Teacher tips on helping disadvantaged pupils

“My moral compass tells me that this is the right thing to do.”

The schools supporting families in need.

This short film features ideas on how to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

St Paul's CE Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent is a surrounded by areas of high deprivation. The school hands out basic food and hygiene packages to families in need. Staff also wash clothes on site for pupils who don’t have access to a washing machine.

Head Teacher, Nicola Finney says: “One of the important things is getting to know your families. It's just looking out for those little changes those things that you see that are not the norm, the things that you've noticed, and delve a little deeper. Never be afraid to ask the question - is everything okay? I see our school as a family, as a community. And if somebody in that family needs some support then we're going to support that family member. We're not going to turn our back on them.”

Barriers to success aren’t just limited to a lack of food or clothing.

Sarah Boyle, who teaches English at Falinge Park High School in Rochdale says: “We have a lot of young people who come to our school who have minimal understanding of English perhaps even minimal understanding of what a school day looks like and how a school day normally runs.” She runs a school debating team to help give students more confidence with their language skills.

One of Sarah’s top tips for teachers is to look after yourself as well as your pupils.

“I think it's about realizing that what we are doing is important, so every couple of days just reminding yourself of some positives from a lesson, from an interaction on the corridor so that you are looking after your self-worth, because if you feel that you're doing a good job that then transfers to how you interact with the pupils.”

If you’re a teacher in need of support, call Education Support Partnership’s free and confidential 24/7 emotional support helpline on 08000 562 561.

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