Mental Health and Well-Being
At Oakwood our children’s well-being and positive mental health is of paramount importance to us. We want our children to be well-rounded individuals, both academically and socially, with the skills needed to navigate their way through life and to have the resilience to cope with life’s challenges.
We support the ethos that ‘it is OK, not to be OK’ and support our children in talking about their feelings, while developing strategies to enable them to focus on the positive and build resilience.
PSHE – Personal, Social and Health Education
The DfE (Department for Education) has issued guidance that states from 2020, PSHE will be mandatory for all schools. This will include Health and Relationships education, in which they have broadened the curriculum to also include the teaching of positive mental health and wellbeing as well as understanding different types of relationships.
As a school, we have already been delivering the well-regarded Jigsaw scheme of work and this will continue. Jigsaw has already updated their programme of work to reflect the changes set out by the DfE and these will be taught at OPA this year.
We have various interventions in school which focus on building friendships and resilience. These include ‘Boris the Bear’ and the ‘Talkabout’ programme.
We run a mentor scheme in school where some children have 30 minutes 1:1 per week with their ‘trusted’ adult, playing games or taking part in fun activities. This allows children time to build a close rapport with their adult, who is often the person they go to if they are feeling worried or concerned about anything.
What makes you proud?
Every day children are actively encouraged to think of something that they are proud of. This is discussed in class and parents are encouraged to ask their children each day what has made them proud. Recognising our achievements helps maintain our positive well-being and promotes resilience.
Meet and Greet
Every morning all members of staff are either visible outside of their classroom or dotted around the school at entrances to the building. Every single child is greeted individually. This promotes children’s self-esteem and encourages a positive ‘fresh start’ every day.
We recognise that ‘it’s OK, not to be OK’ and that there are times when we all feel angry, upset or frustrated. Children are encouraged to recognise these feelings in themselves and to remove themselves to the ‘calm corner’ in order to ‘self-regulate’. The calm corner is a calming space where children can use sensory toys or sit and ‘chill’ until the sand-timer has run out and they are ready to return to class.
We have a highly effective nurture unit at the school which provides sessions to those children that may need some extra emotional support, before working in class each day. Children work on boosting self-esteem and take part in activities that promote this, as well as having ‘snack time’ together.
Mental Health Champion
Mrs Wood is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and has recently completed a Level 2 qualification in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health. If you would like to have a chat with Mrs Wood please contact the school office to make an appointment.
Mrs McCarthy is also a Mental Health First Aider.
Many of our teaching assistants have voluntarily undertaken Level 2 qualification in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health. They will continue to support children in class.