Pastoral and Wellbeing at New Town
At New Town Primary School, we want everyone involved with our school to feel well-supported. We believe that good pastoral support focuses on nurturing the individual needs of each child. We aim to build trusting and empathic relationships with all our pupils and their families.
All our staff model to students how to look after themselves and others; encouraging them to seek help, support or advice whenever they need it.
Pastoral care underpins personal development, and we know from experience that with outstanding pastoral care, students feel they belong, and their self-esteem is able to flourish because they feel valued and cared for.
Our Pastoral Team is made up of 4 dedicated professionals, supported by our Headteacher, Deputy, Assistant Headteacher, SENCo and a team of therapists. Together our team works with students, so they can lead fulfilling and balanced lives at school and beyond.
We are very lucky to have 3 wonderful nurture rooms at New Town Primary School. The Rainbow room, the Skylight room and the Treehouse, all 3 rooms give the children an opportunity to relax and come together to share their thoughts and troubles with one of the Pastoral team.
The Treehouse is located in the KS1 area, Mrs Walia is always on hand to scoop up children who are finding the classroom tricky. Sometimes a 10-minute movement break is all they need to regulate their emotions before returning to the classroom. It is beautifully decorated with relaxing green, blue and yellow colours. The perfect place for little ones to do colouring and read about their feelings.
Upstairs in KS2 we have the Skylight room where Mrs Aston is located. This calming room is clutter-free and has calming music playing. The skylight offers a safe space for private conversations and a chance to reflect. It's also the home of our therapy dog Rosie!
The Rainbow room is our largest Nurture room where you will find Mrs Manson and Mrs Shackell. This room is filled with lots of positive ELSA displays and resources. It also has sensory toys, self-help books and a large range of Elsa games to help children understand and regulate their emotions.
The rainbow room is also the setting for our lunchtime Rainbow Club.
Rainbow club is run by Mrs Manson, it offers a quiet space for children who find the playground challenging, children who need help developing their social and friendship skills, and it also provides a safe space for children to offload their troubles.
The children can play with a range of toys including Lego, cars, a dolls house and board games to name but a few, or they can just relax with a book on the bean bags.
It is the perfect place for them to share any worries they may have and build resilience to help them problem-solve.
Reflection is a provision where children come to spend some time with Mrs Walia when they have made poor choices. This is not a punishment but a healthy discussion to talk through and reflect on the incident and support them to follow the school rules and discipline.
At New Town we offer calm place to talk in the library for the children who feel sad or lonely, are new, don't have anyone to play with, having friendship issues, have concerns or have had a disagreement during play. We support children with self-regulation strategies, including deep breathing, counting, and breathing, calm colouring, lego, drawing and comic strips.
Meet the Team
Hi I'm Mrs Manson
I have been part of the Pastoral team for 6 and a half years and I love being able to support the children with their feelings and emotions on a daily basis.
I have lived in this community all my life and love how diverse and friendly it is.
I live with my husband, horse mad daughter and my little black pug Ralph.
I love walking Ralph down to the river and we often see New Town families on our travels!
I enjoy reading, singing and going to the cinema. My favourite thing to do is cooking as when I was younger I trained to be a chef.
Hi I’m Mrs Aston
I joined New Town School 2 years ago and I love being part of the New Town Family. I work in the Pastoral Team with Mrs Manson, Mrs Walia and Miss Shackell.
I have studied ‘Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health’ and have trained in Child Protection in Schools. My background is in safeguarding and before I worked here I worked for the NSPCC.
Outside of school I live with my husband, 3 children and 2 cats. My favourite things to do are having days out with my family, going to the theatre and eating dinner in a nice restaurant. I also love cycling, I cycle to school every day and at weekends I enjoy going for bike rides in the countryside.
Hi I'm Mrs Walia
I have joined New Town Pastoral team 2 years ago, and I absolutely love being part of the team. I moved to Reading 5 years ago with my 2 children and husband. Trust me, this was the best move ever!
I have studied Mental Health for children and young people and completed Mental Health Champion training with Place2be. I am also trained in counselling for children and young people.
I like art and craft, sewing and walking by the Kennet river with my children. Before I injured my back, I was part of a dance group and performed at many famous places, including Buckingham Palace.
Hi I’m Miss Shackell
I have been here at New town for 6 years and have recently completed my training to join our Pastoral team.
Part of my role here at New town Is supervising the 2 hours of lunchtime which I really enjoy as I get to spend time with every age group which is also my opportunity to get know, spend time and check in with all the children.
Outside of school I live with my partner and 2 children, I love to spend my free time with my family and friends, enjoying a nice meal or days out, I also love spending time with my pets, I currently have cats, guinea pigs, gerbils and fish.