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Well-being

Wellbeing information about our school.

At St Mary’s, we believe that looking after the mental health and well-being of staff and pupils is fundamental to the health and success of the whole school. Our aim is that all staff and children are resilient and able to cope with the pressures of life together. We have appointed a Well-being Lead to promote and support well-being across the school. Some of the strategies that we have already implemented to support positive mental health and well-being are detailed below. We continually review the impact of these and gather the views of staff and children to improve and build on what is in place.

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.

Steve Maraboli

Promoting well-being

Worry Monsters

Each class has a worry monster and children are encouraged to share any worries or questions that they have by putting them into the worry monster. These are monitored by staff and discussed sensitively during class reflection time.

Relaxation Station

We have quiet spaces in school which children can access during breaktimes when they would prefer a quiet alternative to the school yard. Children will be able to take part in quiet activities such as reading, writing or drawing, building Lego or just chatting with friends and relaxing!

Outdoor Play

We appreciate that children spend a lot of time outside during the week and that play is vitally important for social, emotional and physical development. Our School Council spent time during the summer term developing zones for the outdoor play areas and they will continue to focus on this work during 2023/24.

We also support positive well-being and mental health in the following ways:

Physical Fitness

All classes have timetabled PE during the week which is delivered by qualified sports coaches. Sports include: dance, gymnastics, invasion games, hockey, swimming, football, athletics and many more.

School Dinner

Our school dinners are cooked on site and are designed to meet the standards for schools set by the Food Standard Agency. Children can select from different main dinner options (at least one is a vegetarian option), jacket potato with salad or sandwiches. Children are offered water or milk to drink with their school dinner. Menus are available on our website.

Packed Lunches

We ask that you provide your child with healthy food options. Packed lunches should not contain sweets or chocolate. If they contain a sweet snack such as a biscuit, please monitor the amount given. Children may bring in a drink to have with their packed lunch. Water, a small amount of sugar-free squash, flavoured water or fruit juice may be drunk with packed lunches in the hall.

Snacks

All pupils in EYFS, Years 1 and 2 are offered fruit or vegetables as a snack in the morning. We encourage pupils to bring in healthy snacks of fruit, vegetables or cereal bars for eating during the morning break.

Water

We ask that every child has a water bottle in school every day.  Children take their bottles home each evening to ensure they are kept clean and hygienic. If a child’s bottle empties during the school day, they will be encouraged to fill it. Children are encouraged to drink water throughout the day. 

Curriculum

We teach children about feeling good, being healthy and caring for themselves through our everyday teaching, PSHE and science lessons and through all aspects of school provision. Our aim is to:

  • enable children to understand their emotions and feelings better
  • encourage children to feel comfortable to share any concerns or worries
  • support children socially to form and maintain relationships
  • promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they count
  • inspire children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
  • support children to be persistent even when faced with challenges
  • encourage children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks

Targeted support

We know that at times children and adults may require additional support and advice to address well being and mental health challenges. We have three levels of support to ensure that we provide for the needs of our school community:

  • Universal Support – To meet the needs of all our children through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. E.g. developing resilience for all.
  • Additional support – For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.
  • Targeted support – For children who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as counselling, well-being groups, mentor sessions or referral to specialists and wider professionals.

Advice for parents and carers

Be there to listen

Regularly ask how they’re doing so they get used to talking about their feelings and know there’s always someone to listen if they want it. Find out how to create a space where they will open up.

Support them through difficulties

Pay attention to their emotions and behaviour, and try to help them work through difficulties. It’s not always easy when faced with challenging behaviour, but try to help them understand what they’re feeling and why.

Stay involved in their life

Show interest in their life and the things important to them. It not only helps them value who they are but also makes it easier for you to spot problems and support them.

Encourage their interests

Being active or creative, learning new things and being a part of a team help connect us with others and are important ways we can all help our mental health. Support and encourage them to explore their interests, whatever they are.

Take what they say seriously

Listening to and valuing what they say, without judging their feelings, in turn makes them feel valued. Consider how to help them process and work through their emotions in a more constructive way.

Build positive routines

We know it still may not be easy, but try to reintroduce structure around regular routines, healthy eating and exercise. A good night’s sleep is also really important – try to get them back into routines that fit with school.

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Updated | 4th October, 2023 |

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