We are a well-being school
Well-being for everyone in the All Saints family is a key part of our ethos. The Executive Headteacher: MIss Strachan is a trained 'well-being champion' and has worked hard to gain us national accreditation status as a wellbeing pioneer school.
The children are reminded continuously that mental well-being is just as important as physical well-being is. To promote well- being throughout the school we have embedded the following features into our daily timetable and school lives. We even set well-being tasks to the children and their families as homework.
All classrooms have one of these and if children wish to speak to their teacher confidentially they pop a written note in this box. Teachers check these boxes daily then speak to the children about their worry 1:1
The Listening Team
Mrs Gething, Miss White and Mrs Bell are all ELSA trained. They are available to listen to children whenever this is needed and help pupils sort their concerns out- whether these are about home or school - it doesn't matter - the children just know they are there to help.
Upper school carers/ mentors
Sometimes children who have concerns feel more comfortable opening up and sharing them with other pupils. We have 6 mentors from UKS2 who use their lunchtime play working with infant children in their classrooms during lessons. They are there to be learning buddies, ambassadors that model good behaviour and they are there to help with any concerns the infant children may have. Our carers are trained in knowing the type of worries that need adult attention quickly.....but often just a listening ear is all a child needs and a friendly smile to give them some confidence.
The Zen Den
The children wanted an outside space where they could opt out of the physical activities that take place at breaktimes. They designed it themselves and ordered cushions, flowers, yoga mats, mantra flags and wind chimes to go in it - this space is very popular with the staff too!
Brain Breathing sessions
All classes hold these sessions every day. They consist of meditative music, visualisation stories, yoga routines and self or paired massage. They only last for approximately 10 minutes but they teach the children how to switch off, be mindful and calm themselves down. The children are starting to apply these skills themselves now and recognise when they need to.
Self regulation stations
All classrooms have a place where children can go to, just to sit, be mindful, do some pressure exercises or have a break from others. Pupils can go there themselves without asking or staff can suggest they might want to go and spend some time there reflecting too.
Specialist therapy work
Individual children in our school are identified for social skills work, lego therapy, drawing therapy, play therapy and music therapy work where needed. These are all provided by trained school staff. We also pay for external services that provide additional therapy work. We have our own student social worker and mental health practitioner who help with targeted therapy work on site too.
We also consider the staff when it comes to practising good well-being in school. Key tasks are built into directed meeting time, planning and marking procedures have been significantly reduced, reporting to parent systems have become more streamlined, staff and pupil yoga sessions take place after school and staff all have access to a confidential counselling service that is free - if the need should arise. We are currently working with the staff exploring possibilities for a staff well-being week each big term
Parents are part of our school well-being programme as well. The pupil support team invite them in for coffee mornings to mingle and share concerns. We have run parental choir, parental yoga, parental art classes and parental cookery classes too. Those who have attended have appreciated the opportunity to be able to socialise with other adults and talk about common issues. Triple P parenting classes are provided as well, these assist parents in caring for their whole family's well-being at home. Individual parents are also identified for further support from a range of external services too such as Family Solutions.
A blended approach to well-being with the church
Because we are an urban school limited by physical space we are fortunate enough to work closely with our church who open up their hall for more parental well-being activities. They host uniform swap shop, Little Saints toddler/ buggy club and the warm and fed sessions. These sessions are much needed by many in our community, who after dropping the children off at school, just want to have a natter with others who are physically and mentally feeling the burden of the current economical crisis. A warm room with free hot soup goes a long way to making us all feel better.
Our aim for well-being
It is hoped that by providing such well-being strategies that we all learn how to achieve good mental health and that we all develop our resilience and ways of coping with the inevitable challenges that living in 21st century modern Britain will bring.