Here at St Mary’s, we value the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff so are excited to announce that we have signed up to the Well-being Award for Schools, administered by Award Place, in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau.
We have signed up to this award to further develop our work to promote positive wellbeing and mental health for the whole school community and gain accreditation for the work we have already done.
Keep an eye on our wellbeing page for further updates.
About the Award
There are eight objectives to achieve within the Well-being Award Framework, containing several Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set out within each. The award focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision is in place that promotes the emotional well-being and mental health of both staff and pupils. The award will enable us to develop these practices where necessary and help us to ensure that well-being is embedded in the long-term culture of our school. It will help us to create an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.
With this award, we will demonstrate our commitment to:
· Promoting mental health as part of every day school life
· Improving the emotional well-being of our staff and pupils
· Ensuring mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided
· Offering provision and interventions that matches the needs of our pupils and staff
· Promoting the importance of mental health awareness
· Capturing the views of parents, pupils and teachers on mental health issues
Your Child’s Wellbeing
Children’s mental health and wellbeing, as you may have come across in the news quite frequently over the last few months, is being reported on more and more. With a range of issues surrounding social media, self- esteem, social mobility and diet, among many others, it is clear that there is a nationwide concern emerging around children’s mental health- with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge now heavily involved with Place2Be. (link)
What’s also apparent is that this issue is not specific to any particular age group, with children in primary schools, secondary schools and further education being recognised. It is fair to say that there is no ‘magic fix’ to this, but at St Mary’s we are always trying to think of new ways to support children’s mental health and the worries they may have, whether it be nurture groups, breakfast club, Early Help Assessments (EHAs), liaising with parents/carers or simply providing time out for a child to speak to our key workers or a member of staff.
As of spring 2020, we have also created St Mary’s first Mental Wellbeing Team with our very own Well Being Ambassadors. These children will be delivering their first assembly on (Date to be confirmed following COVID-19). Their roles in school will be really important so keep an eye out on our school Facebook and Twitter for any updates. Our Wellbeing ambassadors will also be receiving some very exciting training to ensure they are fully equipped to carry out their new role in school.
Here is the winning design of the badge our Wellbeing Ambassadors will be wearing:
Winning design to follow.
Mental Health, whether it is children or adults, can have a rather negative stigma attached to it, yet we believe that by raising the profile of this very important issue then only good things can come from it. We place great emphasis on the welfare of our school community and provide support, information and guidance to help everyone at our school feel happy. We also celebrate the diverse and inclusive nature of our school community and recognise the faiths, beliefs and needs held by all.
The Wellbeing Ambassadors
Please see below for mental health & well-being information, signposting to local services and advice for parents:
Bekindtomymind is a Bolton campaign, developed by the Healthy Minds Youth Project and NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, to reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental health. The aim is to show young people who are struggling with emotional or mental health problems to know “it’s okay to talk.
There are also links and contacts that are really helpful to pupils and their parents. The great news is, there are local organisations based in Bolton that can support, if needed, alongside national helplines.
Please take a look at the link even if you feel that you do not need these services. It is always good to know what help and support is out there. You may even be able to pass information on to someone who you feel would benefit from some help.
If lockdown and isolation is becoming stressful for you and your children, don’t worry – you’re not alone! At some point I can guarantee we have all had a wobble.
Here are some ideas you can use to support your child/children:
- Find out how they’re feeling about this situation and what they’re thinking about, let them know it’s okay to feel scared or unsure, and try to answer their questions as best you can. If you don’t know the answer, be honest but talking things through can help them feel calmer.
- Help them to talk about how they’re feeling and encourage them to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
- Remind them that this won’t last forever, you’re there for them, and you will get through this together.
- Doing some positive activities (such as reading, playing, painting or cooking) will help your children relax and have fun. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’.
- Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
This is a link to a guide for Parents produced by Young Minds.