Stanley Green Infant Academy & Starfish Nursery

Mental Health & Wellbeing

A whole school approach

At Stanley Green we are passionate about supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff.  The reasons for the focus on wellbeing are many and varied but, ultimately, we want our whole school community to enjoy lifelong learning:  Love for learning, love for life! 

Children's wellbeing is a combination of their physical, mental, emotional and social health. These elements all contribute to overall wellbeing, and it's important for parents, carers and educators to foster positive wellbeing in our children from an early age. 

We promote a whole school culture of positive wellbeing through a combination of:

  • Building positive relationships within our school community
  • Encouraging class conversations and dialogue around mental health
  • Promoting our school values of: emotional intelligence, independence, creativity, collaboration and community
  • Wellbeing Areas in classes/around school
  • Jigsaw PHSE curriculum
  • Promoting pupil voice and opportunities to participate in decision making
  • Encouraging children to take responsibility for helping within our school community, encouraging a feeling of self-worth (classroom monitors and Stanley’s Stars)
  • Mindfulness
  • Providing both celebration and worry boxes in every classroom; these are a focus of weekly assemblies
  • Strong emphasis on daily physical activity 

Get the Balance Right

Along with encouraging children to feel they are able to communicate openly about their worries, there is plenty of evidence that promoting positivity is crucial.  We also aim to celebrate the many daily successes and moments of joy that children may experience through recognition/use of:- 

  • Frequent praise, smiles and thank yous!
  • Stickers, badges and prizes
  • Physical displays which promote positive wellbeing, including our `buckets of love' which represent  gratitude of and recognition of those who are a positive force in our lives
  • Know it's `Good to be Green' (expected standards of behaviour) all day 
  • Displaying pupils' work
  • Enrichment opportunities (visitors, projects, performances linked to topics)
  • Achievement Award Assembly each week
  • Class Assemblies with opportunities to explore the contents our worry/blue boxes along with our gold/celebration boxes
  • Weekly Headteacher letters which include golden moments

When should children be offered more help?

Throughout our lives, any of us can experience difficulties which then makes us more vulnerable to developing mental health problems. There are a range of indicators that parents or teachers may notice that should cause us more concern, such as:

  • Changes in behaviour
  • An unwillingness to participate in things that children used to like
  • Withdrawing from family life and being with friends
  • Persistent low mood
  • Crying more than usual
  • Increased or persistent irritability or aggression
  • Ongoing or sudden onset of poor sleep patterns
  • Bed wetting
  • Lack of appetite

At these times, we use a range of strategies to support children, such as ELSA/Pastoral Support Worker drop-ins, use of sensory/calming boxes and 5 point scales, mindfulness, time in our Calming Corner, 1:1 support to have conversations about feelings or access to games/books/resources which are focused on promoting dialogue about feelings.  We may offer weekly ELSA intervention support work. If difficulties continue, school may refer children/families to external agencies for more specialist help.

By working in partnership with our families, we encourage open communication about difficulties being faced by children.  Our Pastoral Support Worker, ELSA practitioner, Designated Mental Health Lead and staff work together to support children and their families.  Please do come in and talk to us if you are worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing.

Thankfully, there is now growing awareness of the key role that schools have in preventing mental ill health.   DfE/BCP have provided funding for access to mental health training and resources.

Useful resources/websites:

NHS Every Mind Matters

Mind

Place2Be

Anna Freud

Mindfulness for children

BCP Signposting for Mental Health

CAMHS