John aged 9

John was referred to us in April 2019 due to his aggressive violent behaviour in class. Originally, John took part in an organised session for two hours a week with a group of 7 other children as well as a 1:1 session once a week for an hour. In Autumn 2020 John’s behaviour deteriorated  in class to the point he was at risk of exclusion. 

Past trauma and attachment difficulties have contributed significantly to John’s emotion regulation difficulties. Unpredictable, aggressive and controlling behaviour dominated, leading to peer rejection and school refusal. Underneath the externalising behaviour, John’s mood would be low at times with big emotional outbursts expressed to trusted adults. A complicated home environment contributed to John’s fragile mental health and the school was finding it increasingly hard to cope with his needs. 

In the Autumn of 2020 the SLT and FSUK devised a temporary plan to place him in Forest School every morning as an alternative provision. This involved John staying in the Forest for three hours a day with his TA on a carousel timetable that included academic sessions but primarily emotional/social coaching. A huge input of nurture by three members of staff over the course of 8 months allowed trusted relationships to be formed in a safe environment where John could express himself without the risk of being judged. An emotional toolkit that was suited to John’s needs was introduced alongside positive rewards and sechedueled time with his peers. 

Over a set period of time John was slowly reintroduced to the classroom with his TA and is able to take part in some academic activities. There have been huge improvements made in his aggressive behaviour and John is now able to play with others  without hurting or offending them.  Emotional outbursts are still seen but far less than before and John is now able to use his emotional toolkit to help him through difficult times. John still comes to the forest at the end of every day to reflect on his day and stay connected to his trusted adults. We were were instrumental in as assisting the family and current mainstream placement in the transition of John into a specialist SEMH setting out of borough.  

Case Studies

John was referred to us in April 2019 due to his aggressive violent behaviour in class.

Sam was originally referred to us for low self-esteem, confidence and a lack of focus in class.

Ziyad was referred to Forest School when he was in year 1 because he was extremely quiet in class and lacked self-confidence.