Mental Health and Wellbeing

Overview

The emotional wellbeing and mental health of children is an absolute key focus for all staff at Sprowston Infant School.  In order for our children to become successful and engaged learners, they need to have resilience, self-belief and confidence to take on all new experiences and challenges, and, most crucially perhaps, to be happy.  This is embedded as part of our ‘6 Cs’ curriculum.  Positive mental health is promoted explicitly in RSHE lessons throughout the year, but ensuring the children develop what we hope are life-long attitudes happens every single day, through our interactions with the children, being  role models and in the provision of a pupil-centred curriculum that matches their needs.

What is Mental Health?

We all have mental health. Mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is important. We all have small feelings every day; these can sometimes feel strong and overwhelming, whether happy or sad, but they go away before too long. Sometimes we experience big feelings; these feel strong and overwhelming for a long time. They stop us doing what we want to in our lives. 

Who are the Wellbeing team at Sprowston Infants?

The following staff lead our Wellbeing Team:

Mr Rob Edwards – HeadteacherSafeguarding and Inclusion lead, Designated Safeguarding Lead
Miss Emma Wyatt – Deputy HeadteacherSEND coordinator, Senior Mental Health Lead, Alternative Designated Safeguarding Lead, Pastoral Support
Mr Andy Palmer – teacherAlternative Designated Safeguarding Lead
Ms Angela Storey – teacherRHSE Lead

Books to support children

At Sprowston Infants we use books as a hook for our learning and this also applies to our learning in wellbeing and mental health. Here are some books we use and some that we have read and feel could help address mental health and wellbeing.

                                                            

The Dot

This story is about self-esteem and how one little girl builds her self-esteem by painting just one dot.

 

Rosie Revere Engineer

This is a book about believing in yourself  and not giving up in pursuing your passion.

Felix After the Rain

This is a story about Felix who carries around his sadness in a big black suitcase. When the case is accidentally opened there is a big storm, but after this there is sunshine. The story shows that acknowledging sad feelings can be scary but we feel better afterwards. 

Jack’s Worry

A great book which shows that sharing our worries and fears makes them smaller or go away. 

The Colour Monster

We used this book after Covid to demonstrate to the children that feeling different emotions is normal, healthy and  something we recognise but we don’t worry about. They can then relate to which monster they might be feeling like at different times or on different days.

On Sudden Hill

This story deals with what happens when a new boy wants to play with two best friends. This will particularly help children who may join the school during the year.

The Huge Bag of Worries

This is a good book to deal with the worries that children have.  As adults it can be easy to dismiss what a child worries about as insignificant, and telling them to stop worrying about it doesn’t really work! This book is a useful reminder to us grown-ups that a worry for a child can have a huge impact, as well as helping children to understand what to do when they do have a worry.

Grandad’s Island

This book addresses the death of a grandparent in a really lovely way.

Something Else

Something Else teaches children that being different isn’t something to be afraid of – and that, actually, you can always find like minded souls.

Waiting for Wolf

This is a lovely story about loss and grief. When Wolf becomes a star, Fox grieves but learns that memories of their special times together will always be with her. 

Helping your child

These are useful tips to supporting your child to have positive mental health and wellbeing.

Posters from Liverpool CAHMS

Zones of Regulation

In school we use Zones of Regulation to help support children to name emotions and identify how they are feeling. We then support the children with these emotions. Ideally children will be in the green zone of emotions but as with everyone our emotions and mood changes throughout the day and in different situations. With the zones we aim to support children to return to green if they are feeling different emotions outside of the green zone. This is so they are ok and ready to learn. Being in the green zone doesn’t mean you have to be happy – being ‘ok’ or ‘fine’ is good too.

Here are the zones we use in school and some examples of how children may be supported to come back to the green zone.

The four coloured zones and associated emotions are:

Ideas on what you can do to help become calm and settled

These may change for different children, remember we are not all the same and will require different support.

Regulation techniques:

Children and their families’ mental health and wellbeing has always been important at Sprowston Infant School. In current times it has become even more important, with many of us facing additional pressures and changes which can lead to uncertainty. The aim of this page is to signpost resources that will benefit all of us all the time, but especially now. 

No-one should ever feel alone in this and it is vital that we all seek help when needed.

As a parent/carer, I am struggling with my own Mental Health. Is there support I can access?

Your wellbeing is also so important to us, The Anna Freud Centre has a wealth of information for supporting the wellbeing of children, families and parents. The website is easy to access and has some really useful tips. The link below takes you to advice to help with your own self-care:

https://www.annafreud.org/parents-and-carers/self-care-for-parents-and-carers/

The GP should be able to offer advice and support and talking to a trusted friend can help too, so they can check in on you. However if you don’t feel you have someone to talk to then the organisations below offer crisis support for parents and carers:

AFC Crisis Messenger – text AFC to 85258 for free 24/7 crisis support – https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/afc-crisis-messenger/

Family Lives – charity offering crisis support for parents and carers – https://www.familylives.org.uk/

First Response Line Norfolk – https://www.nsft.nhs.uk/first-response/

Telephone the helpline on 0808 196 3494 If you are feeling unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health.

Useful Contacts

MindEd for familieswww.mindedforfamilies.org.uk

Learning resource about the mental health of children, young people and older adults.

Young Minds –  www.youngminds.org.uk

The UKs leading child and adolescent mental health charity. The info for parents is especially good.

Thinkuknow –  www.thinkuknow.co.uk

Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCACEOP, a UK organisation that protects children online. The parent /carer section has advice, tips and guides about how to keep children safe online.

Nelson’s Journey – https://nelsonsjourney.org.uk/  01603 431788

Nelson’s Journey supports children and young people in Norfolk who’ve experienced the death of a significant person. We provide a range of resources and services, and accept referrals from families and professionals for those who may need our support.

Leewayhttps://www.leewaysupport.org/

Leeway is an independent charity providing support to adults, young people and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk. They operate eight safe houses and people experiencing domestic abuse and their children are welcome to stay as long as necessary to secure a future free from a dangerous partner.

National Debtlinehttps://nationaldebtline.org/      Freephone: 0808 808 4000

Debtline, offers free, confidential and independent advice to help people deal with their debt problems and regain control of their finances.

The Family Mediation Trust – https://www.thefamilymediationtrust.org/

The Family Mediation Trust is a charity dedicated to helping those going through divorce, separation and disputes to families across the East of England.

Change, Grow, Livehttps://www.changegrowlive.org/

This is a national health and social care charity. They can help you with challenges including drugs and alcohol, housing, justice, health and wellbeing.

Childlinewww.childline.org.uk  0800 11 11

Website has tips and advice on a wide range of issues and suggested activities to do if you are feeling anxious.

Norfolk and Waveney mental health and well-being service – www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk

This service doesn’t require a referral and you can contact them and ask for advice and support.

Phone: 0300 300 0123  or  text Parent line on: 07520 631590

We hope you find this helpful. Remember we are always here as a listening ear, point of contact or to offer advice and support!