At Barnett Wood Infant School, we are committed to supporting the positive mental health and wellbeing of our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers). We have a supportive and caring ethos and our approach is respectful and kind, where each individual and contribution is valued. We endeavour to ensure that children and staff are able to manage times of change and stress and aim to ensure that they are supported to reach their potential or to access help when they need it.
Barnett Wood Infants take the emotional health and wellbeing of every child seriously. We believe that the school can help pupils build resilience and support them to be mentally healthy. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing policy sets out how we do this:
We all have ups and downs in life but in childhood it can be particularly hard to cope with sad feelings and worries that arise when things are hard or scary. There may be times when your child is unhappy or struggling emotionally .You may notice that they seem low or worried or that their behaviour changes. We may notice that they seem withdrawn or upset at school.
If you are worried about your child’s mental health then you are not alone. Many parents and carers have similar worries and stresses. There is good support available from local and national organisations. The sooner you seek help the better for your child and you.
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.
“Mental health is a state of well-being 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 Organization 2014)
At our school 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.
Those experiencing mental health difficulties should not face discrimination and the school are committed to helping to identify these difficulties and supporting people to overcome them.
Supporting Children’s Wellbeing and Positive Mental Health
We believe we have a key role in promoting pupils positive mental health and helping to prevent mental health problems. Our school has developed a range of strategies and approaches including;
We recognise the family plays a key role in influencing children’s emotional health and wellbeing. We are mindful that for a parent, hearing concerns about their child can be upsetting and distressing. They may therefore respond in various ways which we should be prepared for and allow time for the parent to reflect and process the situation. We will work in partnership with parents and carers to promote emotional health and wellbeing by:
Teaching about Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
Through our PSHE Jigsaw curriculum, we teach the knowledge and social and emotional skills that will help pupils to be more resilient, understand about mental health and help reduce the stigma of mental health problems. Children will learn:
Key Mental Health and Wellbeing staff
Mrs Gibbard is the school's Senior Mental Health Lead. She is responsible for the auditing and delivery of the mental health and wellbeing provision of the school community (pupils, families and staff), alongside the school governors. Her role is not to necessarily provide interventions, but to have a whole school overview and to coordinate the school’s approach to positive mental health and wellbeing.
Ms Higgins (Yr 2 Class Teacher) holds a Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health. Mrs Gregory (SENCo) and Mrs Hill (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) also form part of the team.
Our linked Primary Mental Health Team (PMHT) at Surrey Mindworks supports children and young people when they may feel emotionally or mentally unwell by helping them understand their needs and provide support and build resilience.
They support children and young people when they feel emotionally or mentally unwell by helping them understand their needs and address these through goal-based interventions.
They can also offer signposting and resources to the professional network around the child or young person to enable them to identify any concerns and support any developing mental health needs. They can work with parents and schools to enable them to nurture children and young people’s emotional health, wellbeing and build emotional resilience.
The team is made up of people from different professional backgrounds who all have experience of working in children’s mental health. The team includes mental health nurses, school nurses, psychotherapists, counsellors, social workers, art therapists and more.
Th Primary Mental Health Team has three core functions: