Supporting and promoting children’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their individual academic successes. At Sleights, we firmly believe this and invest significantly in supporting children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Around the school and in classrooms, staff have use a wide range of tools and strategies to support all children at all times.
We do also work really closely with individual children and their families at times when things are perhaps more challenging. We do this with the help of our very own Play Therapist, Mel. Mel works at Sleights three days a week and has her very own play room in the school. Children access Play Therapy for a range of reasons and have weekly, dedicated time in the play room.
So, what is Play Therapy?
Using play means that the child can explore their thoughts and feelings in creative ways, without having to use words to share how they are feeling. We know that using words to describe a feeling or emotion can be hard. This difficulty is tackled through play.
In Play Therapy sessions, children creatively explore and drawing, painting, water, clay, sand, figures, drama, puppets, poetry, movement and music. Through these sessions, children explore a particular worry, or emotion they may need some help with.
All sessions take place in our school play room, with Mel.
How does the process of Play Therapy work at Sleights?
All Play Therapy sessions are led by Mel, our accredited Play Therapist. In the first instance, discussions with Mel, the class teacher, family and child take place where a worry or concern might be noticed. These conversations are really valuable to gather an idea of the main worries and to set goals of what the Play Therapy sessions will work on. This process is referred to as a referral and also includes a short questionnaire to gain a formal starting point. Typically, children will work with Mel on a one to one basis over a twelve week period before reviewing.
Hi, I’m Mel! I qualified as a Learning Disability Nurse in 1996, and since then have worked in a range of different settings supporting adults with their mental health. I have worked solely with children and young people for the last 11 years.
I am a fully accredited play therapist and am registered by Play Therapy UK. I made the move from nursing to play therapy as I was aware that children can struggle to recognise their feelings and communicate these. My passion is about giving a child the right support at the right time to enable them to understand their emotions and find new ways of expressing themselves and problem solving.