Pupil Wellbeing and Mental Health
At St. Margaret’s we take the wellbeing and mental health of our pupils, families and staff very seriously, as our SENCO and Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead, Mrs Blackburne explains.
Promoting good mental health is part of what we all do, as teachers, every day. Both in what we say and what we do. It runs through all our aims and is reflected in our five St. Margaret’s values.
Good mental health is supported by:
Physical exercise – we are very fortunate with our beautiful grounds and our specialist PE teachers, who have such passion for their subject. Children are encouraged to access physical exercise at their own level and the staff ensure it is fun for all.
Being part of a community – St Margaret’s values every member of the school community and everyone’s voice is listened to, through our small class sizes and our dedicated teachers. We have a very effective School Council that helps the children’s voices be heard. Our Year 6 Play Leaders really enjoy helping the younger children to play successfully.
Being kind to yourself and others – At St Margaret’s we value kindness and respect of others and their values. We promote being a ‘kind, caring friend’ explicitly with one of our values. Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors take their roles very seriously, running drop-in clinics and monitoring the Buddy Benches at lunchtimes.
Learning something new – At St Margaret’s we are all learning, all the time. In our new timetabled Wellbeing lessons for Prep, the children choose an activity once a week. This includes gardening, board games and cross stitch, which helps them to gain new skills and try new things.
Eating a healthy diet – The kitchen staff work very hard to provide a huge range of hot and cold choices of healthy food for all of us on a daily basis.
Hour-long Wellbeing lessons have been added to the Prep timetable. These range from growth mindset lessons to learning first aid. Some weeks the children can choose from a variety of activities from gardening, board games, craft, yoga, nature hunts around the grounds and reading. The sessions allow the children to try something new, giving them the choice to pick the activity to suit how they’re feeling. They might want to be physically active, outside in the fresh air doing some gardening, or to relax their body and mind in a quiet, calming yoga session. Some choose to stretch their minds with a strategic game of chess or ignite their imagination with a good storybook.
Isla in Year 3 said, “I chose yoga because it helps me to focus and relax after a morning of different lessons. I find it helps me to feel calm. My favourite pose is the Downward Dog.”
Amber in Year 6 said, “I found the mindful colouring a really nice, peaceful experience. It was good to have some downtime at school and to be able to have calm conversations with my friends, away from the noisy playground. It was also great to be able to be as creative as possible.”
Henry in Year 6 said, “I chose to play board games because there were some I hadn’t played before and I also enjoyed teaching my friends how to play Yatzy. It is good to be calm and relaxed and to help others.”
Evie in Year 6 said: “I’ve been doing cross stitch and we’re working on making a picture by the end. It is great being able to relax and do something I enjoy.”
For more information about how Mental Health and Wellbeing is supported at St. Margaret’s, please do contact Mrs Blackburne firstname.lastname@example.org