Mental Health and Well-Being
Mrs Wilson is our Mental Health Champion.
Mrs Simpson and Mrs Seaman are trained as mental health first aiders.
Mrs Furnish is our licensened Thrive practitioner.
All staff in our school have a basic understanding of the importance of mental health and where to go to find resources to support children. We can support children to talk about their emotions and also offer support for significant life events. We have access to specialist support if we need further advice or guidance to help. In 2017-18 we are also working with Young Minds to trial a new resource called mentally healthy schools.
This is a link to a simple video about mental health from Anna Freud. It is suitable for KS1 and KS2 children. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=anna+freud+mental+health+video+primary&&view=detail&mid=A5AA7A49B4F5D59FB65AA5AA7A49B4F5D59FB65A&&FORM=VDRVRV
During Mental Health week we have focused on how we can have better mental health. Staff have had training from Young Minds and are piloting a new website for schools called 'mentally healthy schools'.
After the KS 2 tests had finished we held a 'Bubble Day' (Fri 19th May) in support of the local charity 'Help me - I'm fine' . We also used the day to learn together how we can all support one another with mental health. The morning was spent exploring different issues in our classes and then we all laughed a lot as we watched Mr Shiney's bubble show. We were then joined by lots of our parents and took part in a 'Bubble Festival'. This included some fun and relaxing activities including: a bubble-stomp-disco, a relaxation zone, sporting and fun physical activities as well as a chance to make stress balls, dream catchers and buy cakes and treats! Everyone has said what a lovely event it was.
THRIVE in our school
As part of our Christian mission at Westwoodside Church of England Academy we want all our children, especially the most vulnerable, to develop as confident, resilient young people who are able to embrace challenges in their future lives. Our priorities this year include a focus on mental health and well-being and we turned to the Thrive approach to support our development.
What is THRIVE? Thrive is a whole school approach which builds on the latest research from neuro-science, child development, attachment theories and play therapy. It uses specific ways of working with children to support social and emotional wellbeing enabling them to ‘thrive’. Thrive uses an online assessment which enables us to screen individuals and classes of children. This helps us to identify where there are gaps in emotional development and provides suggested interventions to support children to close them. Assessment can also measure progress made.
Mrs Furnish has been trained as a licensed practitioner and acts as a point of contact for all staff. We have also had whole staff training to make everyone aware of the Thrive approach.
We have already seen a positive impact from our work in this area. Please ask if you like more details or look at the Thrive website. https://www.thriveapproach.com/