We are committed to promoting positive mental health and emotional well being to all pupils, their families and members of staff.
Our culture and curriculum demands that pupil voice is heard and through effective policy and procedures we ensure a safe and supportive environment for everyone – both directly and indirectly – to those who are affected by mental health issues.
Happiness underpins our school vision and we firmly believe that this, along with quality firstteaching and learning, is the bedrock that drives our success.
Mental health is at the centre of our curriculum and we are committed to the importance of educating young people and adults about its importance. Our school code reflects this:
This policy aims to ensure all staff take responsibility to promote the mental health of pupils and themselves, however, key members of staff have specific roles to play:
PSHE and Well Being Lead
- Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Family Support Adviser
In our school we have a designated Well Being Team who meet regularly to discuss various issues and strategies. The team consists of:
- Deputy Head and SENCO
- PSHE and Well Being Lead
- Family Support Adviser
- ELSA trained teaching assistant
- Link Governor
This ensures that emotional well being and mental health are a school priority.
Involving Parent and Carers
We recognise the important role that parents and carers have in promoting and supporting the mental health and well being of their children, and in particular supporting children who do have mental health needs. Parent meetings include discussion on the importance of positive mental health for learning.
In order to support parents, we will:
Highlight sources of information (such as this policy) and support about common mental health issues on our school website.
- Ensure that all parents are aware of who they can talk to, and how to get the support they need if they have concerns about their own child or a friend of their child.
- Make our Mental Health and Emotional Well Being Policy easily accessible to parents.
- Share ideas about how parents can support positive mental health in their children though our regular review meetings.
- Keep parents informed about the mental health topics their children are learning about in PSHE and RSHE.
We are also mindful that for a parent, hearing about their child’s issues can be upsetting and distressing. They may therefore respond in various ways which we should be prepared for and allow time for the parent to reflect and come to terms with the situation.
Level 1: Universal Support for pupils
The skills, knowledge and understanding our students need to keep themselves – and others – physically and mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our curriculum, specifically PSHE.
SCARF Life Education
We use SCARF Life Education as a scheme to support our planning, incorporating this into our curriculum at all stages, to promote pupil well being through the development of healthy coping strategies and an understanding of pupils’ own emotions as well as those of other people.
Zones of regulation
The Zones of Regulation are a self regulation system that is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and our emotions for the specific situation. Please see website for more details.
Other whole school approaches to promoting well being and mental health include:
- Junior Leadership Team
- School Council
- Curriculum policies
- Weekly growth mindset sessions
- Worry boxes in class
- Annual well being surveys
- Recognition boards
- Positive behaviour management based on emotion coaching – see Behaviour for Learning Policy
Level 2: Specialised, targeted support
We recognise that for some children, they are at greater risk of experiencing poorer mental health. For example, those who are in care, young carers, those who have had previous access to CAMHS, those living with parents/ carers with a mental illness and those living in households experiencing domestic abuse.
We work closely with outside professionals and on site specialists, including:
- Our therapist who delivers therapy once a week for identified individuals and groups;
- Our ELSA trained teaching assistant who delivers weekly sessions to individual children;
- Educational psychologists
- 1:1 talk time with a trusted adult in school
- Specialist teaching service
- School nurse teams
- Young Carers
We work closely with these professionals and follow specialist advice so that issues can be identified early, determining potential risks and providing early intervention to prevent issues escalating.
Level 3: Immediate Intervention
If a child needs this level of support (either directly at this level or as the result of previous, lower level interventions), the following could be appropriate:
- CAMHS assessment for 1:1 and/ or family support/ treatment
- Referral to Children’s Services
At school, we know that Maslow’s theory is closely linked with mental health. His theory is often depicted as a pyramid that places physiological needs (such as food, water and air) at the base, followed by safety, belonging, and esteem needs moving up the pyramid (Kenrick et al. 2010).
At the top of Maslow’s pyramid is the need for self-actualization, described as the desire “to become everything that one is capable of becoming” (Maslow 1943). This is closely linked with good mental health, which is for people to “strive to reach their full potential”.
We have used this theory, along with other advice to determine our referral pathway: