Mental Health and Wellbeing
Our Approach to
Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
Mental Health Definition
“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
World Health Organisation, 2018
Achieve, Inspire, Succeed
Alexandra Infant School is passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people. Through our Ethos, Core Values and Rights we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing are to our lives, in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. All children go through ups and downs during their time at school and some face significant life events.
Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to problems with mental health, and to be a school where:
- All children are valued.
- Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
- Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems without feeling any stigma.
- Positive mental health is promoted and valued.
- Bullying is not tolerated.
- Children learn to draw on a range of self-regulation strategies to maintain and support their mental health and wellbeing.
We all have mental health, just as we have physical health. Mental health is not just the absence of mental health problems. We want all children to:
- Feel happy and confident in themselves.
- Be able to express a range of emotions appropriately.
- Be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others.
- Cope with the stresses of everyday life.
- Manage times of stress and be able to deal with change.
- Learn and achieve.
What supporting Positive Mental Health means to us:
- The child stays at the centre of every conversation.
- Having a caring and nurturing school ethos.
- Prioritising those who need our help most, but we promote positive mental health with everyone.
- We embed social, emotional and mental health awareness across the curriculum, with weekly SCARF PSHE lessons, Social, Emotional and Mental Health assemblies and lessons.
- Children and young people are taught skills to build resilience and manage everyday stressors through daily mindfulness and The Zones of Regulation.
- Capturing the children’s and staff views through pupil voice and staff meetings.
- Staff wellbeing, resilience and mental health is a key focus.
- Working towards becoming a Gold Rights Respecting School (we have achieved Silver Status).
- Working in partnership with parents and carers where there are concerns about mental health.
- Social and emotional interventions for children with additional needs – e.g. Drawing Talking Therapy, Lego Therapy or Listening Ear.
- Working with external agencies to provide additional support to those who need it.
How we ensure best practice:
- Speaking and listening to each other with courtesy, respect and empathy is essential.
- Information and procedures are regularly reviewed and shared.
- Staff read and understand Keeping Children Safe in Education.
- Staff know and follow our behaviour, SEMH, attendance and safeguarding policies and protocols.
- We personalise and monitor SEMH interventions and adjust were necessary.
- All staff have training to effectively support children with maintaining positive mental health.
- For parents/carers, there are a wide range of resources and support available on the school website.
One of the ways we can re-gain a sense of control and nourish our mental health is to remember the Five Ways to Wellbeing:
With the people around you. With family, friends, classmates, teachers and neighbours. At home, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to school, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
Try something new. Take part in a new activity or club. Learn a new skill, such as riding a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.
Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.