wellbeing at Wickersley Northfield
A child's wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do at Wickersley Northfield.
We believe in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing to ensure our school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive and be themselves.
We work together to create a safe base from which children and adults can develop and flourish. We believe relationships are at the heart of developing that sense of wellbeing and have a culture of mutual respect, empathy and caring for each other.
The emotional health and well-being of all members of Wickersley Northfield is fundamental to our philosophy and aims. As a school, we encourage resilience and positive development of mental health in childhood and amongst the school community. Emotional wellbeing is a key factor in enabling children to achieve their full educational potential and to become responsible individuals, well prepared for life beyond school.
We want our children to be able to grow emotionally, and grow together as a whole school community. Our staff encourage and support each child’s wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem, developing resilience and creating a safe and secure environment where a child can be their authentic self and feel accepted for being themselves.
What is mental health?
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.
Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell, it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time.
Children who are mentally healthy will be able to:
• Develop psychologically, emotionally, socially, creatively, intellectually and spiritually
• Initiate, develop and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships
• Become aware of others and empathise with them
• Play and learn
• Develop a sense of right and wrong
• Face challenges, resolve issues and setbacks and learn from them
What happens in school?
In school, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice.
Our PSHE curriculum focuses on developing children’s social and emotional skills. It is about helping children to understand and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and build skills that help them to thrive, such as resilience, working in a team and self-awareness.
Introducing Team Empower
Mrs Williamson has worked closely with a brand new team who will focus on Mental Health and Well Being. The team have been trained by Mrs Williamson as 'Mini Mental Health Medics'. The course provided them with a basic understanding of mental health, including what mental health means, how it is linked to physical health, what to do if they have a worry and the various ways in which they can look after their mental health. Using this training, the team are now Mental Health Representatives and act as a pupil voice for PSHE and mental health and wellbeing.
So far the team have led assemblies during Children's Mental Health Week and have provided support for their peers.
How else can school support my child?
Many children, at times, will need some additional support to help them cope with certain emotions or changes in their life. We take the approach of having a team around a child, where different professionals work together to create tailored support to best meet a child’s needs. The support we offer can be informal check-ins, or more specific support from our ELSAs or SEND teams.
Mrs Williamson is our school Mental Health Lead.
Mrs Kingston is our ELSA lead.
Mrs Mellor is our SEND co-ordinator
If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, please come and talk to us.
Don't forget to look after yourself!
If things are getting you down, it is important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. It is easy to go on struggling with difficult situations because you feel that you should be able to cope and don’t need any help.
Come and talk to us, in confidence, and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.
Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Remember: asking for some support is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.
Connect with people around you. Good relationships are important for your mental health and wellbeing.
Find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your daily/weekly life.
Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence.
Give to others
Give to those in need, even giving a smile, a thank you or a kind word.
Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you - be mindful.
Links to useful websites:
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families https://www.annafreud.org/parents-and-carers/
Young Minds - Parent Survival Guide https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent/parents-guide-to-looking-after-yourself/
NHS - Every mind matters https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/
How to be mindful