Welcome to the Pastoral Care page
My name is Michelle Qureshi and I am the Family Support Worker and School Counsellor for Winterbourne Nursery and Infant School.
I work with families where children’s attendance levels fall below 95%. If your child’s attendance falls to this level then your child will be referred to me by the Attendance School Officer.
I know that sometimes families maybe facing difficult circumstances such as; illness, marital and financial difficulties, housing issues, finding it difficult to cope, depression… Through building a relationship of trust, having a non-judgemental approach and understanding, I will be able to support you and your family in reaching their goals. This will be done through working together on an agreed action plan.
At Winterbourne we want your child to succeed. With the correct support we hope your child achieves higher levels of attendance and your level of wellbeing is better.
If the level of your child’s attendance does not show any improvements and falls below 95%, then the Winterbourne Attendance Team (Educational Welfare Officer, School Attendance Officer and Family Support Worker) will meet with yourself and next steps will be discussed.
Please note that persistent lateness may lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Service or a Fixed Penalty Notice
Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and safe environment.
The therapy sessions at Winterbourne Nursery and Infant School consists of one to one sessions or group Therapy, every week, same time, at the school, for a set period of weeks, by a qualified Counsellor. All sessions are free.
If you feel you could benefit from you or your child receiving Counselling then please complete the below form or contact me, Michelle Qureshi, by phone or email.
What is Counselling?
A counsellor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings you have. Counselling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable. It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They won’t usually give advice, but will help you find your own insights into and understanding of your problems.
How can Counselling help?
Therapy such as counselling can be used to help with many different mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other long-term illnesses.
Counselling can help you:
- cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
- cope with redundancy or work-related stress
- explore issues such as sexual identity
- deal with issues preventing you achieving your ambitions
- deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
- deal with feelings of anxiety, helping you worry less about things
- understand yourself and your problems better
- feel more confident
- develop a better understanding of other people’s points of view
Counselling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.
In most cases, it takes a number of sessions before the counselling starts to make a difference. A regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.
What to expect from counselling
During your counselling sessions, you’ll be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems.
It can be a great relief to share your worries and fears with someone who acknowledges your feelings and is able to help you reach a positive solution.
If you should have any questions regarding your child’s attendance or would like to speak to me in confidence, I will be happy to speak with you. You are able to call the school office below to arrange a meeting.
“Counselling has really helped me be a better mum and discover my potential.”
“I learnt not to worry about the past and the future and just to deal with the present.”
Drawing and Talking Therapy
Is a space to help your child to address any underlying emotional difficulties that may be affecting their learning and/or their behaviour. This type of therapy will encourage your child to draw with the counsellor where they feel comfortable and safe. The counsellor will ask some non-intrusive questions about the child’s drawings. Over time, a symbolic resolution is found to old conflicts, old trauma is healed and your child becomes more able to control their behaviour and better able to access the curriculum. These sessions will happen every week (Term time only), at the same time, lasting 30 mins and a maximum of 12 sessions will be offered.
This therapy can be used to assist children with a number of issues including:
Death of a family member or friend, Childhood trauma such as physical, mental, or sexual abuse, Learning disabilities, Emotional issues like fear of abandonment or phobias, transition from another country, serious illness of a family member, help them improve behaviour, help them feel comfortable with who they are.
The purpose of Lego therapy is to help children to develop their social and interaction skills through a highly structured small group activity. The activity involves working together and taking on different roles to construct Lego models following clear diagrams. Once students have mastered how to achieve this together, they can move onto free play activity (creating and constructing shapes together). The purpose of Lego therapy is to give a natural opportunity to really work together and help each other – they have to find ways to communicate, to listen, attend together on the task, problem solve together, take turns and share.
The school offers one to one counselling with a qualified counsellor. This is a space to help you to talk about your worries and difficulties with a counsellor. It helps you explore your feelings and looks at how you may wish to change things in your life. Counselling can help you resolve problems you are experiencing, it can help you make choices, cope with changes, understand and improve your relationships, work through difficult feelings you may be experiencing now or in the past such as:
Low self-esteem, recurring thoughts that just won’t go away, relationship and intimacy problems, parenting issues, lack of purpose, anxiety and persistent worry, difficulty controlling anger, phobias, negative and self-defeating beliefs, depression, trauma or abuse, grief, loss and bereavement, alcohol and substance misuse recovery support, life cycle changes, or simply that you feel life could be more fulfilling than it is.
Talking to someone can help to untangle negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes family and friends want to help but can be too emotionally involved to be able to stand back and help you reach the decisions that are best for you. Some people feel they have already burdened their friends and family enough with their problems. Others may feel there isn’t anyone who really understands them or what they are feeling.
Through your journey the qualified Counsellor will to help you:
Realise your creative potential, feel confident and positive in your parenting, develop your sense of self and confidence, improve the quality of your relationship with your children and others, gain greater understanding of your purpose and to enjoy you’re your life by finding happiness.