“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, 2014).
At Towcester CE Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of all our pupils and staff. We recognise that everyone experiences life challenges that at times can make us vulnerable and in need of 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 including becoming a Playground Buddy, member of School Council, member of Eco Club etc...
- Providing opportunities to reflect
- Help children to understand their emotions and feelings better through developing good emotional literacy skills using Zones of Regulation programme
- Use personal social and health education lessons to support children in their understanding of healthy relationships through our JIGSAW PHSE programme
- Promote peer support through the Mental Health Champions programme to empowers children to take a more proactive approach to managing their own mental health and supporting others
- Support children to feel comfortable to share any concerns or worries they might have by developing trusting relationships with staff and class worry boxes
- Provide guidance for individuals to develop their social skills in order that they can form and maintain healthy relationships
- Promote self-esteem and ensure that all children know that they matter
- Encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
- Help children to become emotionally resilient and manage setbacks by teaching them how to develop a growth mind-set
- Support children to become independent in an environment where it is okay to make mistakes, knowing that this leads to new learning
- Including world mental health day and mental health awareness week in the school calendar and plan activities for the whole school.
The Hive is our wellbeing centre within school offering pastoral support, care and a range of interventions. The Hive hosts a nurture breakfast club which supports children who need a positive start to the school day whilst our Nurture Lunch acts as an intervention to support children with basic life and social skills. The Hive is a separate building on the school site with a kitchen, small breakout room, large activity room and it’s own private garden with a pond and wildlife area as well as the home to our school chickens.
- Mrs Booth - SENCO and Mental Health and Well Being Lead
- Mrs McShane - Family Support Worker
- Mrs Redding - Learning Mentor and trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
- We have other staff trained in mental health and wellbeing throughout the school in order to support pupils with their needs.
Levels of support
- Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos, school values 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 separation or bereavement. Interventions include Drawing and Talking, Bereavement Counselling, Lego therapy, Socially speaking and Time to Talk
- Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as sensory circuits and includes referrals to external professionals such as play therapists.
The Zones of Regulation provides an easy way to think and talk about how we feel on the inside and sorts emotions into four coloured Zones, all of which are expected in life.
Our Jigsaw PSHE curriculum perfectly connects the pieces of Personal, Social, Health and Well-Being Education. The programme teaches children emotional literacy, social- and lifelong skills, RSE/RSHE and resilience in an age-appropriate manner. The programme equips them for happier and healthier lives, giving them agency to make their way through the world.
Empowers pupils with the tools to achieve better physical, emotional, and mental health through our programme. Equips them with stress-busting techniques that will help them overcome any challenge and emerge stronger than ever. Helps pupils to better understand their own mental health, and develop greater control over their emotions.