Mental health and wellbeing
Positive mental health and wellbeing is crucial for the successful development of children and adults. At EMPS we value mental health, social, emotional, physical and personal development as much as we value academic achievement.
We believe that for children to flourish with their academic learning and reach their potential, they require strong personal, social and emotional skills. This is so they have the right attitudes, behaviours and mindset to support them with new and challenging learning and to be successful learners throughout the school.
We also believe for children to be life-long learners and active citizens of the future, they require character skills so they are able to confidently communicate with others, cope with challenging situation, manage their feelings and emotions appropriate and aspire to achieve their best.
At Eyres Monsell, mental health is defined as:
“…a state of well-being in which every individual realizes 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
Positive wellbeing can be seen in people as:
- The capacity to realise and understand our own abilities.
- To feel that we are living our life with purpose and meaning.
- Making a positive contribution to our communities.
- The ability to form positive relationships with others, to feel connected and be supported.
- The ability to experience peace of mind, happiness, contentment and joy (mindfulness).
- The ability to be resilient – to be able to cope with life's ups and downs and be confident in your response.
- The capacity to take responsibility for yourself and for others.
As a school we try to encourage the development of these through our ethos, curriculum, teaching and learning and through additional support measures.
What does support in mental health and wellbeing look like at Eyres Monsell.
We believe that everyone has mental health and that it can be seen on a spectrum, with people experiencing positive mental health times and times where we have poor mental health.
All students and staff access the universal level of provision. As pupils and staff require more targeted support or personalised intervention, this is offered either by the school (such as counselling, supervision, intervention groups) or by external agencies such as the school nurse and CAMHS.
Reducing the stigma of mental health
We actively try to reduce stigma associated with mental health by:
- Talking openly about mental health and associated language so it is part of everyday!
- Share ways to improve times of poor mental health – modelling
- Participate in national events ‘Time to Talk’, ‘World Mental Health Day’, ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’
- Learn more about ourselves through our PSHCE curriculum and life skills (pupils) and the Spotlight programme (staff).
- Encourage an ethos of self-care, so people know ways to support their mental health, reduce stress and be able to cope in difficult situations. This may be through developing self-regulation strategies, calm down and relaxation strategies (such as yoga and meditation) or taking time out for ourselves.
- Learn more about mental health through the curriculum or staff training, so we can support ourselves or those needed help.
- Help people learn how to “Get your grump off!” so we have appropriate strategies to deal with our changing moods and emotions.
- Offer support and time and that everyone knows that there is someone to talk to.
- Provide mindful magazines and literature in staffroom or child appropriate in the library.
How does our curriculum positively develop children’s mental health and personal development?
As a school every child has the opportunity to develop personal character skills and qualities. These are grouped in to six main sections that are woven into our teaching and learning activities.
Examples of how we build personal character skills are through:
- Providing curriculum programmes which educate and promote the skills, mindsets and characteristics vital to positive mental health and well-being (PSHCE, Citizenship)
- Providing opportunities for daily physical activity and mindful activities to support the development of healthy bodies and minds.
- Delivering targeted programmes to support the prevention or reduction of problems such as emotional difficulties, conflict resolution and aggressive behaviour.
- Providing additional support packages for those struggling with mental health (nurture groups, self-esteem, resilience, lego therapy, talk/draw therapy).
- Encouraging emotional literacy so pupils have a wide language to describe their thoughts and feelings.
- Creating social and physical environments support the development of positive mental health and well-being of pupils (pupil safety survey)
- Working with external agencies such as CAMHS, SEMH, Educational Psychologists, Early Help etc, to ensure pupils and families access the personalised support they need.
- Teaching linked to our whole school topic “I am special, I am unique, I am me..”
Every Friday afternoon children participate in activities known as ‘Life Skills’. Children are grouped in mixed ages from Foundation Stage 2 to Year 2 and Year 3 to Year 6 and participate in a wide range of activities to build character skills and enhance personal development. Some examples of the sessions include:
- Outdoor and adventurous learning
- Team building
- Memory Skills
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Arts and appreciation
- Modern foreign languages
- Healthy lifestyles and nutrition
- Critical thinking
These activities are prioritised to support children and benefits the pupils and school by:
- Encouraging greater connections and relationships (different ages, abilities)
- Build positive relationships with different adults so we develop a whole school community where everyone is known
- Setting a tone of the importance of children building character skills (problem solving, resilience, team building, taking healthy risks)
- Allowing children to learn from peers and build relationships with a wide range of different people
- Building a sense of confidence and personal achievement in non-academic ways
- Provideing greater opportunities to change environments including outdoors, different classrooms and areas within the school
- Supports application to academic learning e.g. problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration.