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Windrush Primary School

"Unlocking the potentialof every child"

Mental Health

Mental Health

At Windrush Primary School we want to help children understand and appreciate that, just like our physical health, we all have mental health. We want our children to be able to recognise that we all respond to our experiences with our emotions, feelings, thoughts and behaviours.  

It’s important too that children understand how there can be changes in their bodies which are connected to their feelings and thoughts – for example, just as in PE, when our heart beats very quickly after we have been running, the same is true when we are excited, nervous or scared.

By helping children with these concepts and getting them to think about how feelings and thoughts are linked to behaviour, we can then explain how a combination of all these elements affects our mental health.

Calmly and confidently opening up conversations in our classrooms, dining rooms and playgrounds can encourage children to discuss, to learn and realise that mental health is something we all have and that we should be aware of it and learn skills to look after it. That there might be days when we feel sad or we struggle and other days when we feel confident and calm. Importantly, we can have a conversation about asking for help when we need support.

How we support everybody’s mental health at Windrush Primary School.

Here at Windrush we firmly believe that happy children learn, and children are directly affected by their environment and who they come in to contact with on a daily basis.

This is why we believe in supporting the whole child and our mental health offer includes children, their families, and our staff. 

All our staff have regular training linked to safeguarding, supporting children’s mental health, and supporting their own mental health. There are clear systems and processes in place for identifying possible mental health concerns, including routes to escalate and clear accountability systems within our school.

Mental Health Support at Windrush

Service Available

Details

Who can access this

How to access this

PSHE Curriculum – weekly PSHE jigsaw lessons to all age groups from Nursery to Year 6

Jigsaw 3-11 offers a comprehensive Programme for Primary PSHE including statutory Relationships and Health Education, in a spiral, progressive and fully planned scheme of work, giving children relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others.

With strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health, teachers deliver engaging and relevant PSHE within a whole-school approach. Jigsaw lessons also include mindfulness allowing children to advance their emotional awareness, concentration and focus.

Pupils

Automatically taught on a weekly basis.

Mindfulness lessons, additional time given to mindfulness when in school.

All teaching staff have been trained to use a range of mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness sessions are taught to the children during PSHE lessons, and also can be used to help children as and when they are needed during a school day. These sessions may be planned in to a class’ weekly timetable or delivered as and when required.

Pupils

Automatically taught on a weekly basis.

Weekly Assemblies

Weekly assemblies link directly to the learning taking place across the whole school during the children’s PSHE lessons. These are planned and delivered by members of the SLT, so all children know that they can approach any adult within the school should they want or need to. There are also assemblies that celebrate difference and diversity as well as taking a closer look at main headlines within the Local and National news. This is to support our children to understand the people and world around them. It gives the pupils time and space to discuss local and national issues that they may otherwise misunderstand or worry about.

Pupils

Automatically taught on a weekly basis.

Learning mentors

We are fortunate to have 3 learning mentors at Windrush Primary School. Learning mentors focus on supporting pupils’ mental health at school, at home and in their local community. They have an extensive menu of support available for children within the schools, these can be delivered 1:1, in small groups or large groups. They can support in class, as an intervention away from class or within a family context (but on school premises only).

Pupils

Through referral by the child’s class teacher or a member of SLT

Nurture Provision

This is a specific longer term intervention (usually 2-3 terms) specifically for pupils who have difficulties with attachment, mental health, behaviour or anxiety that is directly having an adverse effect on their ability to access their learning in the classroom. It is planned by the class teachers and delivered by our experienced learning mentors. It enables pupils to access learning in a home from home environment that supports and priorities the teaching and learning of emotional literacy, self-regulation, learning behaviours, social aspects of learning and build self-esteem and resilience. Most children who have this intervention do not require additional adult support once fully reintegrated in to class.

Pupils

Through referral by the child’s class teacher or a member of SLT

Quality Intervention

Many class TAs and 1:1 TAs are trained to run additional interventions that support pupils’ mental health by meeting their learning, pastoral or sensory needs. These include interventions such as sensory circuits, and sensory room sessions. They are also trained regularly to support pupils who may struggle with attachment, social communication or friendship difficulties within a classroom setting. The pastoral side of TA support is extremely strong within Windrush. Many of our TAs are also named key adults for individual pupils who need support.

Pupils

Class Teachers plan and direct TAs tailoring the approach for individuals or small groups.

Open Door Policy – SLT

Class Teachers

It is regularly communicated through Parentmail and newsletters that Windrush has an open door policy. This has unfortunately had to change due to COVID 19 Restrictions, however we have continued to make it clear that any parent can request an appointment with their child’s class teacher or a member of SLT. This can happen virtually or face to face socially distanced. All parents have the email of their child’s class teacher.

Parents

Parents can email their class teacher to request an appointment or call the school to request an appointment.

Mental Health in School Teams (MHST)

We have three Mental Health workers and 1 senior practitioner from the NHS Children And Mental Health Service (CAMHS) that work directly with our school. We have been fortunate to be part of the pilot for this service within Greenwich and this service has proved invaluable. His is a pre-CAMHS tier service that supports children’s mental health within schools by delivering whole class, small group and on some occasion’s 1:1 sessions with children focusing on being well mentally. This may be to support transition to secondary school or from one year group to another, it may be teaching pupils how to cope with anxiety or to use some CBT techniques. All support is tailored to the needs of the children within the school on a termly basis. MHST workers are trained mental health practitioners and also able to work directly with parents focusing on how to support their child’s mental health at home. For more complex cases that do not meet Early Intervention Tier CAMHS support the senior practitioner will provide support for that child or family.

Pupils

Parents

Staff

Referral to MHST service by SLT member. Class teachers will speak with Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion, who will make the referral.

Core CAMHS Early Intervention Team (EIT)

This is an advisory service for staff to access. It is a higher tier level of support than MHST and a CAMHS Clinician has a set amount of allocated hours provided to the school. During this time schools can discuss (with parental permission) children or families they are concerned about and receive advice on the best course of action for support. This is then implemented by school staff and monitored and reassessed together with the CAMHS Clinical Psychologist during the next visit.

Staff

Pupils

Staff request a session with the CAMHS EIT Clinical Psychologist two weeks before her next visit. Parental consent must be given to discuss a child, as notes will be placed on a child’s medical notes.

Counselling

Windrush privately commissions 2 school counsellors, 1 day a week at the Thamesmead site and 2 days a week at the Charlton site. Although prioritised for our pupils, it is recognised that parents receiving counselling could have a direct positive affect on their children’s mental health, so as and when necessary/possible parents are offered sessions with our school counsellors. We also are able to provide counselling for staff, as and when this is needed.

Pupils

Parents

Staff

Class teachers can refer to the Deputy Head Teacher at Charlton or Head of School at Thamesmead. Parents can contact the teachers, should they wish to request counselling for their child.

Education Support – Employers Assist

A school commissioned service that supports any staff member within Windrush Primary School. Education support provides:

 

· confidential emotional support and counselling available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

· up to six sessions of face-to-face or telephone counselling

· access to online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

· management consultation to support those responsible for managing others

· specialist information on work-life balance

· financial and legal information

· information on local services such as elder care and childcare

Staff

Staff members are aware of the service and the helpline is displayed on the staff wellbeing board. Also SLT or the wellbeing team will always sign post staff to the helpline and service if approach by a staff member or if they identify that a staff member might need the support they provide.

Staff Wellness

Team

Windrush has a dedicated wellness group made up of teachers and teaching assistants whose role is to pinpoint causes of wellness difficulties through staff surveys and group discussions and work together with SLT to find practical solutions that can be implemented within the school. The Wellness group has received training that enables them to recognise the differences to challenges faced in the workplace to outside factors that affect wellness within the workplace.

Staff

Staff can volunteer to be on the wellbeing group.

Mental Health First Aiders

Windrush has also appointed mental health first aiders who have received extensive training in dealing with mental health emergencies and how to correctly signpost staff to the correct/ best agencies to assist them in crisis.

Windrush also displays the contact details for the Samaritans, Citizens Advice Bureau, Greenwich Council helpline numbers and also paid for external agencies that provide counselling services to staff.

Staff

Staff know they can approach the mental health first aiders and will make appointments to speak with them.

Senior Leadership Team (SLT) open door policy

SLT also have an open door policy wherein staff are able to seek out advice and support from all the senior leaders at short notice enabling staff to express difficulties they are experiencing without long waiting periods.

Staff

Staff know and are reminded through our weekly business meetings that they can always approach SLT.

Windrush Primary School’s response to supporting mental health during COVID 19

It is important to acknowledge the recent and unusual times we find ourselves in.

All staff will be aware that mental health problems can be an indicator that a child has suffered abuse, neglect or exploitation. They are well placed to observe the children and their behaviours. All staff will ensure they are aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and child protection in being alert to the signs of abuse and of their responsibility to report and record any concerns.

Negative experiences and distressing life events, such as the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents. Staff will be aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home. Where we are providing for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we will ensure appropriate support is in place for them.

Our staff and volunteers will be aware of the mental health of children and their parents and carers and will contact the DSL or a deputy if they have any concerns.

Charities

There are many excellent charities who are offering advice for parents and carers with regards to supporting not only their child's mental health, but also their own. Please see some links to websites that have a wide range of information that can support you and your child maintain good mental health. 

NHS Every Mind Matters

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/childrens-mental-health/?WT.tsrc=search&WT.mc_id=EMMParentsSearch&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_rrWi87A7AIVl-N3Ch3Gbg3ZEAAYASAAEgIeFPD_BwE

Young Minds

https://youngminds.org.uk/

NSPCC

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/childrens-mental-health/

MIND

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/

Mental Health Foundation

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/c/children-and-young-people​