DEEP DIVE

understanding AND RESPONDING TO TRAUMA

15 exciting webinars for every member of your school community

4th - 8th July 2022

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OVERVIEW

We’re excited to invite you to join us as we dive deep into the topic of trauma to help you to better recognise, understand and respond to the needs of the children and young people in your care.  We’re bringing together a wide variety of next-day-practical sessions designed to boost your knowledge, confidence and skills.  Some of our speakers will be names you know, some of them are names we think you should know who have innovative ideas to share from their research or practise on the chalkface. 

We look forward to learning with you!

6 Things you'll take away

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WHAT'S ON

Monday 4th July

Tuesday 5th July

Safe, nurturing education settings are essential for all children and can be absolutely transformative for children who have experienced trauma.  This session will look at the sometimes unexpected ways that trauma can impact children’s experiences of education, and provide straightforward strategies that classroom practitioners can quickly build into their everyday practice. 

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Whitefield Primary School is a school where both students, staff and families feel welcome, safe and happy. During this session, we’ll learn why and how values of care, connection and confidence were developed as golden threads in the school’s approach and we’ll consider what ideas other schools could consider adopting to emulate this approach.

Whitefield Primary have received a Timpson Award for their trauma and attachment aware work and was awarded the nasen Award for Primary Provision, 2021 as well as receiving Gold Mental Health Award Status from Leeds Carnegie University.

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This session will be strategy-focused rather than research-focused. It will include different contexts, from practical lessons to classroom context, individual student conversations and working cooperatively with SEND teams. It will also include a brief section on how to write more effective CAMHS referrals for occasions where the school needs to escalate support.

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Sometimes our job is simply to facilitate the normal and healthy process of grief that children will work through following a bereavement or separation.  In some instances though, particularly if the loss was sudden or the death was of a very close attachment figure, children will experience a traumatic reaction, where their grief may seem severe, prolonged or have an especially significant impact on their ability to engage with day-to-day life.  In this session, you’ll gain an understanding of what traumatic grief is, how to recognise it, the steps you can take to support and where to go for further support and help. 

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A sensory audit is a vital assessment to ensure every setting is truly accessible by building a world which makes everyone in it comfortable enough to thrive. The sensory environment is one of the biggest barriers to engagement for those with sensory impairments and sensory processing differences. Often overlooked, sensory triggers are common to those who have experienced trauma or live with PTSD.

The great news is that by creating a ‘sensory aware environment’, not only do we make an accessible and enabling setting, we also make the physical and social space that feels safe, comfortable and welcoming to all.

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PACE is an approach developed by Dr Dan Hughes, an American psychologist who works with traumatised children. PACE stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. These principles help to promote the experience of safety in your interactions with young people.  In this session, we’ll hear about the practical application of PACE at Rhondda Cyon Taff Special School. 

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Whilst we would always hope to define our students by their strengths, not their challenges, it is important for us to recognise the common barriers to thriving faced by looked after children so that we can actively seek to break them down or support the child to overcome them.  During this session, we’ll consider what the common barriers are, how our environments can be adapted, what we as adults can do to support and how we can help children develop the skills and understanding needed to overcome some barriers themselves. 

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Humans need to connect to their physical world, the balance and rhythms that help to develop and maintain good mental health. In Japanese there is even a word for the therapeutic process of forest bathing “Shinrin yoku”, describing being calm and quiet amongst the trees. As we try to connect with children and young people, the environment plays a huge part in our entwined connection. Using outdoor space to connect, bond and develop play and functional skills is rewarding, calming and enables children to find deeper links to themselves and the world around them. The ‘Get Outside and Bond’ session will enable parents and those working with youngsters to develop a ready- to-use tool kit of activities and ideas to gain solid connections with children and young people. Providing understanding, skills and techniques which can be used for a lifetime of good healthy practices, these interventions build a process so simple we can start using it tomorrow.

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Wednesday 6th July

Thursday 7th July

We’ll explore how to create a safe environment and develop trusting relationships with families who’ve experienced extreme adversity. We’ll look to understand the needs of families with experience of violence, war and other dangers and consider the steps we can take to meet these needs to enable both adults and children to settle, feel secure and begin to shine.

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When working in early years settings, there will often be a child in our presence who has experienced trauma. We do not need to know a child’s story to accommodate their needs.  We can work in a way that anyone in the room, with a degree of trauma, will be able to feel safer, co-regulate and will know they are ‘held’.  During this session, you’ll learn the basics of taking a trauma-inclusive approach; ways to prevent occurrences which may activate a child’s fight/flight/freeze/flop response; adapting both our personal approach and making small, but impactful adaptions to the environment to become more trauma-inclusive; encouraging relationships to help children emotionally regulate. 

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he BUSS Model was developed by Sarah Lloyd to be helpful to families where children have experienced developmental trauma. It’s based on the understanding that for children to thrive they need consistent, attuned caregiving and it’s through these relationships that babies and young children develop bodily and emotional regulation, which form a platform for the development of relationships and learning. BUSS focuses on a child’s foundation sensorimotor systems (vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile), which, for typically developing children, develop through attuned nurture, touch and movement in their early months and years.

Within nurturing relationships, babies progress through critical patterns of movement that allow the brain and central nervous system to develop so that we can manage to do all of this without using much conscious attention. Where children have had a difficult start in life, these processes are disrupted. This disruption is different to a sensory processing disorder. Bringing together sensory integration theory, attachment theory and an understanding of the impact of trauma on the developing brain, BUSS offers a way of working with parents / carers and their children to rebuild these systems, building regulation through the parent child relationship.

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We will look at how empathic behaviour management is different to how we typically deal with behaviour and I will offer you practical, take-home ideas about you can take care of challenging behaviour with empathy and connection.

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This session will outline key learning from the Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma in Schools Programme, a five-year Programme exploring the impact of ‘whole school’ attachment and trauma awareness training. The Programme has involved 305 schools across 26 local authorities in England, with the final report due to be published in October 2022. As well as hearing from a member of the research team, a headteacher from one of the participating secondary schools will reflect on their experience of some of the practicalities of implementing an attachment and trauma informed approach.

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The language and awareness of trauma are all the rage! However, what does this truly mean for our practice?  Drawing on the latest research and insight into the processes and impact of trauma on the mind, body and brain this session will provide a framework to help understand the when and why of providing support and interventions to those most in need. 

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In this session, we will take a closer look at children’s behaviour and how trauma, adversity and stress can affect it! We will explore the brain, survival mechanisms and the importance of focusing on children’s mental health. We will then look at why some behaviour management strategies don’t work and why connection is key. This session will help you focus on connection rather than disconnection and reframe ‘behaviour management.’ You will leave feeling empowered and inspired to take an active role in supporting children’s mental health, with some tools and strategies to use straight away.

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