Mental Health and Wellbeing
“Wellbeing runs through the fabric of so much that is thought and said and done at Adelaide School. Simple practices which are commonplace to staff and pupils in the school would stand out elsewhere as exemplary.” Pooky Knightsmith, 2019
The ethos of the school is about valuing individuals and the relationships between pupils and staff are exceptional. Staff are committed to pupils and they are with them all day therefore pupils often share any concerns and staff are quick to identify issues with pupils. Relationships with parents are also very positive so a team around the child approach is very much in place. All staff receive extensive training in mental health and well-being. As a school we have several mental health first aiders trained and there is also ongoing support for them. There is s staff Wellbeing team. You can also see the school mental health action plan HERE.
If a pupil is struggling with their mental health and well-being, a range of strategies may be put in place including having a quiet place to go, having time with trusted staff or walks. We have staff who can complete Sensory Circuits, Elsa sessions, drawing and talking, lego therapy, mindfulness etc. and we may utilise some of these opportunities with the pupil. All of this would be communicated with the parent and they would be invited to support and share with us.
Mental health and well-being are built into PSHE and life skills curriculums. Although there is a long term PSHE plan in place this is flexible and we develop our plans to meet the needs of the pupils all of the time. We are very reflective and know our pupils exceptionally well. Other subjects cover mental health and well-being to maximise opportunities for discussion. We hold an annual well-being week and observe Mental Health Day in October, with whichever theme it is annually. These National days help to focus on pupils understanding of mental health and well-being and learning positive habits to stay mentally well.
We work closely with a range of professionals to ensure we meet the needs of all children in our community. We also support parents to understand where they can access support should they wish to. Lots of different agencies visit school to speak to pupils and parents about mental health and well-being. This has included the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Emotionally Healthy Schools Team and local charities.
We have recently began to deliver a Parent Mental Health Awareness course accredited by the Anna Freud Centre, it is in it’s first cycle.
The culture of empathy and openness challenges any stigma related to health and well being at all times. Staff are always encouraging positive dialogue and modelling effective attitudes. Where there are breaches of moral codes in the media or popular culture these are often explored & discussed.
We deliver mental health training for other professionals and contribute to national projects in this area. We are proud to have recently achieved the Carnegie Gold Mental Health Award.
The importance we place on mental health and well-being is in unison with the schools values; Commitment, Care and Collaboration.
“The school treats every pupil, every staff member and every parent / carer as an individual and goes above and beyond to promote the emotional mental wellbeing of every individual, tailoring their support to individual needs. Pupils, staff and parents feel safe at and supported by the school, with many choosing to seek support from and celebrate successes with Adelaide Staff many years after they have left the school.” Pooky Knightsmith, 2019
Click on the link to view the Carnegie Report.