At East Dene Primary we are aware that a child’s emotional health and well-being influences their cognitive development and learning, as well as their physical and social health and their well-being in adulthood
Our Mental Health First Aiders are Mrs Beighton, Mrs Brook and Miss Tompkins
The Department for Education acknowledges that in order to help pupils succeed, schools have an important role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy.
Being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.
An overall sense of wellness will not be achieved without having a balance in these key elements:
- Physical. This includes lifestyle choices that affect the functioning of our bodies. What we eat and how active we are will affect our physical wellbeing.
- Emotional or psychological. This is our ability to cope with everyday life and reflects how we think and feel about ourselves.
- Social. This is the extent that we feel a sense of belonging and social inclusion. The way we communicate with others, our relationships, values, beliefs, lifestyles and traditions are all important factors of social wellbeing.
- Spiritual. This is the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life. Achieved through being connected to our inner self, to nature or even a greater power.
- Intellectual. It is important to gain and maintain intellectual wellness as it helps us to expand our knowledge and skills in order to live an enjoyable and successful life.
- Economic. Economic wellness, in short, is our ability to meet our basic needs and feel a sense of security.
It is about our thoughts, feelings, emotions and ability to react to life. Even when we are met with a challenge, good wellbeing gives us the ability to cope. Sometimes our wellbeing is affected by daily pressures and sudden changes in our lives, such as: an illness, family situations and changes to our normal day to day routines like schooling which we are experiencing through the Pandemic at present.
When our wellbeing is affected we find our feelings can get out of control, which will lead to sudden spurges of, sadness, anger, depression and we find that we cannot cope with normal daily routines.
Coronavirus, and the measures to control it, have brought many changes to children and young people’s lives, especially to those areas which we know to be important for their mental health and wellbeing. With many changes likely to continue for some time, it is important children and young people are encouraged to find new ways to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
What does ‘express yourself’ mean?
Expressing yourself is about finding creative ways to share feelings, thoughts or ideas. This may be through painting, journaling, dancing, or maybe just having a chat with a friend.
There may be many ways we choose to express ourselves. It may change depending on the situation we find ourselves in and will be different for others. The most important thing is to find what works for you, in that moment, so you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings.
At East Dene the children are able to access support and help at all times through our Nurture Group provision and through the support offered by our pupil Wellbeing Ambassadors.
- To ensure that through the promotion of positive emotional health and wellbeing, children are helped to understand and express their feelings, build their confidence and emotional resilience and therefore their capacity to learn.
- To increase the awareness and understanding and reduce stigma amongst children, staff and parents/carers of issues involving the emotional health and wellbeing of young people and to provide support at an early stage to anyone who is or appears to be suffering from mental health issues.
Here at East Dene, we celebrate and acknowledge Children’s Mental Health by coming together at different times of the year.
- Hello Yellow Day in October
- Children’s Mental Wellbeing Week in February
- Spotlight Days across the academic year address aspects of mental health and wellbeing
Throughout the school week, children have many opportunities to talk about how they are feeling and any worries they may have. This can be expressed through circle time, play, Art, PE and a variety of other ways through children’s everyday learning
A group of Year 5/6 children have trained to become Wellbeing Ambassadors and throughout the year they deliver presentations to the school community about the importance of health and wellbeing as well as sharing strategies to support positive mental health. They have regular opportunities to meet with children from across the school to share their ideas and also to offer advice and support with guidance from Miss Tompkins, pupil mental health and wellbeing lead.
Click on the links below to find useful supporting documents and activities as well as links to websites to help support our work towards keeping our children’s minds healthy and supporting parents.