Primary schools in Rutland have been encouraged to install quiet rooms to which the children can go if they are feeling pressured in the playground or need to have a meeting in private with the pastoral care staff. Brooke Hill Academy did not have such a room but had an area that was used for general storage that they felt could be converted. As they did not have the funds to do the necessary work, they appealed to Rutland First for help in finding a sponsor. Jeannette Warner, who is a member of the Rutland First Board, was able to persuade her family business, Warners (Midlands) plc of Bourne, to contribute and they made a most generous donation that paid for the work in full. The new room was opened by the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland and Jeannette Warner in the presence of key members of staff and the Chair of Rutland First.
Jason Smith, the Premises Officer, who did most of the work, said:“It’s not very often that you have an opportunity to create something out of nothing, as a school we are always stuck for space so having been offered the donation to create a quiet room was an exciting proposition that allowed for much creative thought within the school of what we could create and where we could create it.We identified an area that was only used as storage and set about turning this into a working space, as the project developed the room took on a life of its own and once we opened the space up and added new doors and a mural we had created a space that had a real wow factor, it was incredible really as nobody would of thought that it was possible to transform this area, which was much neglected and forgotten about over the years.We now have a functioning quiet room that is the envy of the school and is a space that the children greatly benefit from as well as the staff, I think we are all surprised at how well it turned out in the end and we all really appreciate all the people who generously gave to the project.”
Paula Reeves, one of the school’s two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA), who will be making use of the room, said:“Thanks to the generous donation from Jeanette Warner we now have a purpose designed Quiet Room. This is a designated safe, low arousal area for the children to come and use when they need time to self regulate their emotions or to meet an ELSA. We are lucky to have two trained ELSAs at Brooke Hill Academy, Mrs Paula Reeves and Mrs Rachel Sennett. ELSAs are trained and regularly supervised by the Educational Psychologists. Their aim is to remove the barriers to learning and to have happy children in school and at home; they do this by offering social and emotional interventions in the same way academic interventions are offered to children. ELSAs will help children learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They can provide time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they can manage them.ELSA’s can help with: loss and bereavement, support through a serious illness, self-esteem, social skills, emotions, friendship issues, relationships, anger management, behaviour, anxiety, bullying, conflict, relaxation techniques and separation (including divorce).Many children at Brooke Hill Academy have already benefited from these sessions and the feedback from parents has been incredibly positive. One parent said “Thanks to all the support my child is getting he is really flourishing”.”
Brooke Hill is not alone in wanting to convert a suitable space or room into a quiet room, and Rutland First is trying to help Langham CofE to find sponsors.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Jeannette Warner, Rutland First Chair and Brooke Hill staff
A Board Meeting of Rutland First CIC will be held on Tuesday 14th January between 10 am and 12 noon. The meeting will be in the Tinwell Room at the Rutland Community Hub, Lands End Way, Oakham. The meeting is open to members of Rutland First and the public.4
Reports issued by the Children's Commissioner and the Children's Society in 2019