There are many ways to define wellbeing, and that is a discussion in itself. For this report, we define ‘wellbeing’ as referenced in the widely accepted World Health Organisation definition of mental health:
“Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school.
With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, our school provides an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.
Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.
This is where the school community at High Oakham Primary School are taking a stand - we are wising up to wellbeing.
Following the arrival of our new headteacher, Mrs Astle organised her first day at our school, an INSET day around 'resilience' - the importance of being able to bounce back. She was, and continues to be massively touched by the story of Dick Moore and his family who know only too well about the issues that lack of resilience bring. She talked about being drawn in to his key speaker talk at an Educuational Psychologist's conference focussed on 'emotional wellbeing and mental health' and it struck a nerve - we could, as parents, be Dick, looking back at how we could have supported our young people more with being resilient.
You can find out more about Dick here by watching a Ted Talks video on You Tube
What are we doing as a school to support children with their mental health and emotional wellbeing?
We do not know everything .... if you have any skills that you could share in this area or any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch
We are working with Place2Be this week as it is ‘Children’s Mental Health Week 2019’.
For this year’s theme Healthy: Inside and Out, Place2Be is asking everyone to think about how they look after their bodies and minds. When we think about healthy living, we tend to focus on looking after our bodies – our physical wellbeing – through
food, being active and getting enough sleep. However, in order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after our minds – our mental wellbeing – too. We are making an extra effort this year to look at how we can support our children and staff in promoting good mental health and emotional wellbeing. Thinking about different characteristics of learning and our High Oakham values add to this awareness – embedding these into our everyday lives means that we are thinking about being a good learner, making the right choices and reflecting on what we need to be successful – these all add to our emotional wellbeing. Being able to talk about how they feel is often a difficult thing for children – label feelings, say ‘ I know’, do not shame, encourage to keep trying – these are a few things to do to help.
Click here or follow the link below to find out more about Place2Be’s theme of ‘healthy: inside and out’ – there are some great resources to use to support your own family too. https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/
We are going to be offering workshops linked to promoting good mental health and emotional wellbeing very soon at school so watch this space!