Children’s mental health and well-being is a growing concern for the whole nation. Children today face different pressures, stresses and risks.
Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders in children increased from 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017.
At Glasshouses School, we are committed to promoting good mental health for pupils and staff.
Mrs Wilkinson spends some of her time supporting identified children with social and emotional well-being needs. The Teaching Assistants have all trained with Compass Buzz, a local authority service that deals with social, emotional and mental health concerns. Mrs Wilkinson is a trained ‘Relax Kids’ coach. Relax Kids is used as a social and emotional well-being group intervention.
Using the DfE’s ‘Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools’ as a guide for good practice in school, we use the following ideals:
PREVENTION - Creating a safe and calm environment, where mental health problems are less likely, improving the mental health and well-being of the whole school population, and equipping pupils to be more resilient so that they can manage the normal stresses of life more effectively. This will include teaching pupils directly about mental health and well-being through the curriculum, especially PSHE and reinforcing this through school activities (e.g. Outdoor Education and PE) and the whole school ethos.
IDENTIFICATION - Recognising emerging issues as early and as accurately as possible.
EARLY SUPPORT - Helping pupils to access evidence based early support and interventions.
ACCESS TO SPECIALIST SUPPORT - Working effectively with external agencies to provide swift access to specialist support and treatment.
We are committed to:
* A whole school approach to promoting good mental health across school.
* Positive classroom management and clear policies on behaviour.
* All staff and pupils feeling a sense of belonging.
* A committed Mental Health Champion (Mrs Wilkinson) and governor, who will set a culture that values good mental health and well-being.
* Identifying Mental Health and well-being in our school improvement plan.
* Working closely with parents about mental health in children.
LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT - promoting mental health i.e. it is included in the whole school development plan, ensuring curriculum time is given to this subject. We also promote positive relationships between staff, pupils and parents in our behaviour and conduct policies.
ETHOS & ENVIRONMENT - Our school vision and values, especially our Rights Respecting ethos, promotes respect, diversity and inclusion in the daily life of the school. Each class has a well-being board for pupils to visually communicate their emotional state on arrival at school. Staff use this information to support pupils appropriately. At lunchtimes, we have an indoor calm club where pupils can choose to spend quiet time. Adults are on hand to listen to concerns if needed.
* Senior staff are active in promoting mental health and well-being for all staff. They provide ongoing professional development for staff about mental health and well-being.* Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Mental Health and well-being is part of our PSHE curriculum. We teach children how to be mindful through breathing and meditation. We also help them to recognise their emotions and deal with them in a controlled and calm way.
*Enabling Pupil Voice - Pupils opinions are regularly sought through sessions with senior leaders and surveys. Theses outcomes are used to inform actions in school development plans.
IDENTIFYING NEED & MONITORING IMPACT - We use the Boxall Profile to help identify best approaches to meet needs and monitor the impact of our work. Our attendance, punctuality and safeguarding registers (CPOMS) help us to track the positive impact of our work with pupils.
WORKING WITH PARENTS - Our pastoral support team work hard to build supportive relationships with families where the emphasis is on working together to improve well-being. This may include phone chats or meeting in school for a coffee and a chat etc.
TARGETED SUPPORT - Our pastoral support team can provide packages of support for pupils i.e. a series of sessions over several weeks to address well-being needs such as anxiety, low self esteem and friendship skills.
It is important to recognise that school staff cannot act as mental health experts and we do not diagnose conditions. What we do is to ensure that there are clear systems and processes in place for identifying possible mental health issues. We endeavour to create a safe and calm educational environment and work hard to strengthen resilience.
Children's Mental Health Week 2019
As part of National Children’s Mental Health Week, the children have tried some relaxation techniques such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation. We have also had ‘sleep lessons,’ learning about how vital good sleep is for maintaining good mental health.