Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (World Health Organization)
At our school, we aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our staff and all of our pupils. We pursue this aim using both whole school approaches and targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable pupils. By promoting positive mental health, we aim to recognise and respond to mental ill health, and promote a safe and stable environment for pupils affected – directly or indirectly – by mental ill health.
Children can talk to a Child Line counsellor 24 hours a day about anything that is worrying them by ringing 0800 11 11 or in an online chat at https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/
Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)
What is ELSA?
There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.
Teaching about Mental Health
The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our pupils to keep themselves and others physically and mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our developmental PSHE curriculum.
The specific content of lessons will be determined by the specific needs of the cohort we’re teaching but there will always be an emphasis on enabling pupils to develop the skills, knowledge, understanding, language and confidence to seek help, as needed, for themselves or others.
A few of our Mental Health Activities
Odd Socks Day
We take part in Odd Socks Day every year as part of Anti-Bullying Week. It sends an important message that we should all be allowed to be ourselves, free from bullying.
Holly Health Week
During Holly Health Week we had ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ and had a focus on Mental Health. We had a visitor from the Charlie Waller Trust, who spoke to the children about how to look after your Mental Health and why it is so important. She also held workshops and training for pupils and staff in school, as we know how important this issue is.
Children’s Mental Health Week
During Children’s Mental Health Week, all children took part in activities to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on children and young people’s mental health. We also held ‘Dress to Express’ Day so that we could promote self-expression and celebrate diversity in our school.
Lead Members of Staff
Whilst all staff have a responsibility to promote the mental health of pupils; staff with a specific, relevant remit include:
Duncan White, Executive Headteacher – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for child protection
Sophie McGuiness, Head of School – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for child protection
Daniel Bennett, Deputy Headteacher – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for child protection
Amy Middleton, Deputy Headteacher – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for child protection
Gemma Jarvis – Mental Health Lead
Emma Crawford – Safeguarding Governor