At Freegrounds Junior School, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff parents and carers); we recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “in order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. Schools can be a place for children to experience a nurturing environment that has the potential to develop self-esteem and give positive experiences for overcoming adversity and building resilience.
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. 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, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and where they can go if they need help and support.
Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:
- All children are valued
- Children understand their emotions and experiences better
- Children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- Children are able to form and maintain relationships
- Children are taught to be confident and promote their self-esteem
- Children develop resilience and ways of coping with setbacks
At our school, we offer different levels of support:
Universal support – To meet the needs of all our children through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. Our learning behaviours and Trick Box help to support our children to establish good habits and approaches, create intrinsic motivation and confidence to try new things in new ways and to develop a positive mind-set, building long term resilience and autonomy
Targeted Support – for children who may need more differentiated support and resources or specialist targeted interventions such as ELSA, FEIPS or Therapeutic Story Writing
Specialised Individual Support – support packages to meet individual needs following advice from outside agency services such as CAMHS, Primary Behaviour Service, Bereavement services and so on.