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Mental Health & Wellbeing at St Thomas’

What is mental wellbeing?

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 Organisation (WHO), 2014

At St Thomas’, we believe that the mental wellbeing of our pupils is key to developing happy, inquisitive and resilient learners who are able to face challenges in a positive and proactive way.

Two key elements to support good mental health are:

  • Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. Including feelings like curiosity, engagement and safety.
  • Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world, this includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.

Our Curriculum

At St Thomas’ our aim is to teach children about mental health and emotional wellbeing as part of a comprehensive and varied curriculum.

  • We use the programme My Happy Mind for PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) which supports mental health and wellbeing through teaching elements of growth mindset, the importance of self-esteem, building relationships and setting goals.
  • In addition to My Happy Mind, St Thomas’ have developed a Stay Safe week which covers all aspects of child safety, including anti-bullying, the NSPCCs Speak Out Stay Safe programme, The Dog’s Trust dog safety workshops, internet safety and discussions around encouraging positive mental health.
  • We believe in the importance of paying more attention to the present moment – to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us. The Present Curriculum is used to teach mindfulness from Early Years to Year 6. This is taught through explicit lessons but is also woven through the entire curriculum with daily practices being a key element of our approach to the development of positive mental health.
  • ‘Zones of Regulation’ is used throughout the school to help children to recognise their emotions and to learn how to self-regulate. We believe that there is no bad emotion and that behaviour is always a form of communication. Our aim is to help children to understand their own and others’ emotions and to develop healthy coping strategies.
  • Calm corners are available in every classroom and are used in conjunction with Zones of Regulation to help children to regulate their emotions if necessary. Our goal is to be inclusive and have time in rather than time out!
  • Each year, we celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week where we focus on physical health and wellbeing and Mental Health Awareness Week in which we explore the importance of mental health through quality children’s literature. 

Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team

Mr Moss – Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead
Mrs Toft - Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead
Mrs Mercer-Wilks – Lead Mindfulness Teacher
Mrs Parker – SENDCO
Mrs L Moss – PSHE Lead and Staff Wellbeing Lead
Mrs N Blyth – Wellbeing Governor

Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing

“Beneath every behaviour, there is a feeling. And beneath each feeling is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behaviour, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.” – Ashleigh Warner

At St Thomas’, we understand that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and these experiences may lead to the need of additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play. Our aim 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. As part of our targeted provision, we have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required. In addition to the school’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team, we have a Schools Link Mental Health and Wellbeing officer supporting us, whom we can contact for support when necessary.

At St Thomas’, we have the following levels of support:

  • Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos, school values and our wider curriculum. For instance, developing resilience for all.
  • Additional support– For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as separation or bereavement.
  • Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such referral to wider professionals. 

If your child is experiencing difficulties regarding their mental health and wellbeing, please contact school to discuss possible actions for support.

 

Useful Websites

https://www.warrington.gov.uk/happy-ok-sad

Warrington’s own mental health and wellbeing website which contains a wealth of support for varying issues.

https://www.youngminds.org.uk

A website filled with information on supporting young people with mental health and wellbeing, and signposting support options.

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/kids

A website promoting a mindfulness APP for children. There are lots of ideas here for helping children to focus and be in the present.

https://actionforhappiness.org

Ideas for positive mental health activities for every day of the year.

https://www.gonoodle.com

Fun dances and gently exercises that promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

https://www.kooth.com

An online mental health and wellbeing community where young people can chat anonymously.

https://www.childbereavementuk.org

A website which helps children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives following a bereavement.

https://booksbeyondwords.co.uk

Wordless picture books on a range of situations from bereavement to returning to school or a trip to the dentist.

Wellbeing Newsletter

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