Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
Mental health is as important to a child's safety and wellbeing as their physical health. It can impact on all aspects of their life, including their educational attainment, relationships and physical wellbeing. Mental health can also change over time, to varying degrees of seriousness, and for different reasons.
Everyone, has mental health just as we all have physical health and emotional health, mental health is just one of the types of health that make up who we are as an individual. When we talk about mental health, we're talking about our mental well-being: our emotions, our thoughts and feelings, our ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, our social connections, and our understanding of the world around us..
One critical aspect of a child having good mental health and wellbeing is by them knowing that they are loved – that they are loved for the unique and precious individuals they are. Therefore we need to help children understand their feelings and emotions, by using emotional language and by giving them an emotional vocabulary to help them to understand their own and others feelings.
The school and nurseries have accessed Department for Education funding which has been used to train a Senior Mental Health Lead. The headteacher is the senior mental health lead and is responsible for creating a whole-school approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing as well as creating an open culture in which staff, children and parents alike can discuss their mental health and wellbeing.
Our federation is also part of the Future in Mind project which strives to promote, protect and improve children and young peoples mental health and well being. Our 'champion' attends regular training and as a result of this professional development the adults in our school and nurseries have a wealth of knowledge and skills to support children's Mental Health and Emotional Well Being.
How do we support children in school?
Here are some of the practical strategies we use to support children’s emotional wellbeing:
- Children to spend quality time being outside.
- Giving children the chance to explore with all their senses.
- Help children to find times to rest, to experience moments of stillness. This can be achieved through use of yoga and mindfulness
- Creativity is an essential part of wellbeing. Children need the space to be creative and for adults to be creative with them.
- Children have a passion for learning and discovering, they need adults around them who want to learn and explore with them. As adults, we show interest and delight with children and learn alongside them
We also have a strong Personal, Social, Health Education programme called Healthy, Happy Me. The table below shows some of the topics that we explore with the children.
|Being Me in My World||This teaches children what it feels like to belong to their class, school and the global community. They find out about the skills that are needed for learning.|
|Celebrating Difference||Children learn that they are special and unique. They learn about different kinds of families. Children learn to recognise behaviours associated with ‘bullying’ (cyber and homophobic bullying are included). They learn about our diverse world.|
|Dreams and Goals||Children learn how to set goals and make plans to achieve their dreams and goals. They learn about how to work together and encourage each other to achieve a goal. They learn about aspirations and what they may like to do as a job when they are older. They also work together to design and organise fund-raising events|
|Healthy Me||Children learn about how to stay safe this includes drugs and alcohol education as well as work about Stranger Danger. Children learn about how to keep healthy.|
|Relationships||Children learn about friendship, family and other relationships, as well as improving communication skills for conflict resolution.|
|Changing Me||I know that I grow and change. I can talk about how I feel when I move to a new school. This unit includes Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) in the context of looking at change.|
We use Mini Me Yoga activities which are gentle nurturing exercises which help children to strengthen their bodies and encourages them to grow strong mentally and physically. It develops a positive mental attitude so they know that they can be happy and successful in their learning. For more information, follow the link https://minimeyoga.com/
The food a child eats in their early years can influence their dietary habits later in life, so it’s important to instil good habits and a healthy relationship with food from an early age. Eating a well-balanced diet can improve mood, provide more energy and help you think more clearly. The food groups that make up this balanced diet are protein foods like fish, meat and eggs, starchy foods supplying carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and milk and dairy foods. At school children have opportunities to learn about healthy eating through the Eatwell project. They have access to fresh fruit each day and milk twice a week. Every child is entitled to a free healthy meal when they start primary school.
Physical activity can have an immediate and long-term impact on cognitive skills, attitudes, behaviour and concentration - all of which are important factors in academic achievement. Therefore, we encourage parents to support our Healthy Movers home/school programme in Early Years. Children have the opportunity to take home a back pack with games to play to help them develop their physical literacy.
Good personal hygiene habits help children present an attractive appearance to the world, which in turn influences how they are perceived and treated by others. Good hygiene habits are encouraged daily at school and children learn about what they can do at home to ensure their hygiene habits are good.
A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health. Children should brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Children should visit a dentist as soon as their first teeth appear. Children are able to meet health professionals as part of our curriculum offer so they learn about people who help us in our community. Dental advice Line 01743 237916
Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety. Our school SENDco has received training as 'a champion for sleep' and can offer advice and support.
BEAM is an emotional health and wellbeing drop-in service for young people under 25 years old who are registered with a GP in Shropshire, Telford or Wrekin. You don’t need to be referred or have an appointment. For more information please click here
School Nurse and Health Visitors
School nursing and health visitor teams ensure that children, young people and their families health needs are assessed and supported, and where additional health needs are identified, they receive an early response, including appropriate referral to specialist services and signposting to other agencies as necessary. Please click on the link for more information.