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Applebee Wood Community Specialist School

Respect, Belonging, Trust, Resilience, Aspiration

Trauma Informed Practice

What is trauma?

Applebee Wood has embraced a wider definition of trauma to encompass any event that is experienced as frightening, painful or out of control, characterised by there being no one available to support or mitigate the impact of traumatic toxic stress.  Day-to-day exposure to events such as divorce, loss of a loved one, illness within the family, preparing for an exam or moving to a new house can be experienced as traumatic.

Both children and adults can be affected by toxic stress.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

We understand that some of our children and families may have had traumatic or adverse childhood experiences and we know that these can have a negative impact upon a child’s learning, behaviour and their relationships in school. It is our intention to lessen the impact of ACEs wherever possible through carefully planned interventions, family support and signposting to other agencies that can help.


The term Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) is used to describe a wide range of stressful or traumatic experiences that children may be exposed to whilst growing up.


ACEs range from experiences that directly harm a child (such as suffering physical, verbal or sexual abuse, and physical or emotional neglect) to those that affect the environment in which a child grows up (including parental separation, domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol abuse, drug use or prison).

We have specially trained Trauma and Mental Health Informed Practitioners in school.  These trusted, emotionally available adults support children who are identified as requiring additional support. This support may be offered in a 1:1 session, in class or in small groups.


Children may also be highlighted for support through a significant change in their behaviour in school or through a parental concern when behaviour changes at home or in response to a significant life event that impacts the whole family.


At Applebee Wood  we pride ourselves on the understanding of the whole child and their individual needs. We believe that being mindful of all pupils needs helps to develop secure, confident and independent individuals who are keen to learn and develop to the best of their individual abilities.


Most children/families experience some form of trauma at some point in their life.

These traumas can have an adverse effect on a child’s development. By using trauma informed practice and being aware of the effect of adverse childhood experiences, we can help to support our children now – which will support them in years to come.


It’s important that we are all ACE aware!

At Applebee Wood  our staff are Trauma Aware, and we are ……

  • Kind
  • Reflective
  • Speak calmly to others
  • Listen to and understand the needs of our children
  • Positive
  • Forgive and move on


If as a family, you need a bit more support the pastoral team is available for this. We all go through difficult times and need a hand or ear to help us. We have a dedicated team at Applebee Wood School to help you.


This is the new badge we have be awarded following our quality mark assessment. Congratulation to all students, staff, governors and our external service providers for their continued hard work and dedication to ensuring we all work together in a trauma informed way.