logoPartnership LearningPartnership LearningPartnership Learning


______________ Pupils’ Mental Health and Well-Being

 

At Riverside Bridge School, we aim to promote positive mental health and well-being for our whole school community; pupils, staff, parents and carers; we recognise how important mental health and emotional well-being is to our lives in just the same way as physical health is. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall well-being and can affect their learning and achievement. Research however, suggests that about 1 in 10 children aged 5 to 16 have a diagnosable mental health need and this can have an enormous impact on their quality of life, relationships and academic achievement. In many cases it is life-limiting.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “in order to help their pupils 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 pupils well-being and can help engender a sense of belonging and community.
Our role in school is to ensure that pupils are able to manage times of change and stress, be resilient and are supported to reach their potential and access help when they need it. We also have a role to ensure that pupils 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 be a school where …
  • all pupils are valued;
  • pupils have a sense of belonging and feel safe;
  • pupils 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.

 

What is Mental Health and Well-Being?
We use the World Health Organisation’s definition of mental health and well-being:
“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.”
Mental health and well-being is not just the absence of mental health problems. We want all children/young people to:
  • feel confident in themselves;
  • be able to express a range of emotions appropriately;
  • be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others;
  • cope with the stresses of everyday life;
  • manage times of stress and be able to deal with change;
  • and learn and achieve.

 

The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our pupils to keep themselves and others physically and mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our Growth curriculum. The main focus being to help pupils to be more resilient, understand about mental health and help reduce the stigma of mental health problems.
Within our curricular Areas of of Development, our pupils learn:
Communication and Interaction
  • How to interact with staff and peers
  • How to communicate information appropriately
  • How to communicate preferences and make choices
  • How to practise appropriate behaviour in different situations
  • How to identify difficulties and ask for help
Healthy Living
  • How to follow routines including classroom routines and personal care routines
  • What is meant by a healthy lifestyle
  • How to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and well-being
  • How to manage risks to physical and emotional health and well-being
  • How to keep physically and emotionally safe
  • How to manage change, such as puberty, transition and loss
  • How to make informed choices about health and well-being and to recognise sources of help with this
  • How to respond in an emergency
Personal Development
  • How to develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships within a range of social/cultural contexts
  • How to manage own and others’ emotions and behaviours
  • How to recognise and manage emotions within a range of relationships
  • How to recognise risky or negative relationships including all forms of bullying and abuse
  • How to respond to risky or negative relationships and ask for help
  • How to respect equality and diversity in relationships

 

The majority of the support available to all pupils is planned for as part of our curriculum and everyday classroom provision. This level of support focuses on primary prevention and aims to develop the social, emotional and mental well-being competencies of all pupils either individually or as a group. All such strategies are provided for by the class teams according to each pupil’s individualised needs with input and support from other relevant school staff when and where necessary.
More formal teaching of emotional health and mental well-being as well as resilience building will be delivered where appropriate as part of the PSHE provision. The specific content of lessons will be determined by the specific needs of the cohort being taught but there will always be an emphasis on enabling pupils to develop the skills, knowledge, understanding, language and confidence to seek help, as needed, for themselves or others.

 

When identifying, referring and supporting pupils with Mental Health Needs, the School Approach is to:
  • provide a safe environment to enable pupils to express themselves and be listened to;
  • ensure the welfare and safety of pupils as paramount;
  • identify appropriate support for pupils based on their needs;
  • involve parents/carers when their child needs support;
  • involve pupils in the care and support they have;
  • monitor, review and evaluate the support with pupils and keep parents and carers updated.

 

 Pupil Well-Being and Mental Health Policy – March 2021

 

Pupils say that when they get up in the morning, they look forward to coming into school.[…]Pupils told us that they ‘love it here.’ They feel happy and safe.”                         Ofsted 2020

,