Mental Health and Wellbeing
There are many ways to define wellbeing, and that is a discussion in itself. For this report, we define ‘wellbeing’ as referenced in the widely accepted World Health Organisation definition of mental health:
“Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing 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.”
Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school.
With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, our school provides an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.
Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.
This is where the school community at Oldmixon Primary School are taking a stand - we are wising up to wellbeing.
What are we doing as a school to support children with their mental health and emotional wellbeing?
We recognise that children need to know that they matter, that we value them, that their voice can be heard, that we can help them, that we will be here for them. We acknowledge them every day through greetings, a gesture, a nod, a smile and a conversation.
We talk about the power of 'I know', 'I appreciate', 'I understand' - to children some things are huge, and we need to recognise this and affirm their feelings for that thing - be it a scratch they have, a funny feeling in their tummy, a sad feeling because of a falling out, a sigh because they cannot do something - we need to set aside our 'rush' to teach and ensure progress and attainment and ensure that we have done our best to support our children to be ready to learn - emotionally available. We do this at all levels - leadership to office staff, teachers to midday supervisors.
We do not avoid talking about having healthy minds – we use MindUp daily and we learn about the brain and how it works.
We do not know everything .... if you have any skills that you could share in this area or any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.