At Biddick Primary School we want all of our children to “BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE” therefore the mental health and wellbeing of our children is of paramount importance. We recognise that at any given time our children might experience a challenge, a life changing event or an emotional need that can leave them vulnerable and needing more support. We firmly believe that Mental Health is everybody’s responsibility.
At Biddick Primary we aim to:
- Teach children about emotions and feelings using Jigsaw – a whole school approach to teaching children age appropriate lessons
- Encourage children to share their worries – each class has a worry monster where children can post their concerns and worries
- Have emotional registration in the morning and at the beginning of the afternoon so teachers can see at a glance how their children are feeling and act accordingly
- Promote resilience through allowing children to take risks and make mistakes
- Encourage friendship and social skills
- Give children a voice to show their opinions matter – through Pupil Power (school council)
- Encourage children to be confident, independent and be themselves.
Our Levels of Support
Universal Support through our whole school ethos and wider curriculum giving children a voice in school and listening to our children and valuing their opinions and concerns. Additional Support for children who may need some support for a short period of time due to a change in circumstance, for example, family break up. These children can have access to our school counsellor as a “drop in” basis.
Targeted Support for children who need more in depth support they can see the counsellor one to one for a session per week or access specific groups such as “Friends For Life” and “Fun Friends”. Outside Agencies if a child’s needs are so complex we cannot give them the support they require we will refer to CAMHS or CYPS.
- Wendy Fowler – Head Teacher and Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead.
- Gail Johnston- Deputy Head Teacher and Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead.
- Rachel Littlefair – EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) Lead and PSHE (Personal, Social Health Education) and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) Lead.
- Carole Stronarch – School Counsellor.
Biddick Primary is a “Wellbeing Friendly” School because:
- Our whole school caring ethos promotes the wellbeing of everyone pupils and staff alike.
- We understand that at any point in time circumstances might lead a child to feel vulnerable, anxious and requiring additional emotional support. We recognise that emotional wellbeing is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY.
- Our staff have all had TRAINING which helps them identify and support children who might be experiencing difficulty.
- We have identified staff who promote the wellbeing of all, ensure staff have up to date training to support children with emotional needs and ensure Mental Health and Wellbeing is an integral part of the curriculum.
- We support all stakeholders – parents, children and staff – and signpost them to local services e.g. SCHOOL COUNSELLOR, EARLY HELP, CAMHS, CYPS, WASHINGTON MIND, FUN FRIENDS, HEALTH VISITORS, NURSERY NURSE TEAM, SCHOOL NURSE, SUNDERLAND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING SERVICE www.sunderlandiapt.co.uk
- When appropriate we will access support or refer to specialist services e.g. CAMHS, CYPS, Educational Psychologist, Paediatricians, Early Help, School Nurse.
- We have a whole school approach to teaching children about Mental Health in an age appropriate manner using Jigsaw a recommended program.
- In addition, we promote resilience through encouraging children to take risks in their learning e.g. providing challenge in Maths and experimenting with vocabulary in English.
- We provide targeted support from our school counsellor for those children who are experiencing recent difficulties e.g. bereavement or loss, family separation or illness
- We have employed a school counsellor 1 day per week to work with our most vulnerable children and parents – staff are able to refer children to Carole directly and ask advice from the Mental Health Team in school.
- When appropriate, we have trained staff to run “Fun Friends” and “Friends For Life” programs to groups of children.
- Our new behaviour principles recognise and reward good behaviour and there is a consistent approach when behaviour slips in school.
- In our celebration assemblies we reward children “Star of the Week” for many reasons, not just academic, including – being kind, being a good friend, being helpful etc.
- A number of Y6 children are Buddies and are visible in the playground with their high vis coats – children can approach these at any time to talk.
- We have Buddy Benches in the playground where children can sit if they need some support and a Buddy will approach them to see if they can help.
- We recognise that our most vulnerable children, those with additional needs, e.g. ASD, ADHD, communication difficulties or learning needs such as Dyslexia may have additional emotional needs e.g. anxiety or stress.
- We provide timetabled sensory time for some of our children to help reduce any anxiety and/or stress they may be feeling. We are aware that children from disadvantaged groups may have additional difficulties and therefore require more emotional support.
- We promote fundamental British Values and have achieved the Rainbow Flag Award.
- We tackle stigma around Mental Health through assemblies and events such as Health Week and Mental Health awareness week.