Mental Health & Wellbeing
Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (World Health Organisation).
At Summerseat Methodist Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our staff and pupil body. We pursue this aim using both universal, whole school approaches and specialised, targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable pupils.
As a school, we support children in understanding the importance of mental health from an early stage and actively promote how we can look after our mental health so that every child learns strategies if they should ever need them.
Our work to promote positive mental health, well-being and resilience for all children includes:
*Helping Summerseat Smile - This helps us to explore with children the 5 ways to well-being:
S - Stay connected
M - Move to keep active
I - Inspired to give
L - Look and take notice
E - Enjoy and keep learning
The 5 ways to wellbeing are revisited regularly by classes across the year andour poster is displayed consistently in each classroom.
*Relax Kids – Relax Kids is an approach that uses research based mindful and relaxation techniques alongside values and positive psychology to help support children’s emotional health and well-being. It helps children to become resilient and gives children tools and techniques to manage their emotional and mental health. All children will take part in Relax Kids sessions over the course of the year, learning through the sessions 7 steps to relaxation.
*Reflect and Relax areas - Children will also have access to ‘Reflect and Relax’ areas in their classrooms to help continue some of the Relax Kids activities in the classroom. The areas will have ‘Zones of Regulation’ to help children understand their feelings and provide suggestions for support strategies to manage them. As a church school, these areas will be a space for quiet reflection with our core school values and ethos playing a prominent part.
*Forest School – Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. The approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. Miss McQuaid is currently training as a level 3 Forest School practitioner and will work will all classes across the year. The Summerseat Forest School area was developed in Summer 2020.
*Growth Mindset approaches - Growth mindset is a theory centred around the belief that intelligence and learning can be developed and improved. If someone has a growth mindset, they have a positive attitude towards learning and their ability to progress and achieve. Pupils who possess a growth mindset are said to rise to challenges and learn from the mistakes they make, rather than feeling distressed and defeated if they are unable to do or understand something. The theory was developed around 30 years ago, by psychologist Carol Dweck who studied student attitudes towards failure and found that those who were more resilient and not so disheartened by setbacks behaved in a way that led to greater success. Growth mindset is built into our PSHE curriculum and is also an annual whole school focus. This approach is promoted by all staff.
* Jar of strength and worries – These are present in each classroom to support children in recognising the positive things that happen each day and also a way to communicate any concerns they might have.
Individual Care Plans
Sometimes, children will require additional support for a short period of time linked to a specific incident or trauma and in this instance, it is helpful to draw up an individual care plan for pupils causing concern so that the appropriate additional support can be put in place. It would also be vital for someone who receives a diagnosis pertaining to their mental health to have an individual support plan. This will take the format of a Plan, Do, Review support plan and would be drawn up involving the pupil, the parents/carers and relevant health professionals.