Holy Trinity SEMH Team is passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people. Every child needs a lot of help and a lot of hope and adults who believe in them, even when children don’t believe it themselves.
‘When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.’ Royal Foundation 2022
Strong home/school partnership work is at the heart of all our work. Our dedicated and talented staff know each of our children as individuals, supporting the character and moral development of all pupils, giving them aspiration for themselves and hope for the communities of which they are a part. There is a real sense of spiritual well-being and open, supportive, valued relationships between children throughout the school, staff and families.
At Holy Trinity Primary Academy inspired by and rooted in Christian values and teaching, we nurture each other to become aspirational, courageous, compassionate and joyful people. These are a reflection of the school's curriculum intent statement.
Mental health is a "state of well-being 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,” (World Health Organization, 2018).
What supporting Positive Mental Health means to us:
The child stays at the centre of every conversation.
- We prioritise those who need our help most, but we promote positive mental health with everyone.
- We embedded social, emotional and mental health awareness across the curriculum
- Children and young people are taught skills to build resilience and manage everyday stressors
- Staff wellbeing, resilience and mental health is a key focus.
- We have a highly trained Pastoral Team who lead on evidence-based practice for all our interventions.
- Mrs Woodman: SEMH Lead Practioner, Headteacher
- Mrs Goddard: SENCO, Pupil Premium Champion
- Mr Gyllenspetz: Staff Wellbeing
- Mrs Mallett: Wellbeing governor
- Mrs Heath and Ms Pardal: Wellbeing and emotional language support for children
Positive mental health is essential if children and young people are to flourish and lead fulfilling lives.
Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time. We are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive.
Two key elements to support good mental health are:
Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. Including 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.
At our school, 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.
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 believe that teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing as part of our PSHE curriculum is vital. 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.
Levels of support
- Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos, school values 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 separation or bereavement.
- Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as referral to wider professionals.
Some of the ways in which we support mental health and well-being:
- Teaching our ten habits for good mental health:
1. Ask for help if you feel anxious, depressed, angry, worried about anything.
2. Talk about your feelings. (Can you control your reaction to them so that they are manageable?)
3. Spend time in reflection, quiet time or meditation, focusing on the present moment only.
4. Eat well and sleep well.
5. Spend time everyday doing things that you enjoy.
6. Keep in touch with people you like.
7. Stay active – go for a walk or kick a ball or jump on a trampoline.
8. Do something you are good at.
9. Actively reach out and care for others.
10. Be proud of your being
- Mindfulness: Paying attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you is known as “mindfulness”. This awareness can improve mental wellbeing by helping us to enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. It can improve a child’s ability to focus and can be a great help in times of stress when used as a way to calm down. All teachers plan mindfulness activities throughout the curriculum as well as brain breaks and team-building exercises.
- School Councillors: Ms Chrissy Pardal and Mrs Ann Heath are qualified specialist Teaching Assistants working across the school to support all children’s mental health so they are happy and able to reach their potential educationally.
- Forest School: All classes have Forest School lessons which offer the opportunity to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in an outdoor environment.
- Yoga: We have recently started weekly Yoga lessons to provide our pupils with skills to release stress and to connect.
- Physical activity: As well as regular PE lessons and after school sports and dance clubs we encourage active playtimes. We have arranged activities such as dance workshop, race for life, climbing wall, a circus skills day and other adventurous activities. As well as increasing general fitness and happiness, these activities develop co-ordination, concentration, co-operation, and communication; skills needed across the curriculum.
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/
NHS Mental Health Services – https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/nhs-voluntary-charity-services/nhs-services/