Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
This policy was written in consultation with staff, pupils, parents and professionals involved in mental health and wellbeing.
At Fagley Primary School, we are committed to supporting and promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to all pupils, their families and members of staff and governors.
We have a supportive and caring ethos and our approach is respectful and kind, where each individual and contribution is valued.
At our school 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.
Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:
- All children are valued.
- Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
- Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems
- Positive mental health is promoted and valued.
At our school 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 count
- encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
- help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
- enable staff to identify and respond to early warning signs of mental ill health in children
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
- Providing opportunities to reflect.
- 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.
Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Principles
The seven identified Mental Health and Wellbeing principle underpin the approaches used to support the development and integration of wellbeing strategies within school. Curriculum delivery and school policy will be tailored to promote the key aspects of improving wellbeing. It will focus on creating a physically, emotionally and socially rich environment where key relationships can thrive and pupils can feel secure in their learning.
This policy should be read in conjunction with our Medical policy and our SEND policy in cases where pupils mental health needs overlap with these. This policy should also be read in conjunction with policies for Behaviour and Anti-bullying, and PSHE policies. It should also sit alongside child protection procedures.
Lead Members of Staff
Whilst all staff have a responsibility to promote the mental health of students, staff with a specific, relevant remit include:
- Keira Burnsall – Co-Headteacher, DSL, SENDCo
- Vicky Rutherford – Co-Headteacher, DSL, Mental Health and Wellbeing Leader
- Melissa Bain – Mental Health Champion
- Carol Blythe – Inclusion Manager
- Claire Greenwood – Family Liaison Officer
Teaching about Mental Health
The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our pupils to keep themselves – and others - mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our PSHE curriculum.
The specific content of lessons will be determined by the specific needs of the cohort we are teaching but there will always be an emphasis on enabling pupils to develop the skills, knowledge, understanding, language and confidence to seek help, as needed, for themselves or others.
The school will offer support through targeted approaches for individual pupils or groups of pupils which may include:
- Time to talk activities.
- Targeted use of SCARF resources.
- Managing feelings resources e.g. ‘worry boxes’ and ‘feelings cards’
- Managing emotions resources such as ‘the zone of regulation’
- Primary Group Work/Mental health and wellbeing groups
- Emotional literacy support groups.
- Therapeutic activities including art, lego, yoga and relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
The school will make use of resources to assess and track wellbeing as appropriate including:
- Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire
- The Boxall Profile
- Emotional literacy scales
We will ensure that staff, pupils and parents are aware of what support is available within our school and how to access further support.
Identifying needs and Warning Signs
School staff may also become aware of warning signs which indicate a student is experiencing mental health or emotional wellbeing issues. These warning signs should always be taken seriously and staff observing any of these warning signs should communicate their concerns with the designated child protection and safeguarding officer or the Mental Health Champion as appropriate.
Possible warning signs include:
- Changes in eating / sleeping habits
- Becoming socially withdrawn
- Changes in activity and mood
- Talking or joking about self-harm or suicide
- Expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope
- Repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause
- Secretive behaviour
- An increase in lateness or absence from school
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.
- Share and allow parents to access sources of further support e.g. through parent forums and workshops.
- Ensure that all parents are aware of who to talk to, and how to get about this, if they have concerns about their child.
- Make our mental health and emotional wellbeing policy easily accessible to parents.
- 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.
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
- CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service)
- Counselling services
- Family support workers
As a minimum, all staff will 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 pupils safe. Training opportunities for staff who require more in-depth knowledge will be considered as part of our performance management process and additional CPD will be supported throughout the year where it becomes appropriate due to developing situations with one or more pupils. Staff will be trained in whole school approaches to mental health, in order to help build resilience in our children to enable them to overcome the challenges that life can bring.
Ratified by Governors