An insightful article in the Independent Schools Magazine that references Fagus and Beech Lodge School and illustrates just how a deeper understanding of social and emotional development in schools can change lives.
A wonderful article by our Educational Psychologist Alastair Lidster in Teach Secondary. It looks at the ways we can support children who do not yet have the emotional and social maturity to connect with mainstream school life.
“Fagus has created a shared language for our children’s social and emotional difficulties and helped us reflect on the underlying reason for some behaviours. We look at social and emotional development in a more nuanced way and can now
firmly pinpoint our pupils’ social and emotional shortfalls, underpinned by science. From this starting point
we set personal developmentally appropriate goals, craft the right inventions and measure progress systematically.
As a school, we are all devoted to understanding the social and emotional needs of our children to enhance their access to learning. As part of this we are already well on our way to achieving the highest Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School Award with Jennifer Nock.
We started using the Fagus Framework with a cohort of our children for whom we needed a more nuanced understanding of their barriers to learning and social and emotional developmental levels. The EYFS is very good but for our older children in KS2 we needed a more comprehensive framework that encompassed a wider age range and outlined typical social and emotional behaviours in more detail. Fagus gives us that extra information we need to fill in our knowledge gaps, set bespoke targets and measure progress and feed into our pupils’ individual educational plans.
The Fagus profiles give us a wholistic picture of our pupils’ social and emotional delays and gives us a new perspective on how we can help them. They are also brilliant for demonstrating the knowledge we have of our children from a social and emotional angle and parents find the information interesting as it offers them some explanation to why their children behave they way they do and offers a practical way forward to support them. On some occasions we have also shown the information in the Guides to our older pupils to illustrate what targets they are working towards.
We are planning to extend our use of Fagus to even more pupils in the next year.
“Setting up a new provision with an injection of money, Fagus gave us an evidence-based approach to objectively measure the programme’s success and have some benchmark for assessing value for money rather than relying on subjective and anecdotal
The Fagus framework lets us look at a broader set of social and emotional parameters than any other tool we had previously used and set more focused targets with some sort of analytical component built-in. It enables us to evaluate and review these goals and track their progress over time.
The Fagus output informs practice, helps evidence the impact and
success of chosen interventions and demonstrates that our resources and funding are being put to good use.
These findings can be shared across all the teaching staff as well as parents and our external partners such as governors and trustees.”
“What we particularly like about the Fagus resource is that it gives us a strikingly simple portrayal of what the real expectations of our children’s social and emotional capabilities are from the outset. From information gleaned in the child’s Developmental Profile we can provide the right supportive education environment and accurately scaffold their learning experiences so they are more easily able to access the curriculum.”
Nurture Learning, Hartlebury, Worcestershire
“We are in the very early stages of implementing Fagus in our Early Years’ Setting, but the initial assessments/profiles of the children have been very thought provoking – some of the age ranges for our children’s actual developmental stages have been quite startling. With the findings we have been able to take a closer look at our children’s very early childhood experiences and how these may have affected their personal, social and emotional development – it’s a real eye opener. One key social and emotional area that Fagus has highlighted with some of our children is to develop their ability to regulate their emotions.”
"The Developmental Profile is very helpful; we can use its findings to guide interventions and demonstrate the impact of our strategies for our Looked After Children on PEPs. In fact we are in the process of carrying out profiles for all our cohort of Looked After and Previously Looked After children."
"We began using Fagus last year to better understand the social and emotional needs of our children.
When completed, the online checklists show the children’s specific area/s of need and corresponding developmental age. These checklists have been helpful in setting small achievable targets because clear areas are identified. We review these regularly over a half term. For example, one child had several social communication targets, which before we might have targeted as a block.
Using Fagus, we started with a small target around empathy. The staff team focused on this area in their interactions with the child and an intervention was planned. When this target was met, we moved onto another related one (whilst keeping empathy in mind). This ‘bite sized’ approach has proved more effective in supporting children.
Our school has just gained the ATSSA (Attachment and Trauma Sensitive School) Bronze Award and Fagus has been an important part of this process."
Lead Pastoral Teacher/Play Therapist
Testimonial: St Peter’s London Docks Primary School, Wapping, London
"“We are embedding Fagus into our setting and starting to use it as a social and emotional developmental goal setting tool. We have found the checklists very enlightening and are now at the phase where we want to use that information to inform our targets, planning and daily practice.”
Deputy Head of Service
Testimonial: Primary Behaviour Support Service, Enfield Council