Mental Health & Wellbeing
Orchard Primary School is proud to have been awarded 'Route to Resilience' accreditation for our commitment to wellbeing in school.
At Orchard Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.
For our Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy, please click on the link:
At our school, we promote a mentally healthy environment through:
- Promoting our school values and encouraging a sense of belonging
- Promoting pupil voice and opportunities to participate in decision-making
- Celebrating academic and non-academic achievements in order to promote self-esteem
- Providing opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
- Providing opportunities to reflect
- Access to appropriate support that meets their needs
- Helping children to understand their emotions and feelings better and to feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- Helping children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
We offer different levels of support:
Universal Support - To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For instance, developing resilience for all.
Additional support - For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.
Targeted support - For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing groups or personal mentors.
Lead staff members to contact if you are concerned about your child’s mental health: Miss Hayley Webster (SENDCO), Mrs Shields (Headteacher) and Mr Patching (Deputy Headteacher and Character Education Lead). Miss Farrar (Deputy SENDCO) and Mrs Fairbrother (ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support Assistant).
What do we currently do for mental health and wellbeing for our pupils and staff?
- We have a designated Mental Health and Well Being Lead in school that is responsible for promoting wellbeing for our staff and pupils (Mrs Shields).
- We have a designated trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) , Mrs Fairbrother, who delivers nurture groups for pupils, such as small group ‘time to talk’ social skills work, resilience skills, 'it’s good to be me' groups and 1:1 check in with pupils in liaison with our SENDCos (Special Needs & Disabilities Co-Ordinator)
- We have a Well-being Team made up of the following staff: Mrs Shields, Mrs Daft, Mrs Fairbrother, Mrs Champlin, Mrs McGravie and Mrs Chapman.
- In each class we have worry boxes for pupils to share their worries with a safe adult.
- We have nominated school council members in each class to represent their peers and gain feedback in class assemblies.
- We hold extra half-termly meetings for pupils who need more regular meetings to support their needs.
- We have parents’ SENDCO forum meetings for parents to attend and share their concerns and worries.
- We have email addresses/Dojo for all teaching staff so parents can email concerns or worries.
- We have home/school communication books for pupil’s who require more regular updates.
- We have move up days, extra transition sessions and meet the teacher sessions for when a pupil is finding a class move difficult.
- We have an allocated buddy for all new pupils.
- We have a lunchtime drop ins for pupils to be able to chat/share their worries with an adult.
- We have Key Stage 2 children as play-leaders/sports coaches to support younger children in positive play.
- We have a range of physical lunchtime clubs and quieter lunchtime clubs to promote mental health and wellbeing and support for pupils who find busy lunchtimes stressful.
- We have mental health and wellbeing trained staff in order to support pupils with their needs.
- We have positive behaviour systems in place to promote positive social behaviour.
- We have mental health and wellbeing assemblies to promote resilience and self-management.
- We have a PSHE curriculum that helps pupils to build important life skills, such as learning to learn, habits of mind and the growth mindset.
- Our ethos is to promote supporting the development of skills and character traits such as perseverance, compassion and teamwork.
- We have a Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy for our school which is regularly updated.
- We have a Staff Well-being Charter.
- We include World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in the school calendar and plan activities for the whole school.
Orchard offers pupils many opportunities to do physical activities as well as opportunities to relax which both are ways to promote wellbeing and positive mental health.
- Lunch games to play outside during ‘Happy Lunchtimes’
- Library open each lunch to borrow books to read
- Active Learning
- Relaxed Kids Nurture Group
- Home Learning Projects
- Themed Days
- Residential visits
- Educational day visits
- Before and after school clubs
- Extra-curricular clubs such as yoga and mindfulness
We like to celebrate our many successes together by:
- Posting achievements on Class Dojo to celebrate what is taking place
- Displaying pupil’s work
- Achievement Award Assembly each week
- Photos of achievements on our ‘Proud Cloud’
- Mrs Shields’ 'Hot Chocolate Friday'
- ‘Top Table’ lunchtime treat for pupils nominated by their class teacher
- Class Assemblies
- School newsletters
- Dojo points and House points
The school follows the DfE guidelines for the teaching of Mental Health and Wellbeing in the following ways:
- Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) scheme of work
- Active Learning
- Go Noodle
- Assemblies and theme days
Interventions to support Mental Health and Wellbeing
Staff coordinate interventions for pupils mental health and wellbeing such as:
- Talking Therapy
- Self-esteem individual and group activities
- There's a Volcano in my Tummy anger therapy
- Bereavement Counselling
- Lego therapy
- Relaxed Kids Nurture Sessions
- Starving the Anxiety Gremlin nurture group
Mental Health Support Teams
We are currently living through extremely challenging times, and now perhaps more than ever, looking after our mental health and well-being is of paramount importance to us all.
What do I do if I am worried about my child's mental health or wellbeing?
- Go to your GP as a first port of call as they are a useful place to gain medical support and signposting of local services, or speak to a School Nurse. Referrals for the School Nurse service can be made both through your GP and through school. https://www.healthforkids.co.uk/leicestershire/school-nurses/. Our School Nursing Team’s details are: North West Leicestershire Public Health (School) Nurse Team, Coalville Health Centre. Tel: 0116 215 3250
- Talk to your child’s class teacher or teaching assistant about your child's needs or your concerns.
- Talk to the school’s SENDCOs (Miss Webster and Miss Farrar) or Designated Mental Health and Wellbeing lead (Mrs Shields).
- The Education Psychology Service has a helpline for parents available daily 9 – 11.30. Tel: 0116 305 5100.
- Young Minds - The Parents Helpline is available to offer advice to anyone worried about a child or young person under 25. You may have questions about a child’s behaviour, emotional well-being, or mental health condition. You may have a child who's already been admitted to CAMHS and have questions about their treatment or want to know what to say to your GP when you visit them. Call 0808 802 5544 or visit the website.
- Early Help – children and family well-being service. Parents can make a referral for support from a Well-being Practitioner via the Leicestershire County Council website https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/.../report-abuse-or-neglect-of-a-child. Don’t be put off by the page title relating to abuse and neglect – safeguarding encompasses a lot more than just child protection.
Refer to Early Help using the ‘Request for Services’ form via the green box at the bottom of the page or call the Children and Family Well-being Service on 0116 305 8727 for more information.
The Early Help team can provide help through groups such as Bounce Back (for children aged 8-13 children who are worried/anxious – low-level concerns) and through cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) interventions in order to help children manage and understand their anxiety. There is also a Parental Mental Health - group support for parents who have increasing anxieties around emotional, health and well-being.
Early Help Well-being Practitioners have been trained as part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative. Well-being Practitioners are able to offer CBT based interventions to support children and young people experiencing common mental health difficulties.
Wellbeing Practitioners can work with children and young people (CYP) experiencing any of the following.
- Low mood
- Generalized anxiety & social anxiety
- Sleep problems due to anxiety/low-mood
- Simple phobias (excluding blood, needles and vomit)
- Stress management
For information and resources re: understanding and improving mental health and well-being, contact MIND. Tel: 0300 123 3393 https://www.mind.org.uk/
Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your child to express themselves. Could you build on existing interests or passions? Think about what has helped them get through the past year. A love of dancing? Baking? Drawing? Fashion? Encourage your child by
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/- A public health England and NHS site to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.
NHS Berkshire West and East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have relaunched the mental health booklet – the Little Blue Book of Sunshine: Little Blue Book of Sunshine 2020.pdf.
The book offers lots of practical and useful advice and aims to help children and young people by sharing tips on how to deal with problems, such as anxiety, stress, relationships and anger. It also includes information about where to get help when they need it.
Some useful resources that you could use at home to support your child’s mental health are below:
Advice for parents and carers: talking mental health with young people at primary school
This leaflet which was created alongside the Talking Mental Health Animation & Toolkit, features an introduction from our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge who supported the You're never too young to talk mental health campaign stating the campaign's resources "demonstrate how we can help children express their feelings, respond appropriately, and prevent small problems from snowballing into bigger ones."
Dealing with anxiety - https://tutorful.co.uk/guides/the-expert-guide-to-help-your-child-with-anxiety
Young minds parents’ survival guide - https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-survival-guide/
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families - https://www.annafreud.org/parents/
Public Health England How Healthy Behaviour Supports Children's Wellbeing
Mental Health Parent Leaflet Anna Freud Centre
The Anxious Child Booklet for Parents
Worry Doll Instructions
You need to know guide for parents
10 key areas to happier living poster
Relaxation tips for bedtime
Sleep and Diet Parent Leaflet
Bedtime routine for Parents
Mindfulness Booklet A brief guide
Schools Information Pack - Bereavement
Young Minds Publications offers information on a variety of mental health issues from school problems to mental illness in families. https://youngminds.org.uk/shop/publications/
Young Minds Parents Guide To Support A-Z gives you advice on how to help your child with specific mental health conditions, and life events which might be negatively affecting their wellbeing. They also show you where you can get help:
https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/- Quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Feelings tracker: Tracking My Feelings.pdf
Anxiety thermometer: Anxiety Thermometer.pdf
Mindfulness calendar: Mindfulness Calendar Daily 5 Minute Activities.pdf
Parent’s Guide to Childhood Anxiety - Knowing the symptoms, how to talk to and support your child with anxiety: https://tutorful.co.uk/guides/the-expert-guide-to-help-your-child-with-anxiety
Supporting pupils’ emotional wellbeing and mental health, so that they can be listened to, are happy together and ready to learn is vitally important to us. Therefore, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS is the name for the NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
For more information, visit the website below
CAMHS also have some excellent resources for parents:
Staff Wellbeing Charter
The Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body are fully committed to promoting and fostering positive well-being for pupils and staff across Orchard Primary School.
A happy and healthy workforce is vital for the success of our pupils. The culture of a school therefore is critical in ensuring that staff have an enjoyable, rewarding working environment in which all colleagues believe the demands of their job are reasonable and manageable.
The Wellbeing Charter demonstrates our commitment and offer to staff, and ensures that levels of stress and anxiety are reduced as low as possible in the organisation.
The Charter clearly sets out our collective approach for day to day delivery and how we work together, providing a framework that covers the key challenges we face as a profession. The charter also underpins our determination to ensure that our school is a great place to work.
Children's Mental Health Week 2020
Between 3rd-7th February, pupils took part in a number of activities to promote Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme was Find your Brave.
Pupils learnt about how life is all about taking small brave steps every day, and that bravery can be about sharing worries and asking for help when you need it, trying something new or making the right choices. We shared a story called ‘Ruby’s Worry’ in assembly. Mr Patching led another assembly focusing on some of the character muscles we refer to in school linked to courage and growth mindset, and Miss Webster read a book called ‘My Strong Mind’.
Children's Mental Health Week 2021
Between 3rd - 5th February 2021, pupils at Orchard joined in with the Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week, following the theme of ‘Express Yourself’. Adapting resources for remote learning, pupils took part in a number of discussions and activities exploring ways to express themselves in a healthy way.
To launch the week, we watched a virtual assembly, led by Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell, which delivered a positive message about the power of creative self-expression. Pupils were then encouraged to identify their feelings and find different ways to express themselves that were personal to them. As you can see from the video, the pupils at Orchard express themselves in a range of creative, fun and healthy ways. We ended the week by reading the story ‘Beautiful Oops’ by Barney Saltzberg. This clever book model shows it is ok to make a mistake, showing that a mistake can be an adventure in creativity and the opportunity to make something beautiful! We linked this to how we didn’t need to be the best to able to express ourselves in whatever way we wanted, and that we should support others to do the same.
Click on the image below to view Orchard pupils expressing themselves and enjoying Children's Mental Health Week:
If you have suffered a bereavement and feel that school can support, please do contact us.
Coronavirus Bereavement – an NHS guide for Parents & Carers
Coronavirus Bereavement – an NHS guide for teenagers
Coronavirus Bereavement – an NHS guide for adults
NHS bereavement support
Books to support Bereavement:
- Dogger – gentle intro to discussion for very young children
- Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley (particularly useful if an older person has died).
- Michael Rosen’s Sad Book
- Tattybogle by Sandra Ann Horn
- Muddles, Puddles & Sunshine by Winstons Wish – is an activity book.
- Vicky Angel by Jaqueline Wilson (a friend’s death, for older children)