Mental Health and Wellbeing
1. Policy statement
At Frenchwood Community Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We have a supportive and caring ethos and our approach is respectful and kind, where each individual and contribution is valued.
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 Frenchwood, we:
- help children to understand their emotions and feelings better;
- help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries;
- help children socially to form and maintain relationships;
- promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they are valued;
- encourage children to be confident and believe in themselves;
- help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks.
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;
- providing opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others;
- access to appropriate support that meets their needs;
We pursue our aims through:
- universal, whole school approaches;
- support for pupils going through recent difficulties including bereavement;
- specialised, targeted approaches aimed at pupils with more complex or long term difficulties including attachment disorder.
This policy is intended to:
Provide guidance to school staff on our school’s approach to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing across the school
Inform pupils and parents about the support that they can expect from the school in respect of supporting mental health and wellbeing
Read this policy in conjunction with:
- SEND policy
- Behaviour policy
- Anti-bullying policy
- Safeguarding policy
3. Legal basis
This policy was written with regard to:
Articles 3 and 23 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
4. Roles and responsibilities
Whilst we all have a responsibility to promote positive mental health, staff with a specific, relevant remit include:
- Cathryn Antwis - Designated Safeguarding Lead/ Designated Mental Health Lead/ Adult Mental Health First Aid Trained (pending)
- Steve McLoughlin - Designated Safeguarding Lead/Prevent
- Tom O’Beirne - Designated Safeguarding Lead/Lead for Children Looked After and Post-Looked After
- Sue Watson - Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection/ELSA/Youth Mental Health First Aider
- Jacqui Hobson - Designated Safeguarding Lead/Attendance/Youth Mental Health First Aider (pending)
- Susan Wilkinson- SENDCo/Youth Mental Health First Aider
- Annamarie Tegland – Lead First Aider/ Staff Wellbeing Lead
- Alia Hamid - Wellbeing Governor
5. Teaching about Mental Health
The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our pupils to keep themselves mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our developmental PSHE curriculum - Jigsaw. We also use the NHS promoted scheme, My Happy Mind, which has resources for pupils, staff and parents.
We have a relational approach to behaviour management through our use of Emotion Coaching throughout school.
6. Identifying needs and Warning signs
All staff will complete termly Barriers to Learning trackers on their pupils aimed at identifying a range of possible difficulties including:
- Approach to learning
- Physical indicators
- Negative behaviour patterns
- Family circumstances
- Recent bereavement
- Health indicators
7. Supporting pupils
Universal support for all pupils
As part of our school’s commitment to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for all pupils, we support by:
- raising awareness of mental health during assemblies, PSHE and awareness weeks;
- having weekly ‘My Happy Minds’ sessions;
- signposting all pupils to sources of online support on the school website;
- undertaking termly wellbeing survey for all pupils Year 3 – 6;
- making classrooms a safe space to discuss mental health and wellbeing through interventions such as:
- Regulation Station – pupils have a space to reflect on their feelings and use strategies to self-regulate when required;
- Worry boxes – sharing concerns.
We offer support through targeted approaches for individual pupils or groups of pupils which may include:
- Targeted use of ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) resources.
- Managing emotions resources at the Regulation Station
- Socially Speaking groups
- ELSA support groups.
- Therapeutic activities including music, lego and relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
At Frenchwood we make use of resources to assess and track wellbeing as appropriate including:
- Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire
- The Boxall Profile
- Emotional literacy scales
- Other tools on ‘Bounce Together’ website
Internal mental health interventions
Where appropriate, a pupil will be offered support that is tailored to their needs as part of the graduated approach detailed above. The support offered at our school includes:
- nurture time (toast time);
- personalised timetable;
- sensory activities
- sensory pod time
- weekly session with specialist trauma counsellor/play therapist.
Making external referrals
If a pupil’s needs cannot be met by the internal offer the school provides, the school will make, or encourage parents to make, a referral for external support.
A pupil could be referred to:
- GP or paediatrician
- Mental health charities (e.g. Action North West, Kooth, Barnardos
- Foxton Centre
We ensure that staff, pupils and parents are aware of what support is available within
our school and how to access further support.
9. Working with Parents
In order to support parents we will:
- highlight sources of information and support about mental health and emotional wellbeing on our school website
- ensure that all parents are aware of who to talk to, and how to get about this, if they have concerns about their child.
- share ideas about how parents can support positive mental health in their children.
- keep parents informed about the mental health topics their children are learning about in PSHE and share ideas for extending and exploring this learning at home.
- share links to access to ‘My Happy Minds’ for parent/carers;
- Emotion Coaching sessions for parents.
10. Working with other agencies and partners
As part of our targeted provision the school will work with other agencies to support
children’s emotional health and wellbeing including:
- The school nurse
- Educational psychology services
- Behaviour support through Goldenhill pupil referral unit
- CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service)
- Family support workers
All staff receive regular training about recognising and responding to mental health issues as part of their regular child protection training in order to enable them to keep students safe. We have regular Emotion Coaching training and are a Trauma Informed school.
The Educare learning portal provides online training suitable for staff wishing to know
more about a specific issue.
Training opportunities for staff who require more in depth knowledge will be considered as
part of our appraisal process and additional CPD will be supported throughout the year where it becomes appropriate due to developing situations with one or
12. Support for staff
We recognise that supporting a pupil experiencing poor mental health can be distressing for staff. To combat this we:
- treat mental health concerns seriously;
- provide external supervision sessions for mental health team;
- support staff experiencing poor mental health themselves
- provide external wellbeing support for all staff;
- create a pleasant and supportive work environment.
Thanks to those parents who completed our baseline Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey in September 2022, we can create a plan to make improvements to our school offer.