HOW DO WE SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH AT SCHOOL?
Whole School Provision-The foundation for our mental health offer is our Whole School Provision. Learning about mental health is part of our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum for all children. This teaching and learning for all is part of the Prevention phase of mental health, mentioned above. Children receive dedicated PSHE teaching each week. Beyond lesson time, our school culture embeds good mental health. For example, our extensive grounds have been developed as a haven for nature and exercise. Pupils have access to these areas at playtimes, during the daily mile and in gardening club and sports clubs. There is always a staff member for children to talk to.
We also have dedicated Mental Health time by recognised children' mental health week when we promote and celebrate good mental health for all though The Five Ways to Well Being.
Low Level Needs - This is the Identification phase, from the the DfE model. We have a variety of ways that our children can let us know how they are feeling. In EYFS there is an emotional register that children fill in on entry to school each morning. Staff can then pick on pupils' state of mind and chat to them about it. We also have worry boxes in the older classes for children to write a note, if they prefer to. Our staff have been trained by Compass Buzz, a charity providing health and well being services for children, families and communities to help them identify when a child may need some additional support. Our lead for mental health has had additional training by Compass Phoenix. If we think your child may benefit from some bespoke support, we will always talk to you about it first.
Medium Level need - Individualised Support for our pupils who may be experiencing mental health and well being difficulties. After identifying and talking to parents, providing some support for the pupil is the next step. This is the Early Help phase. Getting support in a timely fashion can stop a mental health issue from developing further. There are lots of ways we can support children in school, which can range from being very light touch ( e.g. a simple chat, organising a playtime buddy or a daily check-in to see how they are feeling) to a series of individual or group sessions with a trained staff member using recognised support programmes and interventions such as lego therapy.
High Level Need - Signposting to External Support - occasionally, some children may benefit from expert mental health professionals. We can help families to access this support. We will work with these agencies to provide support in school as best we can.
Capturing the Children's Voice - it's important to us that our children get a say in our mental health and well being offer. The school participates in the North Yorkshire County Council Growing up in North Yorkshire children's survey which covers mental health.
Working with Parents
Parents are always included in any concerns we have about a pupils’ health. We ensure that parents have a voice and recognise their contribution.
The latest North Yorkshire offer for support can be accessed here: https://cyps.northyorks.gov.uk/sites/default/files/SEND/Medical%20Education%20Service/Mini%20Marketplace%20-%20SEMH%20in%20NY%20Updated%20Oct%2021.pdf
Details of Lancashire services can be accessed here: https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/download_file/force/5282/6797
Many of our pupils and staff live in Lancashire and therefore may access Lancashire services for support. When signposting families, staff will take into account their home address.
For staff the school has access to health assured and details can be accessed here: https://nyestraining.co.uk/Pages/Download/948EC4E5-C775-42E1-B228-15BA3AC59669/PageSectionDocuments
Our learning environments are set up to be safe and calming places for pupils to learn. We try to use neutral colour schemes so they are not over-stimulating. We try to use low level lighting and plants to create a sense of calm. Classrooms have timetables, rules and procedures displayed in words and pictures so that pupils can feel secure in the expectations within the room. Adults understand the importance of creating spaces that are conducive to good mental health.
HOW CAN I GET HELP FOR MY CHILD?
If you are worried your child may be experiencing mental health issues, please talk to your child's class teacher or Mrs Katie Smith - Headteacher, SENCo and Mental Health Lead.
The challenges of Covid-19 mean that many people might be struggling. People could experience loss, anxiety, sadness, frustration, loneliness and low mood, which are understandable given the recent changes to all of our lives. For some people, Covid-19 might trigger previous mental health difficulties, or make existing problems feel worse. There is no right or wrong way to feel right now, and each person's responses are individual and understandable. If you feel you or your child needs further support during this time, there are a number of local and national organisations listed below that can help. School is also always here to help and please do talk to us at any time.