In times of increasing pressure on schools and teachers, it is essential that teachers are equipped to understand the emotional and relational factors in learning and teaching. Vulnerable and disaffected children need understanding and nurture rather than reactive management, which can easily exacerbate their difficulties, leaving them unheard and defensive, and even undermine teacher confidence and effectiveness.
Understanding, Nurturing and Working Effectively with Vulnerable Children in Schools offers a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the difficulties faced by teachers and schools from at-risk and disaffected children, including repeated trauma and insecure attachment patterns. The book describes how a thoughtful ‘relationship-based’ approach can both alleviate such difficulties and offer a second chance attachment experience, enabling students to discover it might be safe to let down their all consuming defences a little; thus freeing them to begin to learn. It offers:
- practical suggestions in note form – making them easy to use, refer to and assimilate;
- numerous case examples and teacher friendly theoretical background material;
- a wealth of ideas for ways forward, including differentiated responses to children in the light of their particular patterns, developmental stages and unmet needs.
Written from extensive professional experience, this is an essential handbook and resource book for trainers, schools, teachers and school staff, and also for educational psychologists and those in children’s services working with vulnerable children in pre and primary schools, as well as those in special schools and units.
Table of Contents
Foreword Preface Chapter 1. Introduction to Attachment Theory Chapter 2. Useful Neuroscience: A Simple Introduction for School Staff and Child Workers Chapter 3. The Effects of Unsupported Trauma Chapter 4. Understanding Unconscious Processes Chapter 5. Emotional Containment Part II Chapter 6. Insecure Attachment Categories. Chapter 7. Children Stuck in Early Developmental Stages Chapter 8. The Importance of a Secure Base Chapter 9 Behaviour as Unconscious Communication Chapter 10. Learning Inhibitions as Possible Unconscious Communications Chapter 11. Relating and Relationships: Using Relationships as a Healing Vehicle Chapter 12. Coping with Change Chapter 13. Working through the Metaphor Chapter 14. Enhancing Our Own and the Children’s Personal Capacities Chapter 15. Working with Vulnerable Parents: Some Thoughts Chapter 16. A Nurturing School: Some Thoughts From an Assistant Head Conclusion Appendix 1 Nurturing school checklist Appendix 2 Self-assessment of skills in emotional holding and containment Appendix 3 Possible unconscious meanings of common behaviours Appendix 4 Possible unconscious meanings of learning difficulties and behaviours Appendix 5 Introduction to ‘Safe to Learn’: an eight-session powerpoint training course
Angela Greenwood is an educational psychotherapist with many years' experience training and supervising staff and working therapeutically with children in domestic abuse, pupil referral units, mainstream settings and in private practice. She co-facilitated the local Nurture Network, and the Safe to Learn course for school staff.