Mental Health & Wellbeing
‘We believe in paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you’.
(Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre)
This can improve your mental wellbeing. This awareness is known as "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help us to enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. It is proven to improve a child's ability to focus and can be a great help in times of stress when used as a way to calm down.
We believe wellbeing is all about our holistic health including physical and emotional.
At Hugo Meynell, we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive. Positive mental wellbeing is essential if children and young people are to flourish and lead fulfilling lives.
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.
Over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14 and 1 in 10 children and young people has a mental health disorder (Public Mental Health, 2014). Recent survey results found that 12.5% (one in eight) of 5 to 19 year olds, surveyed in England in 2017, had a mental disorder (NHS, 2017).
“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).
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 role in school 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. Children are taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others. 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 and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. As part of our targeted provision, we have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required.
At Hugo Meynell, we believe that teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing as part of a comprehensive PSHE education curriculum is vital.
PSHE is central to the curriculum across the whole school and assists pupils to cope with the changes at puberty; introduces them to a wider world; manage transitions and enables them to make an active contribution to their communities. The concepts covered in PSHE include keeping safe and managing risk, identity, equality, managing feelings and emotions, relationships, change, resilience and being healthy, which includes physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. We aim to promote pupils’ wellbeing through an understanding of their own and others’ emotions and the development of healthy coping strategies.
Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time.
Children at Hugo Meynell have two lessons of PE each week. A wide range of sport-related after school clubs are run by Teaching Assistants and external coaches, whilst many of our pupils take part in inter-school sporting competitions which include an extensive range of sports and activities.
We include World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in the school calendar and plan activities for the whole school. We also support a variety of additional organisations such as Speak Out, Stay Safe, Antibullying Week and Safer Internet Day – all of which support mental health and wellbeing.
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.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Impact Statement.
Mental health and emotional wellbeing are important to our lives in just the same way as physical health and we recognise this in our school. At Hugo Meynell Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community, with the aim of ensuring that life is lived in ‘all its fullness’ (John 10:10)
The Department for Education (DFE) recognises that “In order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy.”
Children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and impacts on their learning and achievement.
“Short term stress and worry is a normal part of life and many issues can be experienced as mild or transitory challenges for some children and their families. Others will experience more serious and longer lasting effects. The same experience can have different effects on different children depending on other factors in their life.” (DfE 2018)
At Hugo Meynell Primary School we aim to help develop the protective factors, which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:
- All children are valued.
- Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
- Children 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.
Hugo Meynell is a place where children experience a nurturing and supportive environment that can develop self-esteem and give positive experiences to help overcome adversity and build resilience. We offer the positive role models and relationships, so critical in promoting children’s wellbeing. This helps create a sense of belonging and community.
We will provide opportunities through:
- our PSHE curriculum
- work in circle time
- visiting speakers and agencies
for all children learn to strategies to stay mentally healthy; and support them to understand and recognise
- how worries and stress can affect their mental health
- develop understanding and empathy of those with mental health issues, and knowledge of where or who they can go to if they need help and support.
Our role in school is to make sure that our children are able to manage times of change and stress. The impact of the learning and support provided in school will ensure that children know:
- 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;
- Where or who they can go to if they need help and support.
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