We know that the emotional health of children is the strongest predictor of happiness in adulthood and we want all of our children to grow up to be happy, confident, independent people who can contribute positively to society. Happier children learn better and generally perform better in school.

Conversely, poor mental health undermines educational attainment and life satisfaction.  One in eight children and young people aged 5 to 19 have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

As importantly, the mental health of teaching staff impacts on children too, and teachers play a very important role in modelling positive emotional health. All staff also deserve to enjoy their job and feel supported.

Brambleside Primary School strives to:

  • To increase the awareness, understanding and reduce stigma amongst children, staff and parents/carers of issues involving the emotional health and wellbeing of young people and to provide support at an early stage to any child who is or appears to be suffering from mental health issues.
  • To ensure that through the promotion of positive emotional health and wellbeing, children and young people are helped to understand, recognise and express their feelings, build their confidence and emotional resilience and therefore increase their capacity to learn.

Promoting positive emotional health and wellbeing:

The culture at Brambleside School promotes children’s positive emotional health and wellbeing and avoids stigma by:

  • Having a whole-school approach to promoting positive emotional health and wellbeing within an ethos of high expectations and constant support.
  • Openly talking about and discussing positive mental health in class and assemblies, and promoting the importance of sharing difficult feelings and emotions with people we trust.
  • Having a committed staff community that sets a whole school culture of positive emotional health and wellbeing, support and values.
  • Ensuring high quality continuing professional development (CPD) for staff.
  • Working closely with children, parents and carers.
  • Whole school promotion of building individual resilience and tenacity in all areas of the curriculum.
  • Having Family Support in place to support mental health and wellbeing within the school.

Supporting children:

Our school offers a range of services to help our children develop positive mental health and wellbeing, as well as additional support for those experiencing mental health difficulties.

These include:

  • Building positive parent/carer partnerships to enable early intervention to accessing mental health and wellbeing support and to allow for consistent strategy implementation within home and school to support the child.
  • Having clear communication for parents/carers such as home-school books, visible staff at school drop-off, regular teacher contact, and pastoral support so that any changes can be identified and support given to child/ parent / carers as required.
  • A trained Mental Health First Aider in school (Michelle Eaton-Brown – Family Support/Well- being Lead/SENCO).
  • Teachers and support staff are well placed to spot changes in behaviour that might indicate a problem and offer support and guidance. Many things can cause a change in mental health including traumatic events (e.g. loss or separation, life changes, abuse, domestic violence or bullying).
  • Worry boxes in each class are checked regularly which enable children to request to speak with a member of staff about a concern.
  • Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead, Mrs Eaton-Brown, works 1:1 with children with Wellbeing needs or emotional concerns.
  • Behaviour policy which helps create a positive school environment and support children in making the right choices which contributes to their own and others’ emotional wellbeing.
  • Weekly wellbeing focused PSHE sessions which help to raise awareness and understanding of what contributes to positive physical and mental health, and to provide strategies for children to look after themselves and each other.
  • The Daily Mile, PE lessons and wide array of Premier Sports clubs to boost children’s physical fitness which studies show positively impacts on children’s body-image, and physical and mental health.
  • Weekly wellbeing sessions provided for children identified as needing support with friendships, worries and self-esteem.
  • Interventions such as Mindfulness, Protective Behaviours, Emotional Literacy and Drawing and Talking to help develop children’s attention, emotional self-regulation and wellbeing.
  • Transition support provided to Y6 children and additional sessions for those who need it.
  • Lunchtime club (in the Hub room) – open to all children who need to talk
  • Providing calming and restorative spaces for children to spend time in, such as the Hub room or the newly refurbished library.
  • Constructive links with outside support and specialist agencies (e.g. school nurse, Specialist SEND support) to provide interventions for those with additional mental health needs.

Promoting emotional health and wellbeing of staff

The emotional health and wellbeing of staff is of paramount importance to effective running of any school. Not only does it directly impact the wellbeing of children but, as significant adults in children’s lives, teaching staff must set a good example and model positive emotional health. More than that, all staff deserve to enjoy their jobs and feel supported so they can enjoy long and enjoyable teaching careers.

Raising concerns:

Any member of staff, child, parent/carer concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of a child should speak to the class teacher in the first instance. The class teacher will monitor and support them, and refer to the Senior Leadership Team for additional support or for further intervention.

 

Mrs Michelle Eaton-Brown

Inclusion Leader

(SENCO/Wellbeing /

Family Support/EAL/DSL)

 

 Eaton Brown M

 

 

 

Useful links:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-look-after-your-mental-health-using-mindfulness

    

timetochange

www.time-to-change.org.uk

A growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.

 

Young Minds

www.youngminds.org.uk

Parents helpline:  0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4pm free for mobiles and landlines)

The UK's leading charity fighting for children's and young people's mental health

 

NHS

www.nhs.uk/live-well

Advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing.

 

Samaritans

www.samaritans.org

Offering a safe place to talk any tine you like, in your own way - about whatever's getting to you.

 

 Ask Norman

www.asknormen.co.uk

Ask Normen is here to guide you and work with you to get help from your GP, School Nurse or mental health services in Northamptonshire.

 

MIND

www.mind.org.uk

The mental health charity established to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.

 

Winstons Wish

www.winstonswish.org

A childhood bereavement charity supporting children and their families after the death of a parent or sibling.