Our Pupils' Wellbeing
We value and seek to know what our children think and feel in a variety of ways. Children have fantastic imaginations, solutions to problems and ideas for improvement. When making changes or planning strategically, we include children in the conversation, we listen out for their concerns and opinions and value their thoughts.
At Singleton, we want our children to know what mental health means, how it sits alongside their physical health and how they can ensure they are mentally healthy.
Below are both embedded and some new* systems, which we believe support children's mental health.
Everyday life can sometimes be tricky, and it can make children feel sad, lonely, worried, nervous, angry plus many other emotions. Whilst these are 'normal' and part of what makes us human, they can leave children feeling deregulated and unsure of how to express their feelings — sometimes they don't have the words. Often we may see a resulting behaviour which gives an outward clue that a child may need some help.
To support children in getting support sooner rather than later to manage feelings, each class will have a box to post their worry into. They can simply post their name into the box on a post-it note. A symbol placed on the front will indicate that the teacher/teaching assistant needs to check the box. The child will then be offered some time to talk away from other children.
Zones of Regulation*
We are very excited to start our training later in the Autumn Term to support our understanding of this approach, which uses a simple colour system to support children to recognise their 'feelings', accept them and explore strategies to manage their responses. We will share this training with our families on 24th November at a special workshop.
Gratitude Journals and Walls*
Research ( Click here to read an article ) shows that daily reflection and gratitude has a positive impact on mental health, sleep, physical health, reduces pain, reduces stress and anxiety, improves relationships and builds emotional resilience! In Willow and Beech classes, the children will spend the final 5-10 minutes of each day reflecting on what they are grateful for and display this on Gratitude displays. In Oak Class the children will have a more personalised approach and each have a special Gratitude Journal.
The Daily Dash
During our morning exercise session, the children have the opportunity to talk with adults and their friends. This opportunity to express any worries, allows children to start their day feeling listened to and problems can start to be resolved. Equally, children may share an idea or opinion, which can be discussed in our House Team meetings.
Morning and lunch playtime offer the perfect opportunity for staff to catch up with children, both in their own and other classes. In our small school, we are able to chat with the majority of the children in our school across the week, which plays a large part in creating 'the family feel' which is integral to our vision and valued by all.
House Team Meetings
Every Thursday the children meet in 3 groups, with a shared agenda. The agenda remains flexible to allow children the opportunity to raise issues or discuss ideas which they have identified. Simple minutes are kept to capture any pupil voice which can then be discussed in staff meetings.
Each week the classes have two 30 minute PSHE lessons. The children follow a well planned curriculum, focusing on Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. These lessons involve a great deal of discussion and there is plenty of opportunity for our children to share feelings, concerns,opinions and ideas.
Through learning walks, pupil surveys, pupil conferencing and monitoring, the staff and Governors are able to gain insights into what the children feel about our school, how they are cared for, taught and supported. These discussions are recorded either in a formal format, or feed into meetings to be discussed by the staff.