Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental Health & Wellbeing
At Lunsford Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. 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.
For our Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy, please click on the link:
At our school, we promote a mentally healthy environment through:
- Promoting our school values and encouraging a sense of belonging
- Promoting pupil voice and opportunities to participate in decision-making
- Celebrating academic and non-academic achievements in order to promote self-esteem
- Providing opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
- Providing opportunities to reflect
- Access to appropriate support that meets their needs
- Helping children to understand their emotions and feelings better and to feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- Helping children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
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 and our PSHE Jigsaw programme.
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 personal mentors.
Lead staff members to contact if you are concerned about your child’s mental health: Ms Sarah Beckett (SENDCO), Mr Anscombe (Headteacher) and Mrs Lomax (Deputy Headteacher). Mrs Taylor (FLO) and Mrs Messenger and Mrs Barton (ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support Assistants).
What do we currently do for mental health and wellbeing for our pupils and staff?
- We have two designated Mental Health First Aiders (Mrs Lomax and Ms Graves) and our Well Being Leads in school that are responsible for promoting wellbeing for our staff and pupils (Ms Beckett and Ms Graves).
- We have two designated trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants), Mrs Messenger and Mrs Barton, who deliver nurture groups for pupils, such as small group ‘time to talk’ social skills work, resilience skills, 'it’s good to be me' groups and 1:1 check in with pupils in liaison with our SENDCO (Special Needs & Disabilities Co-Ordinator)
- We have an overall Well-being Team made up of the following staff: Ms Beckett, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Lomax, Mr Anscombe, Ms Graves.
- In each class we have worry monsters for pupils to share their worries with a safe adult.
- We have nominated school council members in each class to represent their peers and gain feedback in class assemblies.
- We have parents’ SENDCO forum meetings for parents to attend and share their concerns and worries.
- We have email addresses/Dojo for all teaching staff so parents can email concerns or worries.
- We have home/school communication books for pupil’s who require more regular updates.
- We have move up days, extra transition sessions and meet the teacher sessions for when a pupil is finding a class move difficult.
- We have an allocated buddy for all new pupils.
- We have informal lunchtime drop ins for pupils to be able to chat/share their worries with an adult.
- We have Key Stage 2 children as play-leaders to support younger children in positive play.
- We have a range of physical lunchtime clubs and quieter lunchtime clubs to promote mental health and wellbeing and support for pupils who find busy lunchtimes stressful.
- We have mental health and wellbeing trained staff in order to support pupils with their needs.
- We have positive behaviour systems in place to promote positive social behaviour.
- We have mental health and wellbeing assemblies to promote resilience and self-management.
- We have the PSHE Jigsaw curriculum that helps pupils to build important life skills, such as learning to learn, habits of mind and the growth mindset.
- Our ethos is to promote supporting the development of skills and character traits such as perseverance, compassion and teamwork.
- We have a Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy for our school which is regularly updated.
- We have a Staff Well-being Charter.
- We include World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in the school calendar and plan activities for the whole school.
Lunsford offers pupils many opportunities to do physical activities as well as opportunities to relax which both are ways to promote wellbeing and positive mental health.
- Lunch games to play outside
- Library open each lunch to borrow books to read
- Active Learning
- Relaxed Kids Nurture Group
- Home Learning Projects
- Inspiration Days once a term
- Residential visits
- Educational day visits
- Before and after school clubs
- Extra-curricular clubs such as yoga and mindfulness
We like to celebrate our many successes together by:
- Posting achievements on Class Dojo to celebrate what is taking place
- Displaying pupil’s work
- Celebration Achievement Award Assembly each week
- Class Assemblies
- School newsletters
- Dojo points and House points
Interventions to support Mental Health and Wellbeing
Staff coordinate interventions for pupils mental health and wellbeing such as:
- Talking Therapy
- Self-esteem individual and group activities
- Bereavement Counselling
- Lego therapy
- Relaxed Kids Nurture Sessions
Mental Health Support Teams
We are currently living through extremely challenging times, and now perhaps more than ever, looking after our mental health and well-being is of paramount importance to us all.
What do I do if I am worried about my child's mental health or wellbeing? (please also see our Family Liaison Officer page on our website for useful links)
- Go to your GP as a first port of call as they are a useful place to gain medical support and signposting of local services, or speak to a School Nurse. Referrals for the School Nurse service can be made both through your GP and through school.
- Talk to your child’s class teacher or teaching assistant about your child's needs or your concerns.
- Talk to the school’s SENCO (Ms Beckett ) or Designated Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead (Ms Graves)
- Young Minds - The Parents Helpline is available to offer advice to anyone worried about a child or young person under 25. You may have questions about a child’s behaviour, emotional well-being, or mental health condition. You may have a child who's already been admitted to CAMHS and have questions about their treatment or want to know what to say to your GP when you visit them. Call 0808 802 5544 or visit the website.
- Early Help – children and family well-being service. Parents can make a referral for support from a Well-being Practitioner via the Kent County Council website
For information and resources re: understanding and improving mental health and well-being, contact MIND. Tel: 0300 123 3393
Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your child to express themselves. Could you build on existing interests or passions? Think about what has helped them get through the past year. A love of dancing? Baking? Drawing? Fashion? Encourage your child by
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/- A public health England and NHS site to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.
Some useful resources that you could use at home to support your child’s mental health are below:
Advice for parents and carers: talking mental health with young people at primary school
See this leaflet which was created alongside the Talking Mental Health Animation & Toolkit
Dealing with anxiety - https://tutorful.co.uk/guides/the-expert-guide-to-help-your-child-with-anxiety
Young minds parents’ survival guide - https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-survival-guide/
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families - https://www.annafreud.org/parents/
Young Minds Publications offers information on a variety of mental health issues from school problems to mental illness in families. https://youngminds.org.uk/shop/publications/
Young Minds Parents Guide To Support A-Z gives you advice on how to help your child with specific mental health conditions, and life events which might be negatively affecting their wellbeing. They also show you where you can get help:
https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/- Quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Parent’s Guide to Childhood Anxiety - Knowing the symptoms, how to talk to and support your child with anxiety:
Supporting pupils’ emotional wellbeing and mental health, so that they can be listened to, are happy together and ready to learn is vitally important to us. Therefore, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS is the name for the NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
For more information, visit the website below
CAMHS also have some excellent resources for parents:
Staff Wellbeing Charter
The Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body are fully committed to promoting and fostering positive well-being for pupils and staff across Lunsford Primary School.
A happy and healthy workforce is vital for the success of our pupils. The culture of a school therefore is critical in ensuring that staff have an enjoyable, rewarding working environment in which all colleagues believe the demands of their job are reasonable and manageable.
Signing up to the DfE Staff Wellbeing Charter demonstrates our commitment and offer to staff, and ensures that levels of stress and anxiety are reduced as low as possible in the organisation.
The Charter clearly sets out our collective approach for day to day delivery and how we work together, providing a framework that covers the key challenges we face as a profession. The charter also underpins our determination to ensure that our school is a wonderful place to work.
If you have suffered a bereavement and feel that school can support, please do contact us.
Coronavirus Bereavement – an NHS guide for Parents & Carers
Coronavirus Bereavement – an NHS guide for teenagers
Coronavirus Bereavement – an NHS guide for adults
NHS bereavement support
Books to support Bereavement:
- Dogger – gentle intro to discussion for very young children
- Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley (particularly useful if an older person has died).
- Michael Rosen’s Sad Book
- Tattybogle by Sandra Ann Horn
- Muddles, Puddles & Sunshine by Winstons Wish – is an activity book.
- Vicky Angel by Jaqueline Wilson (a friend’s death, for older children)