Mental Health & Wellbeing
At Scarning VC Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.
At our school, we promote a mentally healthy environment through:
- Promoting our school values and encouraging a sense of belonging
- Promoting pupil voice and opportunities to participate in decision-making
- Celebrating academic and non-academic achievements in order to promote self-esteem
- Providing opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
- Providing opportunities to reflect
- Access to appropriate support that meets their needs
- Helping children to understand their emotions and feelings better and to feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- Helping children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
We offer different levels of support:
Universal Support – To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum.
Additional support – For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.
Targeted support – For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions with our ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) or personal mentors and pastoral team.
Lead staff members / Mental Health Champions to contact if you are concerned about your child’s mental health: Mrs Erika Simpson (SENDCO and Mental Health Champion), Mrs Michelle King (ELSA and Mental Health Champion), Mr Nick King (Headteacher) and Mr Stuart Howell (Deputy Headteacher).
Scarning offers pupils many opportunities to do physical activities as well as opportunities to relax which both are ways to promote wellbeing and positive mental health.
- Lunch games to play outside.
- Active Learning
- Young Carers Lunchtime club
- Peer Listeners
- Inspire Days with buddy classes
- Residential visits
- Educational day visits
- Extra-curricular clubs such as running club and art and craft club.
We like to celebrate our many successes together by:
- Star of the Week Achievement Assembly each week
- Half termly Value and Head Teachers Award Ceremony
- Posting celebrations on Class Dojo, Tapestry learning journey platforms to celebrate what is taking place
- Displaying pupil’s work
- School newsletters
- PATHS Child of the day – compliments.
The school follows the DFE guidelines for the teaching of Mental Health and Wellbeing in the following ways:
- SRE (Sex and Relationship Education)
- PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) Curriculum
- Safeguarding Curriculum – Feeling safe
- Mindfulness Mondays
- Go Noodle
- Assemblies and Excellence days
Interventions to support Mental Health and Wellbeing
Staff coordinate interventions for pupils mental health and wellbeing such as:
- Talking Therapy – Time to Talk
- ELSA support
- Self-esteem individual and group activities
- There’s a Volcano in my Tummy anger therapy
- Bereavement Counselling
- Lego therapy
- Relaxed Kids Nurture Sessions
- Drawing and Talking
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ – A public health England and NHS site to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.
https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/ – Quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Support for Parents
The Flourishing Families tool has been designed for families who might want a little extra help meeting their child’s needs. There are lots of different things that families can get help with, whether it’s healthy eating, fun activities or financial management, and this tool was developed to help families work out what they are already doing well and help them to find support when and if they need it. The tool is available at www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk/
https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/fundraisingkit – Find lots of ideas and activities to support your child with their mental health.
When children are able to find creative ways to share their feelings, thoughts or ideas it can help them feel good about themselves and who they are. Children can do this through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that they enjoy.
It is important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.
Given that the past year will have left many of us feeling out of control and helpless, supporting children and young people to express themselves is arguably more important than ever.
What can parents do?
Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your child to express themselves. Could you build on existing interests or passions? Think about what has helped them get through the past year. A love of dancing? Baking? Drawing? Fashion? Encourage your child by noticing their unique interests and praising their efforts. Trying new things can be a great way to find a new creative outlet.
There are lots of online tutorials and video demos that you and your child could be inspired by… could you try out something new together? Or perhaps ask someone you know to share their creative hobbies and give them a go. Some children may not think of themselves as being creative. Try to focus on the importance of the process and the way it can make them feel, rather than the end result. Try not to judge their efforts and remember to give encouragement for trying rather than for doing something well.
Listening carefully can help children feel more comfortable and confident when expressing themselves. Try to minimise distractions and give your child your full attention when you’re spending time together, being aware of your own body language and eye contact. You might want to try summarising what they’ve shared and acknowledging their feelings. Children are expressing themselves all the time but not necessarily with words. ‘Listen’ to everything they are trying to tell you with their behaviour, or with their play and creativity or with their silence. It is all self-expression.
Let your child know that if they are worried about something, they should always talk to an adult they trust. It could be you, someone in your family, a teacher or someone else in their school.
If you are worried about your child’s mental health, you can talk to your GP or someone in school.