be sent an invitation to join a Year 6 transition Tea Party. We will also be inviting children who left us last year who have gone on to a number of different secondary schools. This will be a lovely opportunity for all of our children to see each other again, learn about what it’s like at secondary school and elevate any anxieties they may have. We are ever so excited about welcoming our year 7 pupils back into school and hearing how they’ve got on far. We are hoping that this will become an annual event in the Charles Dickens School calendar. Invites will be sent out soon but in the meantime, if you have any questions, please speak to Mrs Mesmain or another member of the school’s Pastoral Team.

Date: 31st October 2019

Time: 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Dress: Casual or school uniform

Location: School hall

Cost: Free

Pastoral News

Fri 06 December 2019

Last week, Mrs Buchanan wrote a letter regarding the distressing incident that took place at London Bridge on Friday, 29th December.

In school, the children are used to talking about their emotions using the Mood Meter. You may like to remind your child of the importance of sharing their emotions and unpicking what has caused them to feel this way known as a trigger. If your child is feeling anxious or scared, then positive self-talk is an excellent strategy to help them to regulate their emotions. You could teach them, that if they are ever feeling scared or anxious then they could think or talk through the many benefits of living in a vibrant city such as London to help them feel positive about the local area. The children could choose a yellow emotion and link the word to a London based experience that has made them feel positive. This could include the park, friends, the river, going to shops, seeing the Christmas lights…

For more information about supporting your child, please use the NSPCC link below.