Ninfield C of E Primary School

Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust

Mental Health & Well-being 

 

Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school.  With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, schools provide an ideal environment for promoting good emotional well-being and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.  Emotional well-being is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. 

As a school, we take mental health and well-being seriously. We are committed to supporting the emotional health and well-being of our pupils. 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 Healthy Living Scheme of work provides an effective curriculum for well-being. Children are enabled to develop the vocabulary and confidence needed to clearly articulate their thoughts and feelings in a climate of openness, trust and respect, and know when and how they can seek the support of others. 

 

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

 

Our Provision

We have a key role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what can affect their mental health, how they can reduce the sigma surrounding mental health and where they can go if they need help and support.

Curriculum: All children learn about mental health and wellbeing through weekly RSHE lessons. Through a carefully planned approach, following the Healthy Living sessions using the 'Jigsaw' program, our pupils are helped to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives, and to become resilient, informed and responsible citizens.

Awareness days: Mental Health awareness days to promote and celebrate good mental health for all. Physical Health awareness activities to promote and celebrate the importance of physical health.

Playground buddies: These children are available throughout break and lunch time to talk to. Each children in BusyBees is allocated a Year 6 buddy to support them settle into school.

Pets As Therapy: Bailey and his handler Louise are specially trained and accredited ‘Pets As Therapy’ facilitators. They work within classrooms and with children 1:1 to support with reading, confidence and anxiety.

Specialist staff: Mrs Hodd is a trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), she has a wealth of experience working with children. Mrs Hodd supports children’s emotional development and helps them to find their own solutions to any problems they may have. We have a dedicated ELSA room at Ninfield creating a safe, reflective space.

Mrs Hodd and Mrs Bassett have completed training and are now certified Mental Health Champions. They have an enhanced understanding of children’s mental health in school and implement approaches that support positive wellbeing in our community.

As part of our Academy Development Plan, Mrs Bray is currently undertaking the Senior Mental Health Lead qualification to ensure that Social Emotional Mental Health remains a high priority as part of the school's strategic leadership.

Healthy Eating: We have children’s garden areas with raised growing beds. Parent volunteers support children working in the garden. The children grow a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs and when harvested use these in cooking activities.

 

We offer different levels of support:

Universal Support – To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For instance, developing resilience for all.

Additional support – For those who may have short-term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.

Targeted support – For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing groups or ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

 

If you are concerned about your child and would like to discuss any wellbeing/mental health concerns, please contact the Class Teacher in the first instance. Should you wish to discuss this further, please contact Mrs Bray (SENCO Weds-Fri).

 

Help and support for children

If you are finding things difficult at school or with your wellbeing and mental health, there are plenty of people who are here to help.

Our Mental Health Team

 

                        Mrs Hodd                 Mrs Bassett                 Mrs Bray

 

Safeguarding Team

Designated Safeguarding Lead/Online Safety Lead:

Daniel Getty (Headteacher)

01424 892486

 

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads:

Rachael Staplehurst (Deputy Headteacher)

Chantelle Bray (SENCo)

Jen Hughes (Class Teacher)

Ellen Kennally (Class Teacher)

 

Mindful Moments:

Mindful moments can increase your well-being and enable you to meet the stresses of the world with presence, self-compassion, and openness.

What is mindfulness?

‘Mindfulness meditation, at its simplest, is paying attention to what is happening in the present moment. It may be what you’re feeling, hearing, or anything else you notice. There’s no special place of calm you have to reach and it’s not about clearing your mind, it’s just an honest and kind look at what you’re experiencing in this moment.’ Christopher Ballard

Why not try daily mindful moments?

 

 

Useful links

  • East Sussex School Health and Wellbeing This site provides numerous helpful pages about topics ranging from sleep to sensory processing, speech and language to internet safety. It also has links to parent support groups in the local areas and gives access to apply for support.
  • Young MindsA national charity which has advice for children and their parents about many aspects of mental health.
  • Child in Mind Podcasts Child in Mind have worked collaboratively with Anna Freud (National centre for children and families) to create a set of podcasts about different aspects of children's mental health and wellbeing.
  • MindEd for Families This website contains lots of advice for parents to help them support their children with their mental health
  • Mind A national charity which offers support and guidance to families.
  • e-wellbeing A website for children to access advice and support if they are feeling anxious or worried.
  • Eggtooth A local organisation which provides mental health support and services for young people in the Hastings and Rother area
  • Butterflies Child Therapy This a paid for service, but offers equine therapy and counselling sessions for young people who are struggling emotionally or with their mental health
  • Parent help and guidance - The Lily Jo Project This website offers advice on supporting your child with anxiety, when they are feeling angry or sad and offers tips on building resilience. It also has a parent forum, regular podcasts and webinars around supporting your child with their mental health.