Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing at Stoke Park - Our whole school approach
A whole school approach is crucial in tackling mental health effectively and particularly in removing stigma, by working universally across the school community.
This diagram below illustrates the eight principles to developing a whole school or college approach to emotional wellbeing and is taken from 'Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing - a whole school and college approach'. You can find the whole document here.
Below you will find a breakdown of how, at Stoke Park, we use these eight principles to support pupils, parents and staff.
Leadership and management that supports and champions efforts to promote emotional health and wellbeing
- Amy Higgitt, Assistant Headteacher, is the schools appointed Mental Health Lead who has completed mental health lead training.
- Alison Lambert, Headteacher, and Anne Jelf, School Business Manager, are mental health first aiders.
- The school has a dedicated pastoral team who champion mental health and wellbeing. The team consists of:
Amy Higgitt - Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for mental health
Emma Peel - SENDCO
Monika Robinson - Pastoral Learning Mentor
Jade Dennison - Family Support Worker
Catriona Irvine - Play Therapist
Vicky Manning - Education Mental Health Practitioner
- Mental and health and wellbeing is a target on our School Development Plan
Curriculum teaching and learning to promote resilience and support social and emotional learning
- We follow Jigsaw PSHE curriculum across the whole school
- Our Jigsaw curriculum is supported by PSHE enrichment opportunities included in our ‘Enrichment Passport’.
- When mental health trends or risks are identified we tailor our PSHE curriculum to meet the needs of the class/school.
- Staff have received training to deliver our RSE curriculum.
- When appropriate we use external agencies to deliver workshops to pupils about issues that may affect their mental health and wellbeing.
- Pupils are actively encouraged to use zones of regulation. These are displayed in each classroom and regularly referred to by staff to support emotional regulation and resilience.
- We have a whole school safeguarding curriculum that supports pupils to know how to keep safe and keep others safe.
- Our termly assembly rota covers mental health and wellbeing, as well as safeguarding and equalities.
- We take part in Children's Mental Health Week, which includes assemblies, PSHE lessons, external speakers and parent workshops.
- We take part in other themed weeks such as Anti Bullying Week and Online Safety week, which also have a mental health element to them.
Enabling student voice to influence decisions
- Twice annually pupils complete an online wellbeing survey
- The results of these surveys are used to inform our PSHE curriculum and individual or group targeted support.
- We have an active school council who use the voices of pupils to drive change in the school community. They have previously helped to support anti bullying week.
Staff development to support their own wellbeing and that of students
- Twice annually staff complete a staff wellbeing questionnaire. The results of this survey are used to support wellbeing. Each survey is followed up by inset training with staff about the key areas that are affecting staff wellbeing and what we can collectively do to support it.
- Staff surveys report that staff feel well supported with their mental health.
- SLT continuously reviews workload and responds to any concerns raised by staff within 24 hours.
- Training is provided for staff by our Education Mental Health Practitioner on how to support pupils with mental health needs
- All staff have access to Health Assured, where they can have free access to mental health and wellbeing support. This is promoted regularly by the school.
- All members of the safeguarding team access termly supervision from an external provider.
- Our Pastoral Learning Mentor is ELSA and DNA -V support trained. They have regular supervision from Educational Psychologists, along with other ELSA’s in Bristol - where best practice is shared.
- Our Play Therapist has a masters in play therapy and works 1:1 and in small groups with children to support their emotional health and wellbeing, including processing trauma, bereavement, separation and anxiety . She is also trained as a filial play coach, supporting parents to implement therapeutic techniques at home.
- Our EMHP is trained to deliver Low Intensity CBT interventions for mild-moderate mental health difficulties, including anxiety, depression and behavioural difficulties.
- Our Family Support Worker attends Family Support Network meetings, is a Nurturing Programme facilitator and receives supervision.
Identifying need and monitoring the impact of interventions
- The school use the Stirling children’s wellbeing scale to identify individual and whole school needs that may not have already been identified
- At our termly triage meeting, we discuss the needs of identified children and decide what support is most appropriate.
- When a pupil is prescribed ELSA sessions, we use a social and emotional skills tracker to assess the targets that the pupil will work on. At the end of a 6 week programme a questionnaire will measure the success of these targets and whether further support is needed.
- When a pupil is prescribed Play Therapy, we use the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to assess need and monitor impact
- When a pupil is prescribed Low intensity CBT, we use the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) and the Child Outcome Rating Scale (CORS) to assess need and monitor the impact of interventions.
Working with parents and carers
- The school prides itself on having an open door policy for any parents to raise concerns. We work hard to develop positive relationships with our families
- Our family support worker works with families where there may be a mental health need, offering bespoke support and signposting to external agencies
- We work closely with the local children’s centre who offer parenting support
- Our Education Mental Health Practitioner will run workshops for parents on specific areas of mental health
- When a need has been identified in a child, our Education Mental Health Practitioner can do a programme of work with parents to develop strategies that may support their child
- Any mental health concerns raised at school are always shared with parents
- If appropriate we refer families to the Carers Wellbeing Grant
- Parents receive a monthly safeguarding newsletter which includes mental health topics and signposting
- Our mental health offer is easily accessible on our website for parents to see
Targeted support and appropriate referral
- We track pupils who staff, pupils or parents have identified as having poor mental health or being at risk of poor mental health.
- Each term we have a triage meeting where we discuss our concerns and consider the appropriate support for that pupil.
- Support we offer at the school includes play therapy, low intensity CBT from our EMHP, ELSA sessions and family support.
- Where it is deemed that the support in school can not meet the needs of the pupil, we access support from our assigned Primary Mental Health Specialist at CAMHS
- The school refer to CAMHS if deemed appropriate
An ethos and environment that promotes respect and values diversity
- We are proud to be a school that staff enjoy working at. Our 2020 staff wellbeing survey showed that 100% of staff enjoyed working at the school and felt proud to work here.
- Our values of ‘be kind, be proud and strive for success’ underpin everything we do. More information about our school values can be found here: https://www.stokeparkprimary.org/our-school/vision-and-values/
- We insist that all staff show they care by having relentlessly high expectations of behaviour for all pupils. We demonstrate through actions and words the belief that they can achieve.
- To help our pupils succeed, we have clearly mapped out what our behavioural expectations are and we teach these expectations to the children. We call this our behaviour curriculum.
- Data and staff feedback has shown that behaviour has improved significantly since the introduction of our behaviour curriculum. Good behaviour allows all pupils to thrive and feel safe in school.
- The school has a nurture base called ‘The Pod’ which is open for all pupils to use at break and lunchtimes as a calming space. It is also used during the day as a space for pupils who are dysregulated or require some emotional support.
- All bullying incidents are taken seriously. We have a clear process in place for the recording, reporting and responding of bullying. Once bullying is identified, those involved go on to a bullying monitoring plan which is reviewed regularly. The plan involves support for the person being bullied and for the person doing the bullying.
- Any form of discriminatory language is not tolerated at Stoke Park. Children are taught through their PSHE curriculum and through assemblies what discrimination is and the protected characteristics. When discriminatory language is used, all staff follow our response to discriminatory language procedure.
- Our English curriculum uses carefully selected texts that promote equality, acceptance and tackle specific moral, social and ethical issues. The texts are mapped out across the year so that teachers are aware of the sensitive content that may arise, whilst also having the opportunity to respond to events that are relevant to their contexts and cohorts. A copy of the literature spine can be found here:
- Our assemblies and themed weeks are carefully mapped out across the year to ensure that children are taught about inclusion, diversity and equalities.