“A healthy school ensures that when children are unhappy, anxious, disturbed or depressed there are open channels for them to seek or be offered support, without stigma and with appropriate confidentiality. A healthy school actively seeks to promote emotional health and wellbeing and helps children to understand their feelings”.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
At Firs Primary School we work towards positive Emotional Health and Wellbeing in the whole of our school community for adults as well as children. The school has recently developed and began to embed the 5 Key to Emotional Wellbeing. The key aims and objectives of the 5 Keys to Emotional Wellbeing are to:
- Make the school a more emotionally supportive environment.
- Further improve wellbeing and building resilience.
- Enable and support early identification of vulnerable children and early intervention of need.
- Enable all stakeholders to be involved in the designing of the 5 keys; parents, teachers, children and school governors.
- Link to school improvement – closing the academic gap for identified children.
Emotional health and wellbeing promotes school success and improvement by:
- contributing positively to priorities such as enhancing teaching and learning, raising standards, promoting social inclusion and improving behaviour and attendance
- involving children more fully in the operation of the school
- helping children and staff feel happier, more confident and more motivated
- helping to meet legal, ethical and curricular obligations Emotional health and wellbeing is central to the Every Child Matters strategy.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on the social and emotional wellbeing of primary and secondary pupils. The recommendations for primary-age pupils are divided into sections on comprehensive programmes, universal approaches and targeted approaches, and include:
- Offering teachers and practitioners in schools training and support for developing pupils’ social, emotional and psychological wellbeing
- Providing a curriculum that integrates the development of social and emotional skills within all subject areas
- Supporting parents/carers to develop their parenting skills
- Ensuring teachers and practitioners are trained to identify and assess the early signs of anxiety, emotional distress and behavioural problems
The aims of the school are to have:
- Happier and more motivated children and staff who get more out of life Teaching and Learning
- Children who are more engaged in the learning process
- Children who can concentrate and learn better
- Improved standards in all subjects, including literacy and numeracy.
- Improved attainment
- More effective teaching
- Parents and carers more involved in school life and learning Behaviour and Attendance
- Children with high self-esteem and confidence
- Children who have a say in what happens at school
- Fewer disaffected children, disengaged from learning
- Improved behaviour and attendance
- Improved morale
- Lower absenteeism
- Positive and effective relationships with children.
Delivering Emotional Health and Wellbeing at Firs Primary School
The school promotes and provides a range of services to children:
- Hygienic toilets which ensure privacy and safety
- School Council, Rights Respecting team and Bullybusters to act as mentors and a child voice
- A pastoral team of staff and qualified first aiders
- Co-ordinated support from a range of external organisations
- Welcome days and transition events
The school promotes an anti-bullying culture through:
- A strong school ethos which empowers tolerance and respect, including respect for difference and diversity
- High profile of anti-bullying procedures and policy through corporate posters, assemblies and events such as national anti-bullying week
- Active listeners, including learning mentors.
The school promotes and strengthens the pupil voice through:
- A democratic process for the election of school council representatives
- Timetabled meeting time for members of the school council
- Involving children in interviews for members of staff
- Consulting children about change and policy development
The school promotes the involvement of parents and carers in the life and learning of the school through:
- Parent questionnaires
- Regular consultation about change and development through questionnaires and meetings
- Regular communication and involvement over pupil progress, behaviour and pastoral issues
The school facilitates a context for learning through:
- Enhancing school and classroom layout; facilities and resources
- Recognising the background of individual children and their physical, social and emotional needs
- Establishing clear rules, routines and expectations about behaviour for learning and social cohesion.
- Encouraging positive, caring and constructive relationships at Firs Primary School Primary School