"Counselling is good because you get to express your feelings. I get everything off my chest before I go into school. I'd been getting into more arguments and fights. Coming here means I won't go into school saying stuff"
(Year 9 pupil)
"It's good to get out of lessons for a bit ... relax and talk to someone about any problems you've got, anything that's bothering you"
(Year 11 pupil)
"It's a place where you can be helped, if you're angry or sad or anything. You can talk about what you like and it's nice and quiet"
The school counselling service provides confidential one-to-one counselling for pupils. The service aims to help pupils to resolve personal difficulties and develop emotional health and wellbeing, so they feel happy at school, are engaged with their learning, and can work towards achieving their potential.
What is counselling?
Counselling offers pupils the opportunity to talk in confidence about a difficulty they may be having or distress they may be experiencing - and work with the counsellor to find their own solutions and answers. At our school, it often involves the use of non-traditional therapeutic methods to help encourage and support communication.
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help pupils develop a language for feelings, express and understand emotions and difficulties, and find new ways to deal with problems. This in turn can help pupils to feel better about themselves and others, take responsibility for their choices, and become more skilled at coping and thus more self-reliant.
What do we mean by confidential?
The counsellor does not discuss the content of sessions with others, unless the pupil consents for this to happen or there is reason to believe that the pupil (or another person) is at risk from harm. The counsellor's aim is to ensure there is an appropriate balance between the protection of the pupil's information, and the sharing of such information to improve his or her care at school and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all concerned.
For more information, please see the (draft) School Counselling Service policy below.
Who is our counsellor?
The name of our counsellor is Lara Cresswell. Lara is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Please click on the link below to find out more about her.
The BACP sets the standards to which Lara is expected to work. It also has a complaints procedure that will handle any complaint regarding the standard of practice of any member of the organisation. See the BACP link.
How can pupils access counselling?
Pupils are encouraged to self-refer but staff, parents and external professionals can also make referrals, provided the pupil has agreed to the referral and is happy to meet with Lara to find out more about counselling and explore whether it is right for them.
How do I make a referral?
If you would like to make a referral, you can download and complete the referral form below and return it to us via post or in person. If you would prefer to speak with Lara to discuss a referral or need help completing the form, she is available in school Monday-Thursday from 8.30am until 2.30pm.
What happens after that?
We will contact you to discuss your referral and organise for you to complete the consent and confidentiality agreement. For your own convenience, this agreement is available below.
If you are interested in finding out more about school counselling, please click on the links below.
If you have any questions that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact Lara. She will be more than happy to speak with you.
Counselling Service News
In April 2017, we decided to try something new: a small therapeutic group for pupils. Each week, three pupils meet together with the counsellor for a one-hour session where they have the opportunity to talk about themselves in a group environment.
The primary purpose of the group is to provide peer support to group members. However, it also offers members the opportunity to learn about themselves in relationships with others and develop new skills (communication, social interaction, team work, and empathy for others).
An important part of the learning comes from the group context. Pupils are encouraged to actively listen to each other, take turns in speaking, respect different ideas and opinions, and give and receive feedback.
Currently, the listening group is working on their rules. We will keep you posted with any developments!