We promote positive mental health and well-being with the children in our federation. The curriculum is designed to support this, as well as a range of strategies and programmes we have in place.
We work hard in school to promote positive mental health and well-being to ensure the children are able to cope with changes, emotions and situations in their lives that may be challenging. We know that all the children will face some difficulties throughout their lives and we want to support them to manage these appropriately and with confidence.
Mental Health is defined as a state of wellbeing 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
Mental health difficulties is a growing issue and it is affecting young people too. 3 out of 4 mental illnesses start in childhood (Mental Health Problems in Children and Young People, 2012)
Borris can beat it
A seven-session small group intervention to overcome anxiety and worry (foundation stage and KS1)
Programme developed by East Sussex Educational Psychology Service in partnership with the targeted Mental Health in schools project.
A structured programme of sessions which focus on feeling happy and safe, identifying feelings, what happens to our body when we feel worried, learning how to relax and feel good. How to talk to our family and friends and friends and review what we have learnt about how to help ourselves.
Happy to be me -Personal Development and Positive Mental Health for Children
This programme has been designed to be held as a small group (nurture style) intervention courses of 6 or 8 sessions, for 6 to 8 children at a time. The sessions focus on improving low self-esteem as this can impact on the ability to learn and progress for some children, and can also mean they do not have the confidence or skills to join in with some aspects of school life. Feeling a little worried or anxious can affect children throughout both their school and home life, meaning they find it difficult to cope with life’s challenges. Through this we will develop self confidence and self belief so children can see what they are capable of achieving.
Drawing and Talking
D & T is a child-centred therapy focusing on prevention, early intervention and overcoming worries or concerns they may have in their lives. Drawing and Talking is a 10 week programme which is a serial drawing technique for use with children and young people who may have been through a difficult time or are feeling worried or anxious which is affecting their ability to focus or concentrate. Drawing and Talking therapy supports children to realise their full potential, either socially or academically.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistant -ELSA
6 week + 1 week introduction- intervention
Most ELSA programmes will last for 6 weeks helping the pupil to learn some specific new skills or coping strategies. Clear programme aims (SMART targets) are set early on and each session has an objective – something we want to help the pupil understand or achieve. It may not resolve all difficulties for those with complex emotional needs but it should improve confidence and give them strategies to cope better. Change is a long-term process that needs everyone’s help. ELSAs help children and young people learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide the time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them.
Promoting children’s personal, social health education is delivered throughout the school, and across the Federation, through the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) programme. This programme is designed to promote social skills, awareness and understanding, as well as supporting educational processes in the classroom.
The benefit of PATHS is that it improves: Self-Esteem, Self-Control, Emotional Intelligence, Classroom Behaviour, Conflict Resolution and Academic Engagement. Evidence supports that PATHS reduces: Aggressive Behaviour, Emotional Distress and Conduct Problems.
During the school day the children take part in yoga sessions which they watch on the screen. We use a website called ‘Cosmic Kids Yoga’ which is free to access and has a range of different yoga activities ranging in length and energy level. If you would like to do this with your child at home to promote positive mental health, follow this link http://www.cosmickids.com/
We run a range of clubs across the federation. Some are run by staff and some are run by Year 6 children. Ukulele Club, Martial Arts Programme, Gardening, Baking, Lunchtime Lounge, Skills Club, Wellbeing club, sports clubs and Secret Club are a few that we run during the year.
At Toftwood federation we promote a range of clubs to suite everyone’s extra curricular interests. The benefit of taking part in clubs at school include:
- Make new friends
You’ll meet people who have similar interests to yours that you may not know already.
- Build respect and learn team work
Team work and respect are two important life-skills that can carry you through life. By joining clubs or teams, you’ll learn to work together towards a common goal, learn respect for coaches, leaders, yourself, and one another.
- Gain self-confidence
Completing a special project, playing a difficult piece of music, or being a valuable member of a team can help you gain self-esteem.; by participating in a club or other activity, you have the opportunity excel in something you enjoy and are good at.
- Relieve stress
Many clubs and activities take place in a relaxed environment, so you have a chance to unwind and do things you like after a busy day at school.
- Learn real-life skills
Many extra curricular activities provide a chance to learn real-life skills.
- Develop time management skills
Joining clubs and other activities helps you learn the importance of planning and prioritising.
- Keep children active– Lack of exercise is one of the contributing factors to poor mental and physical health
If you have any concerns about your child’s mental health or well being please do not hesitate speak to a member of staff at school or visit your GP or ask the school to make a referral to the school nursing service.
Kirsty Ponder – Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead, Mental Health Champion
Sarah Saunders – SENCO, Mental Health Champion
Alison Thompson – Parent Support Advisor, Mental Health Champion
Norfolk County Council have resources on their website to support mental health and well being
See this link for further details – www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/send-local-offer/health/health-services-in-norfolk/mental-health-services/mental-health-resources