Mental Health and Wellbeing
Meet the team
Senior Mental Health Lead - Mrs Claudia Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
Pupil wellbeing lead - Mrs Hannah Taylor email@example.com
If you have concerns about your children's well-being, contact us immediately. As well as advice and support, we can refer you on to the school nursing service, the Kent educational psychology service or to Early Help, who support families at home with a range of issues.
Smarden Primary School Statement of Mental Health and Pastoral Intent
Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community (World Health Organisation).
At our school, we are passionate about making a difference to the lives of our community and aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our staff and pupils. There is good evidence to support the association between good mental health and education engagement and academic achievement. We believe that good mental health is the most important prerequisite for pupils to fulfil their potential.
We want our curriculum to enable all pupils to become resilient, independent, curious and creative leaders who think for themselves. We plan a broad, enriching and challenging creative curriculum, which uses authentic experiences and project based learning to put pupils in charge of their learning. Pupils’ voice is central to our approach and ensuring their positive mental health is our greatest priority.
Our curriculum aims to enable all pupils to pursue their future ambitions and goals and go on to lead happy and successful lives.
The starting point for learning is a positive ethos and climate of respect and trust based upon shared values across the school community, including amongst parents, pupils and staff. Consequently, the development of staff to support their own well-being and that of pupils is of fundamental importance.
According to our pupils, mental health at Smarden is about keeping children safe; thinking positively; making friends; enjoying learning and healthy competition; feeling good about ourselves and proud of our learning; feeling challenged but confident; spending time outdoors; hands on learning; trips and getting muddy.
Our mental health and well-being policy centres on supporting children to manage and overcome anxiety; to take risks; not to miss opportunities due to a fear of failure; to develop resilience; cope with setbacks; get out of their seats and to think for themselves; to question, speak up; lead; to have positive relationships, and to take comfort and joy from their beautiful surroundings. These areas are important at Smarden because many of our children are well-behaved, but are passive, risk averse and fear getting things ‘wrong’.
We pursue this aim using both universal, whole school approaches and specialised, targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable pupils. In addition to promoting positive mental health, we aim to recognise and respond to ill mental health. In an average classroom, three children will be suffering from a diagnosable mental health issue. By developing and implementing practical, relevant and effective mental health policies and procedures we can promote a safe and stable environment for pupils affected both directly and indirectly by mental ill health.
Our Pupil Mental Health and well-being Policy
Mental Health Intervention for Pupils at Smarden
For in school support for mental health and wellbeing, see the above document plus:
Mental wellbeing ambassadors
Drawing and Talking - a therapeutic intervention which is designed as a short-term intervention intended to complement, rather than replace, the work of Specialist Mental Health Services. Through a 12-week cycle of sessions, this non-intrusive tool utilises drawing as a way to help pupils express their feelings and allows individuals to discover and communicate emotions through a non-directed technique.
The Haven - pupils from Years 1-6 who find the lunch hall too noisy or overwhelming, can have lunch in the ‘Haven’ - a small group of pupils who eat lunch in a classroom, supervised by the Pupil Mental wellbeing lead, Mrs Taylor.
ACE tutors for all Pupil Premium pupils
A key worker for all LGBTQI+ pupils
The Nurturing Schools’ program (see separate tab)
Referrals to external services: such as to CAMHs, Slideaway for bereavement, or to Early Help.