Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school. With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, schools provide an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives. Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.
For these reasons, here at Southwark, the mental health of our children is extremely important and nurturing and prioritising support for pupils is a fundamental part of our provision. We want to support everyone in our school community so they have good mental health, positive self-esteem and know what to do and who to speak to if they need support. Get in touch if you have any worries or concerns about your child's mental health or wellbeing. There's lots of resources to help everyone, regardless of how they are feeling.
The children at school (and at home if learning is remote during the school closure) are exposed to a comprehensive PSHE curriculum which covers important topics which effect children today. Children also have opportunities to discuss their feelings with staff including learning mentors if they want to. Some children will be offered specialist sessions which are designed to support their emotions and mental health. We also network with a range of different professional organisations and charities to provide the very best support to children when they need it most.
As always, we are here to help and support in any way we can so please don't hesitate to get in touch through the school office, or on Class Dojo.
This week is mental health awareness week. This year the focus is on nature. There is lots of research that supports the role that nature can play in protecting and supporting our mental health. Our mental health is as important as our physical health.
We do a lot to support the mental health of everyone at school; we have a comprehensive PSHE curriculum as well as a 'Mindful Moment' time slot every day, where our children can develop their strategies to support their mental health.
Click here to watch a video about the importance of nature to our mental wellbeing:
I have attached (below) a presentation which classes will be sharing this week. Please take a look and go through some of the points with your children.
In addition to what we already do in school to support wellbeing, children will be taking part in some of the activities in this mindfulness calendar - why not take a look and have a go yourself and with your families?
As always, if you are worried about your child's mental health or the wellbeing of yourself or a family member or friend, we are here to help. We can see how best we can help you and, if needed, sign post you to professional support.
Please find some resources below which you might find useful:
SUPPORTING PARENTS HELPFINDER (YOUNG MINDS)
Times are tough for many people right now. Parents find themselves pulled in many different direction and children may be struggling being in the house for so much longer than usual.
You might be feeling a mixture of emotions at the moment - concerns about Covid-19, working from home, children being at home, remote education expectations, along with possible financial worries. These can all add worry, frustration, and anxiety and possibly lead to a stressful household.
Young Minds have created a useful 'Supporting Parents Helpfinder'. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child's mental health during the pandemic (and beyond).
Find the help finder here:
The website also has a lot of useful information and support which you might find helps.
Young Minds have also created a useful poster highlighting ways to give support to children when they have angry feelings or outbursts and may help families start a conversation and talk about each other’s feelings.
CALM ZONE - CHILD LINE
There are lots of ways to feel calmer. It's about finding what works for you. Calm Zone teaches you some breathing exercises, activities, games and videos to help let go of stress. Try one of the activities or use some of the tools to help you feel better when you're feeling anxious, scared or sad.
CHILD LINE 0800 1111
This website gives you lots of useful advice and guidance on a wide number of issues which might affect you. Childline is yours – a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. They are working a little differently because of coronavirus. But you can still speak to a counsellor every day from 9am - 3:30am.
CHILD FRIENDLY TOOL AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH
Funded by BBC Children in Need, this early-intervention tool will help 8-11 year olds with their emotional wellbeing and encourage communication within families.
It’s packed with advice about subjects including school, friendships, family life and the internet – and it’s available now, for free.
Click on the link below to watch a video which introduces it:
Nottingham City Educational Psychology Service have put together some resources to support families during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Please find the PDF at the bottom of this web page.
HEALTH FOR KIDS
Find out all about how to stay healthy as well as find out information about COVID-19.
COVID-19 SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD'S UNDERSTANDING OF IT
COVID-19 STORY BOOK FOR 4 - 7 YEAR OLDS
BBC NEWSROUND - age appropriate daily news
ANNA FREUD NATIONAL CENTRE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES - Covid-19 support for Parents and Children
YOUNG MINDS - what to do if you are anxious about Coronavirus
ELSA SUPPORT - ADULT & CHILD BEREAVEMENT RESOURCES
CRUSE BEREAVEMENT CARE - support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone passes away.
WINSTON'S WISH - help for families and children coping with bereavement.
ANNA FREUD National Centre for Children and Families - Self Care Resources and Information
SAFE HANDS THINKING MINDS - breathing techniques and other useful resources to reduce anxiety and stress