Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health and Wellbeing

We never under-estimate the importance of good mental health and well-being. Mrs Hawkrigg is a trained Mental Health First Aider and provides opportunities for staff and pupils to review their mental health and consider strategies to support themselves and others.

We also work with the children on their own well-being through our PSHE curriculum and children know the adults in school will support and help them in any way they are able with issues which may be affecting their daily lives.

As a school we support and actively promote ‘five ways to wellbeing’ as an approach in our communities to positive mental health.

Five ways to wellbeing

As schools we support and actively promote ‘five ways to wellbeing’ as an approach in our communities to positive mental health.

  1. Connect

There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection:

  • Visit a friend and take a home-made gift
  • Call a relative for a chat
  • Have a mobile-phone free evening as a family
  1. Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Pupils in school have time for exercise every day and we encourage children to join out of school clubs, societies and networks which help them to stay active.

Parents can encourage this through scheduling family time for activities, like walking, cycling or playing football. We encourage all pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school too.

  1. Give

Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.

Our children are encouraged to think of themselves as part of a community and to recognise the importance of contributing to this community. By giving time or showing kindness or generosity to others, we help to build community wellbeing and everyone benefits.

Pupils are rewarded for their community efforts in praise assemblies and yearly awards.

  1. Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

We encourage our pupils to develop mindfulness and use mindful activities like yoga, countryside walks and reflection time as part of our curriculum. We teach mindfulness in an explicit way and encourage children to take time away from online devices and phones, so they can truly see the world around them and appreciate it.

  1. Learn

We expect children to learn every day. We help pupils to learn by using a metacognitive approach which reduces brain-overload and makes learning manageable and enjoyable. Staff are trained to model and guide pupils in learning new skills and knowledge. They explicitly knit this to the information children have already secured in their brains.

This approach using repetition and regular assessment, allows students to store increasing amounts of knowledge and use it in a variety of ways.

Children are active learners and we encourage them to be resilient and optimistic about what they can achieve. As children learn more, they also learn about themselves as learners, helping themselves to become more successful.