Wellbeing and mental health
At Garswood we are committed to providing children and staff with an holistic approach to their learning.
This means that we do not just focus on learning within lessons but also the development of the whole person.
Life will have its ups and downs. We all need strategies to deal with the changes and the challenges. We also recognise that on a day to day basis it is important for us to have a considered approach to wellbeing.
Our approach to mental wellbeing and mental health is graduated, though there is flexibility and all cases are considered on an individual basis.
In the first instance we have whole school approach, these include the following strategies:
Whole school offer
- Events to provide positive experiences; reflection time; a sense of spirituality. Examples of these include: whole school forest fire, eating s'mores and drinking hot chocolate; singing together; talent competitions; dance alarms; spreading happiness activities.
- PATHs incl daily check ins; worry boxes; feelings charts
- PSHE curriculum
- Forest school
- Physical activity/range of curriculum opportunities
- Range of resources at playtimes to support physical and emotional wellbeing
- Culture and ethos in the school - whole school aims (Be kind,be ambitious, be respectful)
- Inclusive posters and texts/stories
- Rich curriculum offer to support finding talents
- Occasional 3 houses or blob trees (can do this in small groups for y3/4 – can do whole class in Y5/6 if needed – or can be used for individuals)
- Assemblies focused on wellbeing
- Personal development and wellbeing committee of pupil and Governors
- School council
- Poverty proofed offer to enrichments
- All staff are trained in recognising anxiety in children and strategies to support them
- Designated staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid
The next tier of support would be as follows;
Possible low levels intervention (this need not involve Family Support Worker involvement and can be managed at class teacher/TA level)
- Class teacher time – talk time
- Check in in lessons
- Lunchtime support ; informal time to talk
- Observe child with friendships
- Friendship circle
- Self-esteem building – targeted praise
- Targeted roles allocated – jobs within the class.
- Increased dialogue with parents
- Encourage family to attend support – coffee mornings; parental anxiety support
- Three Houses completed/Blob tree – pupil voice – regular as individuals
- Letter to self : I like,,, I am…; I wish…: I wish my teacher knew about me…; Two things that make you happy/sad/mad/sacred….; I sometimes need help with; The best thing in life is….; when I grow up…. ; I am really good at…..
Possible medium level interventions
- Family support worker involvement
- EHAT considered – pastoral link made with parents
- Signpost to extra-curricular ie Art therapy; physical wellbeing/sport club
- Care plan devised with short term goals – similar to an IEP (IMHCP – individual mental health care plan)
- Further family support and signpost
- Consider case discussion with MHST (Mental Health Support Team)
- Consider the local offer St Helen's Wellbeing (sthelenswellbeing.org.uk)
Possible high level intervention
- Counsellor support incl internal and external options
- Mental Health Support Team engagement
- Refer to CAMHS
- Refer to school nurse
- Consider multi-agency meeting
- Consider options on the local offer St Helen's Wellbeing (sthelenswellbeing.org.uk)
We also consider pupils who have sporadic times when they demonstrate poor mental health
An example of this is during swimming sessions; during test/assessment periods; coming to the end of the academic year (transition times)
Sporadic intervention examples
- Managing overwhelming feelings
- Revision techniques
- Swim fun sessions
- Enhanced transition activities
Cohort specific issues
We have considered tailoring our PSHE curriculum to be assured that there are tailored opportunities to support pupils. For example in Y6 – work on transition to secondary
We have specific drop down assemblies to address emerging issues or areas that may be causing some mental health concerns for larger cohorts.
Reasonable adjustments are made for all children to be included both in screening activities and/or individual support. IMHCP link into IEPs as appropriate.
How will the impact of interventions be measured?
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires
Staff and parental feedback