Mental Health and Well Being
Alvaston Junior Academy
Supporting your child with their Wellbeing and Mental Health
At Alvaston Junior Academy 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.
At Alvaston Junior Academy, we are proud to have achieved the Bronze Status for the Carnegie Mental Health Award. We prioritise the wellbeing of our pupils and community and build this into our curriculum offer daily. The final assessment stated that: ‘The school has used the framework and content of the Award to very good effect to develop their mental health and wellbeing strategies, structures and practices’.
Two key elements to support good mental health are:
- Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment; this also includes feelings like curiosity, engagement and safety.
- Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world; this includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.
Our role in school is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it. Children are taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. As part of our targeted provision, we have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required.
That children in our school will develop the self-esteem, awareness and self-confidence to play an active part in school life and be valued and valuable members of their communities
We want all our children to:
- Feel confident in themselves
- Be able to express a range of emotions appropriately
- Be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others
- Cope with the stresses of everyday life
- Manage times of stress and be able to deal with change
- Engage in physical activity and have a healthy lifestyle
- Build social connections within and outside school
- To be well informed regarding their personal wellbeing and to be equipped with strategies to manage their emotions
How will we support your child/ren?
We have carefully considered the strategies that we use throughout the school day. 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 and that we will be here for them. We acknowledge them every day through greetings, a gesture, a nod, a smile and a conversation; and also by:
- 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; we will encourage children to keep a daily journal to help focus their thoughts and have daily ‘brain breaks’
- 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, knowing they have someone to talk to
- Helping children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
In the classroom we have adopted the Jigsaw PSHE scheme. Jigsaw has two aims for all children:
• To build their capacity for learning • To equip them for life
Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. A variety of teaching strategies are used and are mindful of each child’s preferred learning style. Jigsaw lessons also include mindfulness, allowing children to advance their emotional awareness, concentration and focus. Learning is thus enhanced as emotions are regulated, behaviour managed, and calmness generated.
We also refer to the Five Ways to Wellbeing to encourage the children to connect, take notice, keep learning, be active and give.
We offer different levels of support:
Universal Support - To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum.
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 member: Mrs Dixon
Mental Health and Wellbeing, whether it is children or adults, can have a rather negative stigma attached to it. We believe that by raising the profile of this very important issue, only good things can come from it.
A happy child is a happy learner!
Links to reflective journals for children that may be helpful at home.You can purchase these from a number of retailers: