Our Mental Wellbeing
At Bentley New Village Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We have a supportive and caring ethos and our approach is respectful and kind, where each individual and contribution is valued. 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.
AT OUR SCHOOL WE:
• Support children to understand their sensations, emotions and feelings
• Help children to feel safe and comfortable so they feel able to share any worries or concerns to a trusted adult
• Provide opportunities that help children socially to form and maintain relationships
• Promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they count and that everybody is unique
• Encourage children to be confident in their own skin
• Help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
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
• 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
Our Mental Health lead and officers will ensure that pupils’ mental wellbeing and the teaching of skills to promote a healthy mental state are prioritised within school. The Mental Health Lead will work at a strategic level to assess and prioritise the needs of the school which will be cascaded down through school via the work of the Mental Health officers.
The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our students to keep themselves mentally healthy and safe are included as part of the whole-school programme – Jigsaw. We use Thrive Right Time whole class screenings to teach children skills relevant to their emotional development age. This screening tool also supports the identification of children who are below their emotional development age and school will aim to support these children with targeted support which may include reparative Thrive.
Our Mental Health Leads will also work closely With Me in Mind to provide monthly assemblies and workshops themed around mental health and consultations, for both staff and pupils, for individual support for mental health. Our Mental Health leads will support the wider school and community by sharing relevant information on our School Dojo so that help is readily available and accessible. On a daily basis, children are asked to participate in emotional check-ins and have a range of books in school that we use in order to support children in dealing with any mental health issues that may arise; i.e. Bottled by Joe and Tom Brassington.
The school has seven members of staff who are licensed Thrive practitioners. These adults have various responsibilities within school, including on the Senior Leadership Team and are based in different areas within school. This structure enables school to provide a consistent and inclusive approach to supporting pupil’s mental health which addresses school’s priorities. We also have a Trauma Informed staff member. Therefore, the ethos of our school is very much ‘trauma friendly’.
We offer many children specific, individual reparative work with a Thrive practitioner to support their emotional well-being and development.
In addition to our Thrive Base, children are supported through;
- Circle time approaches or ‘circle of friends’ activities
- Managing feelings/emotions resources e.g. ‘worry boxes’ and ‘worry eaters’ and ‘calm boxes’
- Mental health assemblies and workshops
- A celebration of skills through sports competitions
- With Me in Mind Consultations for bespoke mental health support
- Strengths and Difficulties questionnaires
- Right-time Thrive activities and strategies in each class
- Access to Forest School with our in-house member of staff
- We teach basic brain science and breathing techniques
- The children are offered space to disperse their anger
- Teacher meet-and-greet in the mornings with the children
- Emotional check-ins with an adult (1:1 for identified children and whole-class otherwise)
As a result, children and adults are:
- Able to manage the stresses in daily life
- Confident in themselves
- Able to express a range of emotions
- Involved in the community they live in
- Engaged with the world around them
- Capable of living and working productively