At Boughton Leigh Infant School we believe in promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to ensure that our school is a community where everybody feels able to thrive. Our school ethos and starfish values underpin everything that we do. We consider good mental health to be fundamentally important and are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of all our pupils and staff, recognising that everyone experiences life challenges that at times can make us vulnerable and in need of additional emotional support.
We believe it is vital that all members of our community know how to look after their mental health and support their wellbeing. We teach our children strategies using Thrive Approach, to support them in the development of positive mental health and ways to cope and regulate when times get hard.
Thrive Approach is a therapeutic approach to help support children with their emotional and social development. The Thrive approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around online assessments which identify children's emotional development and provides action plans for their individual needs.
Mental Health is “the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life and survive pain, suffering and disappointment. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our and others dignity and worth. It is influenced by our experience and our genetic inheritance. ” World Health Organisation.
What happens in school?
In school, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice. Our PSHE curriculum - Jigsaw focuses specifically on developing children’s social and emotional skills which can prevent poor mental health from developing and help all children cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. It is about helping children to understand and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and build skills that help them to thrive, such as working in a team, persistence, and self-awareness.
At our school we:
- help children to understand their emotions and feelings better
- support children to feel comfortable to share any concerns or worries they might have
- 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
Young Peer Wellbeing Champions
We are very proud to be one of forty schools across Warwickshire taking part in the Young Peer Wellbeing Champions Programme Pilot. Children in Year 2 are being trained as Wellbeing Champions.
Young Peer Wellbeing Champions aim to:
- Promote a healthy lifestyle, wellbeing and resilience
- Work with staff / pupils to develop and promote wellbeing
- Be a good role model and listener
- Reduce stigma by talking about feelings and emotions
They are learning:
- How to promote wellbeing and positive mental health throughout the year
- The key skills needed to be a champion
- How to signpost their peers to support
- What confidentiality and safeguarding mean and what to do
We have a children’s counsellor in school who is also able to work with children who need targeted support. Counselling provides a confidential space for children to explore their feelings and develop self-awareness. The approach is gentle and holistic and enables young people to explore their feelings and worries at their own pace while working and playing with a range of toys, games and creative activities. For further information about this support offer please contact our Learning Mentor Miss Smelt.
What if my child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing?
One of the most important ways to help your child is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously.
In many instances, children and young people’s negative feelings and worries usually pass with the support of their parents and families. It is helpful for the school to know what they are going through at these times, so that staff can be aware of the need and support this.
Coping and adjusting to setbacks are critical life skills for children, just as they are for adults, but it is important that they develop positive, rather than negative, coping skills.
If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, come and talk to us. Sometimes children will need additional support for a short period – this may be in the form of a daily check-in with a trusted adult, time to talk through what they are feeling and support in developing ways of moving forwards with this.
If your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, if their distress is disrupting family life or if they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age, then please speak to your child's teacher or our Learning Mentor Miss Smelt in school.
What can your child do in school to gain Mental Wellbeing?
- Be open and talk about their feelings with friends.
- Associate themselves with positive people.
- Join an afterschool club.
- Speak to their trusted adult in adult or another member of staff.
- Tell the Safeguarding Team.
- Get physically active
Looking after yourself
If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. It is easy to go on struggling with very difficult situations because you feel that you should be able to cope and don’t deserve any help.
Come and talk to us, in confidence and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.
Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.
Website links for children, staff and parents/carers: