Mental Health Week - 1st -5th February 2021
The theme of this year's Children's Mental Health Week is Express Yourself. Each day we will be encouraging children to find ways to express themselves by sharing feelings, thoughts, or ideas through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film - basically finding an activity that just makes you feel good!
Please have a look at these links below.
Sometimes we miss the positives in life and sometimes only remember the negative ones. Have a go at these positive message paper chains a wonderful opportunity to sit, colour and breath.
Think of an emotion - this sheet will help you work through a time when something did not go to plan - its a great way of understanding why things happen.
We all do some sort of journey each day whether in the car, on foot or even just moving from one room to another. Do you take in your surroundings? What are we thankful for that we may take for granted each day? Use your senses to list things we are grateful for.
Importance of Mental Health
We believe that children's mental health and well-being is the foundation on which academic success is built . We believe that ensuring our pupils are mentally well and emotionally stable allows them to flourish in all areas of the curriculum. As a school we promote and cater for children's emotional well-being through the use of ELSA, well-being first aid kits, a range of alternative therapies and a bespoke package of interventions to secure this.
If you have any concerns about your child's mental health, please come in and speak to their teacher.
Philanthropist supporter of Wise Up
Growing up today seems to be harder than ever.
Children and young people face a host of novel
stressors that I cannot even purport to understand.
In a confusing, addictive, 24-hour online world,
young people need new tools and more support.
An estimated three children in every classroom suffer
from a diagnosable mental health problem; I was one
of them. Behind those numbers is a general trend to
increased levels stress and lower levels of wellbeing.
I believe that schools are much more than centres of
learning. They can and do provide the most reliable
conduit to address this worrying trend, and only they
can set us back on track. However, for schools to
succeed in helping their students, our priorities as a
nation must be realigned, and the education system
must rebalance academic learning and emotional
wellbeing. This is what our children and young people
want, it is what our teachers and school leaders want
and it is what our parents want. More to the point, it is
what our children and young people deserve.
They deserve an excellent education that prepares
them academically and emotionally for the challenges
they will face inside the classroom, and for the world
they will enter when they graduate.
There is already exceptional work being done, but these
efforts remain isolated and undervalued. It should be
the opposite. Such work should be at the crux of our
educational system and recognised at the highest level.
I believe that each child deserves a dedicated place to
learn to care for their own mental health, and it is our
duty as a society to provide this. With schools at the
helm, we can create a generation of resilient, healthy
and confident individuals.
The new normal - six ways of supporting your children coming out of the second lockdown.
In recent weeks, the government has announced plans to start an ‘easing’ of lockdown, and while this may bring relief to many, it also presents new challenges, uncertainty and unpredictability, especially with children and of course with Christmas just around the corner.
This is very much on the minds of parents and their children at present, as they think ahead to this next phase and try to work out how it might affect them.
Please have a read through this bbc article - with hints and tips for everyone.
As part of our curriculum we also cover aspects of anti-bullying each year to help children recognise and deal with behaviour they might find unacceptable. This year we are going to wear blue for well-being. This initiative is supported by Bullying UK and recognises that bullying has a negative impact on the emotional well-being of our children. All the school will be wearing an item or items of clothing that are blue - and that doesn't have to include the school jumper. The colour blue was chosen because it is often considered to be symbolic of sadness and depression. These emotions are often associated with the effects of consistent bullying. However, blue can also be a symbol of peace.
Thank you for your support in this matter.
What is ELSA?
In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
Loss and bereavement
How does ELSA work?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher or on occasion the SENCo. Every half term Mrs George meets with the class teacher to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the next 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind Mrs George then plans support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
Supporting - not fixing
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems, but to provide emotional support.
An ELSA aims to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need. Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school would be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.
Parental advice on anger management
Help with those 'hot feelings' - some tips and information for parents/guardians about managing anger in children:
* * * * * * *Recommended book!* * * * * * *
An anger management story for children written by Lori Lite. Children relate to the angry octopus in this story as the sea child shows him how to take a deep breath, calm down, and manage his anger. Children love to unwind and relax with this fun exercise known as progressive muscular relaxation. This effective stress and anger management technique focuses awareness on various muscle groups and breath to create a complete resting of the mind and body. This is a great little story to help children understand that they are in control of their emotions. It focuses on the ownership of feelings and emotions and taking command of the situation. We use this book in ELSA sessions and is fun and very effective!
This book uses CBT at its core to help younger children understand their angry feelings and make the necessary changes to regulate their emotions. The book was written by Luke Baker, a former ELSA! The book is about The Red family and their youngest member Rory. Rory Red is very angry all of the time. He wants to change but is told by both parents that ‘It is just who you are.’ Rory wants to change and one day meets a new friend Yasmine Yellow. Yasmine shows him the way and helps him to understand how he can change.
The book leads the child through the different stages of anger such as triggers: ‘someone being mean to him’, ‘when he can’t go out to play because it is raining’, ‘when he isn’t allowed his dessert’. It takes the child through the physical effects of anger such as breathing heavier, his heart beating harder and faster. It also looks at Rory’s thoughts such as: ‘hit them!’ ‘break something!’ ‘say bad words!’. Yasmine helps him by suggesting different calming techniques to help him cope with his anger.
Delightful, simple illustrations that children will love. The language is simple and easy to understand. This book would be perfect for EYFS and KS1, (possibly even Lower KS2).