Mental health and well-being at Godley Primary
We aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. All children go through ups and downs during their school career and some face significant life events.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “in order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. Schools can be a place for children and young people to experience a nurturing and supportive environment that has the potential to develop self-esteem and give positive experiences for overcoming adversity and building resilience. For some, school will be a place of respite from difficult home lives and offer positive role models and relationships, which are critical in promoting children’s wellbeing and can help create a sense of belonging and community.
Our role in school is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and where they can go if they need help and support.
Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:
* All children are valued.
* Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
* Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems without feeling any stigma.
* Positive mental health is promoted and valued.
* Bullying is not tolerated.
At Godley Primary we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils, families and staff. The whole staff team are available to all children, families and each other at all times. Led by the SENCO there are two inclusion workers who work closely with individuals, groups and whole classes. We offer different levels of support:
- Universal support to meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and wider curriculum, for example, our mission, vision and values, PSHE curriculum and assemblies.
- Targeted in school support for pupils that need differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as; key adults, team around the child, lead staff members.
- Additional outside agency support for those who have short term need and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.
Universal support offer
At Godley Community Primary Academy all children receive the following:
Godley Values – Aspiration, respect, responsibility, courage, care and support make up the core values of Godley Primary Academy.
Respect – value the unique gifts and abilities of others as well as ourselves.
Aspiration – aim to achieve the best that we can.
Courage – stand up for our beliefs and take responsible risks.
Responsibility – follow through on commitments, make decisions and accept the consequences of our actions.
Care and support – be caring, kind and supportive towards ourselves, others and our environment.
These values are promoted and referred to throughout the whole of our school. The belief that we are only able to achieve our true potential when we have these values is fundamental to all that we do at Godley.
Discovery Education Health and Relationships – Discovery Education Health and Relationships is a comprehensive scheme which supports teachers to deliver the new primary RSHE curriculum. Lesson activities and comprehensive teacher support enables this digital PSHE programme to equip teachers with the resources and knowledge they need to confidently engage all pupils.
Music – We believe that Music has a powerful and positive impact on mental health. Music stimulates brain development and improves memory and concentration, which enhances academic performance. Music is a way to connect with other people and promotes belonging, broadens communication, enhances teamwork. Music can relieve stress and promotes positive mood, having a positive impact on well-being. Music helps children to build and develop their confidence and self-esteem
Eco Work - All children have the opportunity to be part of our Eco Club. There is wide spread evidence that highlights the benefits to our mental health and well-being when engaging in environmentally friendly activities. When we contribute to our communities and the planet, we become part of something bigger than ourselves. It instils a sense of worth, and it gives people something to be passionate about, something to talk about with others. The Eco Club encourages children to feel connected and helps us to put our fears and worries into perspective.
Additional Outside Agency Support
Applied Psychology – School have a service level agreement (SLA) with Applied Psychology. The SENCO directs the work of the Educational Psychologist working in school through agreeing referrals with parents for their child to access the service. One of the many roles of the EP is to support and advice school and parents in ways to help children with mental health and well-being concerns. The EP could also request the consent of parents to refer their child on to other agencies where deemed necessary.
CAMHS Tameside – School work in partnership with parents and other professionals to make appropriate CAMHS referrals for children who exhibit any mental health difficulties including ADHD, ASD, Attachment difficulties, Anxiety. School then works in partnership with CAMHS and parents to support assessment and providing the recommended support in school for individual children. For further information about the service go to www.tewv.nhs.uk
Early Help - Neighbourhood Support and advice for families in Tameside
Anna Freud – National Centre for Children and Families
Worth It – Preventing Mental Health Problems in Children and Young People
Targeted in school Support
At Godley, we believe that strong, supportive relationships between all members of a school (staff, children and parents/carers) are fundamental. We recognise that in order to truly support the holistic develop of all of our pupils, but especially children recognised as having difficulties with their mental health and well-being, that we need to invest in developing trusted relationships. Children are very astute and quickly recognise when the adults have true care and investment in supporting their needs.
“The most important assessments that take place in any school building are seen by no one. They take place inside the heads of students, all day long ... these internal assessments govern how much they care, how hard they work, and how much they learn” - Ron Berger, 2011
In response to this, ALL staff in school ensure they always make time to support the needs of child and invest in building increased resilience and in supporting the development of regulation strategies whenever it is necessary.
In addition, school promote an “open door” policy to parents to provide support in helping them help their children in a range of different ways.
Attachment and Trauma Support in school
Both the SENCO and inclusion workers completed the in depth training on how to support children who have attachment difficulties or who have experienced trauma. Please see the Attachment and Trauma website page for more detailed information.
Other Targeted Emotional Support
Other types of emotional support available are:
One to one sessions with inclusion support staff – Inclusion support staff provide regular targeted sessions with children who are vulnerable to poor mental health. They are given opportunities to speak openly about any concerns they may have, to share worries and create strategies that can help them.
Social Skills Groups – The SENCO identifies necessary social skills groups based on her continued review of needs across school. The groups are planned to address specific difficulties such as social interaction, social communication, recognising and understanding social cues, developing positive peer relationships. School use a range of resources to plan these sessions.