Meet our Oakmeadow Pastoral Team
Mr Helen Morris
Assistant Headteacher - Behaviour & Personal Development
I became SENCo at Oakmeadow in 2014 and achieved my National Award for Special Needs Coordinator qualification in 2015. Since working at Oakmeadow I have had the privilege to work alongside a number of our experts and our Pastoral Team has many of these.
From the outset of my teaching career, I have always had the desire to see all children achieve and most importantly enjoy the experience of coming to school. Sadly, in some schools, not all children do. Being the school's SENCO and Assistant Head Teacher, gives me the unique opportunity to work with a range of our children and families across the entire school. I am passionate about all children deserving and receiving the same opportunities to help them make progress and achieve. In this role, I can introduce and drive initiatives to make a difference, working with our highly experienced pastoral team to ensure Oakmeadow strives to provide an outstanding inclusive education for all our children and provide the necessary support for our families.
Mrs Valerie Jackson
Hi my name is Val. I live locally in a rural village and have two sons, both in their twenties and two small dogs. I am from a farming background with a large supportive family. I have always been a part of the community and have achieved so much in organising activities etc. for the children. I enjoy walking my dogs, making crafts and the countryside.
I worked at Condover Pre School and volunteered at the primary school for 10 years. I had previously gained my Diploma in Human Development and Child Care at my local college.
When my boys were young, I became a volunteer for the Children’s Country Holiday Fund. We were hosts to a child from London, which the charity would choose from a deprived area or home within London. He/she would stay with us for two weeks, basically to have some, one- on- one time with a family and to enjoy all that the countryside had to offer. This would happen once a year in the summer and continued for 6 years.
In 2004, as a family, we were approved foster shared carers with Shropshire County Council alongside Barnardos. The training and preparation took several months and then once we were approved, we would offer shared care to a child with a form of disability. I also attended college and trained as an Holistic Therapist during this time (Reflexology, Rekei, Indian Head Massage) and set up my own little salon within the village I lived.
After 9 yrs, due to health conditions (osteoarthritis with several joint replacements), I finished full time in the salon and focused on training to be a counsellor, as I have always had an interest in mental health and well-being.
I gained my qualification with a distinction as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (CBT) in 2015 and started work for the charity Shropshire Mind after fortunately obtaining the position as Lone Crisis Helpline Call Handler, at the NHS mental health hospital, The Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury. I would give my professional support to anyone with mental health problems. This would involve talking to worried, frustrated, angered, suicidal and distraught callers, or their family, by calming them down. i would also signpost the caller to the appropriate help and support and I would talk them through distraction and relaxation techniques. This was without fear of recognition or judgement; I was also working alongside, the crisis and triage team, Shrop Doc and the police. I also became support worker at Mind, organising and running the drop in session, activities and the ladies well-being group.
What is CBT ?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour by teaching you coping skills for dealing with different problems. I work with both adults and children.
Within my position at Oakmeadow, I use CBT to help improve a child’s moods, anxiety and behaviour by examining confused or distorted patterns of thinking. As a CBT therapist I would teach and encourage the child to identify and challenge any negative thinking patterns and behaviour which may be causing them difficulties. I then help the child replace this thinking with thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings and behaviours.
I give praise and support as the child learns. My role is to help the child believe in themselves and find their strengths.
I am a professional and friendly therapist I have a good sense of humour and always aim to make all the sessions fun and importantly listen to the child, with no judgement and with a mindful approach during this one- to- one time.
I am passionate about helping all my clients find solutions to their problems, enabling them to feel more in control and less anxious. I help clients to resolve a wide range of issues which may including stress, depression, anxiety, anger, trauma, relationship issues, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder. post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, eating disorders, sleep problems or bereavement. I also assist clients with coping strategies, coming to terms with events in their lives, challenging negative unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Communication, confidentiality, trust and safeguarding are very important to me. I offer a listening ear, a safe place to explore the thoughts and feelings, coping strategies and help to find a way forward.
Mrs May Severn
Family Inclusion, Behaviour and Safeguarding Lead.
I have been working here at Oakmeadow for the past 7 years now. My job title is Family Inclusion, Behaviour and Safeguarding Lead. As the title suggests, the role is varied and busy and no two days are ever the same. The main objective of the role is to ensure that all our children at Oakmeadow are able to successfully access the curriculum, the learning and the social activities; enabling children regardless of their ability, gender, race or social standing to reach their full potential.
Here at Oakmeadow, we understand that sometimes, some of our families may need some additional support to make sure that our children are able to do their best, achieve and be happy both in school and at home. To this end, families can access support via our Early Help process. As Family Inclusion Lead, this is my area of expertise. Early Help support can range from, an informal chat and signposting to a universal service eg, Autism West Midlands, BEAM, Parenting team and other community-based support networks, to more intense support i.e. Early Help meeting at school with myself and in some cases a referral to an outside agency for more targeted work.
I am an Understanding Your Child facilitator and together with my colleague Lisa Oliver, regularly deliver the 10 week parenting program here at Oakmeadow.
Previously to working at Oakmeadow, I worked as an Inclusion & behaviour mentor for the Learning & Behaviour team at Telford & Wrekin, the main purpose of the role was to support children who found attending school challenging and needed additional support and mentoring to enjoy and achieve at school. I gained many transferable skills during my time as an Inclusion &Behaviour mentor which support my practice here at Oakmeadow.
I qualified with the Nurture Network as a Nurture practitioner about 10 years ago and it is an area of my experience that I can apply to my current role as Oakmeadow has a strong nurturing ethos.
As Family Inclusion lead, I manage the pastoral team and hub from “The Meadows” where we have created and developed a safe space that is nurturing and supportive of our children’s Social, Emotional & Mental health needs. The work and additional intervention that is delivered in The Meadows compliments and sits comfortably within our Recovery and Resilience program.
I am currently working towards a diploma in Mindfulness practice for children, I am thoroughly enjoying the course and I am looking forward to sharing these new skills with the children in Oakmeadow.
I will shortly be embarking on a further training course to become a MAPA (Managing Actual &Potential Aggression) trainer enabling me to support and train my colleagues in identifying, deescalating and managing potential challenging behaviour.
Finally, as Safeguarding Lead , I support our Senior Leadership team with Child Protection and Safeguarding, working closely with them in this area to ensure that we have effective procedures and processes in place to effectively safeguard the children, colleagues and families of Oakmeadow.
Miss Lisa Oliver
Family Inclusion and SEND Support Assistant
I am lucky enough to have worked across all of the Key Stages at Oakmeadow. Although we are a large school, we still have a family feel which I love. I have worked over 13 years now as a Teaching Assistant in Bayston Hill and have seen lots of positive changes, especially over the last few years. I feel privileged to work in a school where everybody is so supportive and caring to the children in our care.
My role within school has evolved over the years, I first started as a SEN Teaching Assistant and have supported across school in different year groups. I have gained lots of CPD opportunities over the years and have gained experience in many different areas. I have received specific training for supporting children with ASD, Dyslexia and Speech and Language difficulties. I have a Level 3 Elklan Speech and Language qualification which allows me to support children with specific communication and language skills within school.
I am also Read Write Inc phonics trained and support across school with this. Recently, I have gained qualifications in counselling and supporting young children with mental health to support me with my new role within school.
My new role in school involves me working alongside Mrs Severn, who is the Family and Safeguarding Lead and Val Jackson our school counsellor. As a team we support families within our school.
I have acquired a lot of knowledge regarding families and their behaviours whilst delivery the ‘Solihull Approach Parenting programme’ as Mrs Severn and I are facilitators. This is just one way in which we support families within our school.
We also support our families when they might need some additional support, we do this by helping them access the support that they might need or pointing them in the direction to services that might help. We are always here to talk to, no matter how small your concern or worry so feel free to contact us if you need to.
Sometimes, you may even catch me driving the minibus- when I am needed to take children to different sporting events… so if you see me give me a wave.