Providing support for the children
At Betty Layward Primary School we recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. We aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community, and recognise how important mental health is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. Positive mental health provides the essential foundations for educational attainment and helps to prevent behavioural problems. This can lead to enhanced opportunities in the future and positive life choices.
“Wellbeing is about more than living ‘the good life’; it is about having meaning in life, about fulfilling our potential and feeling that our lives are worthwhile” (Eckersley, 2005).
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing.
• emotional wellbeing – this includes being confident, happy and not depressed;
• psychological wellbeing – this includes the ability to be autonomous, problem-solve, manage emotions, experience empathy and be resilient;
• social wellbeing – this includes the ability to have good relationships with others and to avoid engaging in disruptive, aggressive or bullying behaviour (NICE, 2014)
At Betty Layward School we aim to promote positive mental health for every child, parent/carer and member of staff. We pursue this aim using both universal, whole school approaches and specialised, targeted approaches aimed at identified vulnerable pupils and families.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “in order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”.
Through our wellbeing provision we aim to ensure pupils:
• express and manage a range of emotions
• form and maintain good relationships with others
• cope with change and uncertainty
• develop and thrive
• learn to be resilient
Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in the Curriculum
Happy, Curious, Ambitious, Creative and Respectful is our school vision and one we aim to embed into the school curriculum. Through our Discovery Education curriculum, we teach the knowledge and social and emotional skills that will help children to be more resilient, understand about mental health and be less affected by the stigma of mental health problems. Mindful Monday is part of the curriculum to provide opportunities for children to discuss their feeling, emotions and thoughts on micro and macro world events and issues tailored to the pupils at Betty Layward.
Happy- Pupil learn about resilience and perseverance to be able to achieve happiness. They explore ways of motivating themselves to bounce back if they fail at something. We promote high aspirations for school and the future.
Curious- We teach our pupils how to be curious, identify and explore a range of emotions and to discuss what these feel like to others. Pupils build up a toolkit of strategies to manage these emotions. Pupils learn to think about how their actions have an impact on others and themselves. They are aware of who they can talk to if they are worried.
Creative- Pupils learn skills to be able to use strategies to manage different emotions while having self-awareness to creatively select strategies that work for the individual.
Ambitious- We teach our children to have their own high expectations and high ambitions. We encourage children to dig deeper, ask questions and discuss ideas and opinions. We encourage children to discuss mental health and wellbeing in an open and supportive way.
Respectful- We want our pupils to understand that respect is not just shown to other people but also to themselves. We encourage every pupil to respect their emotional and mental health needs just as they would their physical needs. Pupils are taught to have self-respect by having pride. Pride encourages children to see the best in themselves and others, and to have a positive outlook. We encourage pupils to take pride in their learning, family, community and of who they are as an individual.
The pupils and staff at Betty Layward encourage inclusivity. Being inclusive is an important aspect of our school mental health policy. All pupils know that they have rights and that every child’s rights should be upheld. We encourage pupils to be inclusive to others and tackle issues such as discrimination and bullying. We acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Week to raise awareness and dispel social stigma around this topic. Children learn to empathise and support others.
Please see the Betty Layward Primary School Mental Health and Well-being Policy:
Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy 2021-2022