WhatsApp Video 2020-11-26 at 6.41.41 PM (1).mp4
Pupil Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy
At Appleton Roebuck Primary School, we are committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our children and staff. Our culture is supportive, caring, and respectful. We encourage children to be open and we want each child to have their voice heard.
At Appleton Roebuck Primary School, we know that everyone experiences different life challenges, and that each of us may need help to cope with them sometimes. We understand that anyone and everyone may need additional emotional support. At our school, positive mental health is everybody’s responsibility. We all have a role to play.
This policy is a guide to all staff, including teachers, parents, governors, and non-teaching staff. It outlines our approach to promoting child mental health and wellbeing. It should be read and understood alongside our other relevant school policies.
The aim of our policy is to demonstrate our commitment to the mental health of our staff and children.
At our school, we will always:
- Help children to understand their emotions and experiences better.
- Ensure our children feel comfortable sharing any concerns and worries.
- Help children to form and maintain relationships.
- Encourage children to be confident and help to promote their self-esteem.
- Help children to develop resilience and ways of coping with setbacks.
We will always promote a healthy environment by:
- Promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in all children and staff.
- Celebrating both academic and non-academic achievements.
- Promoting our school values and encouraging a sense of belonging and community.
- Providing opportunities to develop a sense of worth and to reflect.
- Promoting our childrens’ voices and giving them the opportunity to participate in decision making.
- Celebrating each child for who they are and making every child feel valued and respected.
- Adopting a whole school approach to mental health and providing support to any child that needs it.
- Raising awareness amongst staff and children about mental health issues and their signs and symptoms.
- Enabling staff to respond to early warning signs of mental-ill health in children.
- Supporting staff who are struggling with their own mental health.
KEY STAFF MEMBERS
All staff members have a responsibility to promote the mental health of children and each other. However, certain staff members have a specific role in the process.
Head Teacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead
Wellbeing/Pastoral Lead & DDSL
Inclusion Lead (SENCO)
Early Years Lead & DDSL
If a member of staff is concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of a child, then in the first instance they should speak to: Wellbeing/ Pastoral Lead - CLAIRE SYKES
If there are safeguarding concerns, this should be immediately shared with the DSL, Andrea Commins.
If a child presents a medical emergency then relevant procedures will be followed, including involving the emergency services where necessary.
TEACHING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
Our PSHE curriculum is developed to give children the skills, knowledge, and understanding they need to keep themselves mentally healthy.
We offer support through targeted approaches for individual children or groups of children which may include:
- Circle time approaches or ‘circle of friends’ activities.
- Targeted use of SEAL resources.
- Managing feelings resources e.g. ‘worry boxes’ and ‘worry monsters’
- Managing emotions resources such as ‘the incredible 5 point scale’
- Primary Group Work/Mental health and wellbeing groups
- Support groups through ELSA resources
- Therapeutic activities including art, lego and relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
The school will make use of resources to assess and track wellbeing as appropriate including:
- Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning Survey
- The Boxall Profile
- Emotional literacy scales
- Pupil Progress Meetings that always include a focus on SEMH
We will ensure that all staff, children, and parents are aware of the support that’s available in our school for mental health. This includes how to access further support, both inside and outside of school hours.
WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH
We take a whole school approach towards the mental health of our children. This means working with parents and carers and with external agencies, where necessary.
WORKING WITH PARENTS
Working with Parents In order to support parents we will:
- Highlight sources of information and support about mental health and emotional wellbeing on our school website
- Share and allow parents to access sources of further support e.g. through parent forums.
- Ensure that all parents are aware of who to talk to, and how to get support, if they have concerns about their child.
- Make our emotional wellbeing and mental health policy easily accessible to parents
- Share ideas about how parents can support positive mental health in their children.
- Keep parents informed about the mental health topics their children are learning about in PSHE and share ideas for extending and exploring this learning at home.
- Promote the mental health and wellbeing of parents / families.
WORKING WITH EXTERNAL AGENCIES
As part of our targeted provision the school will work with other agencies to support children’s emotional health and wellbeing including:
- The school nurse
- Educational psychology services
- Early Help
- CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service)
- Counselling services
- Social Care
- Family support workers
We understand that, when a child is suffering from mental health issues, it can be a difficult time for their peers. In collaboration with the family and in response to this, we will consider, on a case by case basis, any peers that may need additional support. We will provide support in a one-on-one or group setting. These sessions will be guided by the child, but they will discuss how peers can help, how peers can access support themselves, and healthy ways of coping with any emotions they might be feeling.
IDENTIFYING NEEDS AND WARNING SIGNS
We will ensure that staff, pupils and parents are aware of what support is available within our school and how to access further support.
All staff will complete termly wellbeing trackers on their children within a Pupil Progress Meeting with the Inclusion Team aimed at early identification of a range of possible difficulties including:
- Approach to learning
- Physical indicators
- Negative behaviour patterns
- Unusual behaviour
- Family circumstances
- Recent bereavement
- Health indicators
These are colour coded to aid identification.
All of our staff are trained in how to recognise warning signs of common mental health problems. This means that they will be able to offer help and support to children who need it, when they need it.
These warning signs should always be taken seriously and staff observing any of the warning signs should communicate their concerns with the Head Teacher / Designated child protection and safeguarding officer or the wellbeing/ Pastoral lead as appropriate.
Possible warning signs include:
- Changes in eating / sleeping habits
- Becoming socially withdrawn
- Changes in activity and mood
- Talking or joking about self-harm or suicide
- Expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope
- Repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause
- An increase in lateness or absenteeism
If a child discloses concerns about themselves or a friend, to any member of staff, then all staff have a duty to report this to the DSL/DDSL in a timely way in line with the Child Protection Policy and procedures set out by the school.
Staff will respond in a calm, supportive, and non-judgemental manner.
All disclosures will be recorded confidentially and shared with the appropriate authorities if it’s necessary, to keep the child safe, in line with our Safeguarding Policy.
The disclosure record will contain:
- The date of the disclosure.
- The name of the staff member to whom the disclosure was made.
- The nature of the disclosure and the main points from the conversation.
- Agreed next steps.
If a member of staff thinks it’s necessary to pass on concerns about a child, either to somebody inside the school or somebody outside it, then this will first be discussed with the child.
They will be told:
- Who the staff member is going to tell.
- What the staff member is going to disclose.
- Why it’s necessary for somebody else to be told.
- When the contact will be.
However, it may not be possible to gain the child’s consent first, such as in the case of children who are at immediate risk.
All staff will receive regular training in child mental health so that they can recognise and respond to mental health issues. This will form part of their regular safeguarding training and is a requirement to keep children safe. Training records will be held in staff files.
We will post all relevant information, and additional information, on our school Learning Platform so staff can learn more about child mental health.
We will consider additional training opportunities for staff and we will support additional CPD throughout the year where it becomes appropriate due to developing situations with pupils.
This policy will be reviewed every year. This is so that it remains up to date, useful, and relevant. We will also regularly review it in accordance with local and national policy changes.
Agreed September 2020
Review September 2021