Mrs Case, our Child and Family Support Worker, is an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) and have received training in mental health and wellbeing. She works closely with Mrs Abrahams and Mrs Blair (our SENCOs) and Mr Butterworth-Drury (our Head Teacher who is the Mental Health Lead for the school).
We believe maintaining and enhancing the wellbeing of all pupils is a key factor to ensuring children are able to flourish and reach their full potential.
ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists, who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils. They provide on-going professional supervision to help maintain high quality in the work undertaken by ELSAs, thereby helping to ensure safe practice for ELSAs and pupils alike.
What does wellbeing mean?
Wellbeing refers to the quality of people's lives. At school that means all adults work hard to make sure children feel happy, safe, healthy and comfortable in their environment. This can be achieved by following five simple steps.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
Some of the ways we achieve this at school :
- Greeting children and families at the school gates to welcome the children in with a smile and check how they are in the morning.
- Having familiar adults that are available to listen to children, who care and understand the importance of knowing children well.
- Fostering an atmosphere that is welcoming, friendly where children feel safe to say how they are feeling.
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that make you feel good, so do as much as you can. It doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Ways we do this at school:
- Providing high quality PE lessons, including those supported by Superstar Sports (trained coaches who specialise in providing sessions that teach the children different sports and skills).
- Engaging children in games and physical activity during playtimes and lunch times. We have all sorts of equipment for the children to play with including bats, balls and basket ball hoops.
- Funding a range of after-school sports and activity clubs including multi-skills and Zumba.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Being mindful helps you get the most out of every day and every situation. If we notice things around us and take the time to listen, feel, taste, smell and enjoy things fully we appreciate them more. Most of us have more time now to slow down and find the positives of just about everything.
In school we:
- Learn about our emotions.
- Encourage children to think about how other's are feeling developing skills working in teams.
- Have spaces in the school for children to calm down.
- Provide time to talk about their emotions and recognise how they are feeling.
Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. People who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. There are many different things we can give to each other: time, thoughts, a listening ear, compliments. Our school has a wonderful, warm atmosphere where children are encouraged to think of others.
Some of the ways we do this in school:
- Celebrating accomplishments.
- Fundraising for charities.
- Donating food to food banks.
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. We love it when the children come and share the different things they have been doing out of school and we think it's very important to expose the children to a wide range of experiences to enrich their lives.
At school we:
- Set the children new challenges.
- Encourage outside interests.
- Teach a broad and balanced, aspirational curriculum.