Early Help Offer (2020-2021)

At Thomas Gainsborough School, we recognise the importance of early help to offer support to meet the needs of students. 

Early Help is everybody’s responsibility: together we will make sure that children, young people and their families are safe, happy and ready for school, work and life’s challenges.

Early Help means better outcomes for children and families. Effective Early Help will resolve problems before they become overwhelming and require high cost, reactive services. Early Help enables children to be ready for school and more likely to achieve their full potential. Ofsted recognised that the Student Support within the school was outstanding, noting the comprehensive support and guidance we offer, to ensure that the personal well-being of our students is catered for, and that barriers to learning can be removed.

We recognise the importance of working with families in supporting young people. Our school was awarded the Families First Award, which recognises the outstanding support we provide to families, and much of our early help offer is made in conjunction with support offered to families in our school community.

Early Help Intervention

Year Group/ Target Group

Summary of intervention

Learning Mentor


Learning Mentor to work on a one to one basis with students who have an identified need, whether that be social, emotional, behavioural or academic

Form Tutor


All students have an allocated form tutor who they see on a daily basis. This is their first point of contact for any issues, and parents also have email access to their child’s tutor, In addition, there are scheduled parental meetings, 3 times per year, but parents are encouraged to liaise more regularly as required. Tutors are responsible for overseeing the academic and pastoral wellbeing of their group, and liaising with other staff within the school as required to ensure that the appropriate support is in place as soon as a need is identified.

Head of House


All students have an allocated HoH who can work with students on prioritising academic subjects, working on mapping revision and ensuring that provision is in place to make the best academic progress, including supporting the student to access other help if needed.

TGS Chaplains


The TGS Chaplains are available to talk to students about any issues they may have, whether related to religion or just general wellbeing. They will offer support such as talking to students who are grieving, suffering from worries or struggling with friendship issues. They will signpost to other help systems within the school where appropriate.

Wellbeing Survey


Aim is to see patterns in student wellbeing to target interventions as required.

School Nursing Team


School nurses available on a referral basis to see students with medical or wellbeing needs who either self-refer or are referred by the student support team.

CISS (County Inclusion Support Service)

Yr 7-11

This core service is enhanced by the purchase by the school of the traded service to provide an  outreach service for Suffolk mainstream schools seeking additional support for pupils with: a diagnosis of ASD, traits of ASD but no diagnosis, social and communication difficulties, social, emotional and mental health difficulties and all associated behaviours.

Personalised Timetable


Students who have particular medical needs, whether this is linked to physical or mental health, may be offered a bespoke timetable in conjunction with advice from their hospital consultant. In addition, some students are offered a bespoke timetable to meet their particular needs, whether on a temporary basis, or a permanent basis, on a case-by-case basis.

Access nurture provision


Access is a nurture provision which allows students who have academic, social, emotional or behavioural needs to be supported effectively in a small class provision to develop both academically, but also to develop skills to support the student with personal skills and life skills.

Kooth Online Wellbeing Support


www.kooth.com is an online wellbeing service, run in partnership with the NHS and recognised by the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), and students can be referred to access support here after assessment by a learning mentor.

Porch Project

All Years

A One to One session that supports boys with the pressures to conform to a certain stereotype by peers.

Nicky’s Way

Years 8-11, students identified by learning mentors following a bereavement

Delivered in school, facilitated by a member of St Nicholas Hospice staff along with a learning mentor. 6 week programme, discussion about loss and an opportunity for informal conversation with a trained staff member. Core activities centre on many elements of grief, using music, video, ant and writing to stimulate discussion

Number 72 Self Esteem

Primarily years 8/9/10 girls.

Key students identified by learning mentors or other staff as having low self image and self esteem

6 week course, run by Number 72, an independent charity in Sudbury. The course is called “Worth It”, and looks at identity, image, self-worth and what confidence means and how to achieve it.


Highest attaining students in years 10 and 11

Programme of sessions run by a variety of members of staff looking at developing study skills and motivation in the most able learners. The programme aims to equip the students with the skills to tackle learning at a higher level by providing transferable skills and looks at topics such as metacognition, exam question analysis, research skills, self regulation and essay writing.

Literacy Intervention

7 to 9

Targeting the students with the lowest literacy attainment, students work to focus on reading confidence, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Nessy online learning

7 to 9

Personalised support through an online learning programme to support progress in literacy.Used in Access and for targeted individual intervention.

Chromebook use All years Individual support for students to remove barriers to learning and to support evidence for normal way of working when considering access arrangements for exams.
Handwriting / Spelling Club Key students in years 7-9 Students do not always attend every week, but they are working through a booklet to help practice writing styles, and then write or copy small passages for practice. Spellings are set as homework on an individual basis and students complete mini-tests working through the various spelling rules and students’ areas of specific weakness

LSC lunch club


All Years


A safe space within the LSC where students can come to have their lunch away from main areas on the ground floor, some of the students that attend benefit from social interaction, reduced sensory stimulation and adult support with eating and communicating.

Young Carer support

All years

Working in partnership with Suffolk Young carers we offer regular meetings with Sherie, our schools’ worker. This is joined up with the LM team as often the students are already supported by a member of the team. The school was awarded the Young Carers Award, Bronze, Silver and Gold level in recognition of our work with Young Carers.

Homework club

All years

Homework support Tuesday-Wednesday -Thursday in the LSC until 4pm. Staff are on hand to support with guidance and resources.

OM Wellbeing

Year 11, identified by Learning Mentors

Aimed at supporting students in year 11 who are especially worried and stressed, to equip them with the tools to manage their own wellbeing.

External Agency Support

All years

The school work closely with external agencies to access additional support where appropriate, for example, behaviour support, CAF/TAC, family support workers, social workers, Triple P Parenting programme, local police and PCSO, and Diversion Programme.

C-Card drop in.

All years but mainly focussing on Yr 10 and Yr11.

Run by female youth worker, aimed at providing advice and resources for students who require information regarding relationships


All years

External referrals for group work, counselling and other activities. Ipswich based.

Wellbeing Drop-In

All years

Weekly wellbeing drop-in session, run by the school mental health first aiders. Available to any student who would like to discuss a wellbeing concern.

Careers Hub

All years

Specialist qualified careers practitioner available to discuss future career pathways, further or higher educational provision, work experience and employability skills. Bespoke advice and guidance on interview skills and employer/educational workshops targeting a wide variety of careers and labour market information.  Regular group work lessons for students on personalised timetables. Extensive in house support to ensure identified students progress successfully, this includes personalised visits to college’s, group activity sessions and one to one support pre and post Year 11. Extra curricular Monday Careers Club. Lunchtime space for students to sit quietly in a safe and comfortable environment.  Careers Practitioner has regular meetings with our allocated Young Person’s Worker at Health, Wellbeing and Children’s Services to support students at risk of becoming NEET in the future.

Suffolk Wellbeing Online Workshops - Anxiety and Feeling Down Age 13+

2 seperate webinars. Referrals need to be completed for students aged under 16. 

Dealing with Feeling Anxious is for those who are feeling anxious/worried and are perhaps avoiding things because of this. Dealing with Feeling Down is for those who are feeling down and have stopped enjoying things. Aimed at helping young people understand their feelings and ways in which to deal with them.  Both webinars are live and interactive for 1 hour, giving the opportunity to ask questions throughout.

Enrichment Programme All Years An extensive enrichment programme is offered to support student wellbeing and development. It includes Yoga, Knit and Natter and LGBT group
Christians Against Poverty Key Stage 3 Run small group workshops to support student confidence and attendance to school.

School Psychologist Appointments

Sixth Form Provides a referral service to students.