Mental Health and Wellbeing at Leamington Community Primary School
Good mental health is fundamental to be able to thrive in life. At Leamington, we make it a priority to give our children the support and skills they need to be successful throughout their lives, therefore we ensure children’s mental health and wellbeing is embodied throughout our whole school curriculum.
Good mental health is a key aspect of our children’s personal development. Our aim is to build pupils’ confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy and provide our pupils with an understanding of how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle, including giving ample opportunities for pupils to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities.
For example, we have introduced sensory breaks to our daily timetable with all pupils completing sensory activities in every classroom at least twice a day to stimulate our pupils mentally as well as to support children’s vestibular and proprioceptive needs.
We also have designed a stimulating playground that supports our pupil’s emotional development and promotes positive mental health. We have created lots of opportunities to be active in the ‘Football Cage’ and ‘Gym’ area as well as physical challenges in our ‘Adventure Playground’ and ‘Strawberry Fields’ areas.
At Leamington, we plan for our curriculum to support children’s mental health by extending beyond the academic, vocational or technical curriculum and provide opportunities for pupils’ broader development. We pride ourselves on offering a wealth of enrichment opportunities to support pupils to be confident, resilient and independent, and to develop strength of character.
A few of these enrichment opportunities include:
- Y2 and Y6 attending PGL which prompts resilience and helps the children to connect and form friendships as well as learn new skills.
- Y5 completing the Lord Derby Award
- Artefact Theatre performing plays to promote children’s wellbeing and to teach our pupils about the importance of kindness and impact of judging others
- Our dance group had the opportunity to compete and win the NOW festival with the theme that promoted a sense of belonging.
- Annual Summer school which provides children from a disadvantaged background with a sense of belonging
- Opportunities across the whole school to work with external agencies such as: Everton in the Community; Action for Children; Merseyside Youth Association; Bluecoat School; Wellbeing with Lisa; our Educational Mental Health Practitioner and many more to explore our mental health and wellbeing through a variety of opportunities.
Our aims are to remove the stigma around mental health and promote a safe environment where our children feel they can discuss their emotions and feel equipped with coping strategies when necessary. We believe prevention and early intervention is key and the staff in our school are dedicated to implementing whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing
At Leamington Community Primary School’s we follow a 4 stage approach:
- Prevention and early identification
- Early intervention,
- High level intervention
We believe prevention and early identification are powerful strategies and therefore we are focusing on implementing a whole school approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing, as we believe every child should be taught how to stay mentally healthy in order to empower children with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to cope throughout their lives.
At Leamington Community Primary School, the whole school dedicate every Wednesday afternoon to our PSHE/RSE lessons and other mindful, health and wellbeing lessons such as P.E. and Art. The whole school follow a focused ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ structure that promotes health and wellbeing. This structure and its aims are:
Movement: Sensory breaks and physical activity to encourage movement
Connect Us: Activities and games to encourage peer interaction and introduce a theme
Stretch and relax: Stretching and yoga activities to create a calm and mindful space
Circle time: Implementation of the formal PSHE/RSE (Jigsaw) lesson. This is also a time to introduce stories, scenarios and discussions to explore a theme further
Feel & believe: Affirmations for self-esteem, confidence and positivity as well as massages to promote deep relaxation.
Everton in the Community- Tackling the Blues Workshops
Year 3 and 4 are also working with Everton in the Community and for the second year we are completing their Tackling the Blues workshop which is run by Edge Hill University, Everton in the Community and Tate Liverpool.
The Tackling the Blues workshop is a sport, physical activity, arts and education-based mental health literacy programme that helps children and young people to understand mental health. It supports children and young people, aged 6-16 years, who are experiencing, or are at risk of, developing a mental illness and aims to improve pupils’ self-esteem and confidence. Weekly sessions include personal development activities and making positive lifestyle changed. Activities can be competitive or non-competitive and are designed to suit the needs of our school.
Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) workshops
At Leamington CPS we have made strong links with the Mental Health Support Team based in Alder Hey, in order to provide mental health and wellbeing support to as many pupils as possible. Our Mental Health Lead works closely with our assigned Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) to provide tailored support to the needs of our pupils. Recently our EMHP, Siobhan, completed ‘Anxiety Workshops’ with our Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils, in which she discussed how it feels to be anxious, what makes us feel anxious and what coping strategies we can use to support us when we feel this way. We are looking forward to providing more workshops with Siobhan in the future around transitions and any other needs that arise. Our EMHP will also continue with 1-2-1 and a small group support (following a referral) and will continue to support our whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing.
If you are worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing and wish to speak to our Mental Health Lead please contact Ciara Maher on 0151 284 7847 or alternatively you can self-refer on the Liverpool CAMHS website
At Leamington CPS, we are passionate about promoting good mental health and removing the stigma around this subject so our children make a good level of personal development and are happy and healthy members of our school community.
The impact of our whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing is evident in our school culture, environment and daily activities. We have also implemented Wellbeing Journals for every child in the school to provide children with a space to be creative and complete wellbeing tasks which reflects the impact of our whole school approach to supporting our pupils’ wellbeing. The impact of this is also reflected in our pupil voice reviews and more formal questionnaires such as the OxWell survey.
Removing the stigma around mental health
We have made it our priority to remove the stigma around mental health and create a positive school culture by hosting a variety of focus days and tasks. Each year, in October we celebrate World Mental Health Day as well as Children’s Mental Health Week in February and other focused days throughout the academic year. We build mental health and wellbeing into our whole school curriculum through our PSHE lessons, Zones of Regulation curriculum and through our everyday interactions and culture within the school. We also use these focus days as another opportunity to build pupils’ self-esteem, confidence and sense of belonging by reminding them how much they are loved at Leamington! For example, each year on World Mental Health Day, every child in the school opens their locker to a heart! On this heart is a positive message for that child to remind them how amazing they are!
Other ways we promote Children’s Mental Health are:
- Taking part in World Mental Health Day
- Taking part in Children’s Mental Health week
- Completing ‘Acts of Kindness challenge’
- Completing Wellbeing Advent Calendars
- Using Valentine’s hearts to give 14 reasons why we love welcoming our pupils through the door for every day in February in the run up to Valentine’s days
- All staff wear ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ lanyards
- Use daily ‘Zones of Regulation’ check ins
- Use Mental health focused books to inspire circle time activities
Other opportunities we use to promote children’s mental health
- Anti-bullying week
- Autism awareness week
- Neurodiversity week
- Artefact theatre’s visit promoting kindness
- School of Sanctuary Award
- Summer School opportunities
- NOW festival
Team around the child approach
We also have a strong pastoral support and inclusion team that meets every fortnight to ensure our children’s needs are being meet. The inclusion includes:
- Deputy Head teacher
- Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
- Assistant SENCo
- Mental Health Lead
- Family Support Worker
- Attendance Officer
- Wellbeing Governor
These members of staff engage with identified pupils and work to develop positive mental health strategies to support our children as well as work closely with other agencies in Liverpool to bring about better outcomes for our pupils. At Leamington we offer the four levels of support as identified below:
Prevention and early identification
We support all children and young people through
- Use the Zones of Regulation check in daily
- Jigsaw scheme of work (PSHE)
- Sensory breaks
- Use of Mental health focused story books
- Training all staff in mental health
- Providing a variety of mental health and wellbeing training for parents
- Wellbeing workshops provided by external agencies e.g. Everton in the Community: Tackling the Blues weekly workshops, Action for Children Bounce back resilience workshops, Whole school wellbeing sessions with Lisa
- Mentors available to all at lunchtime
- Wellbeing warriors and resilience champions across the school
Early intervention from school staff
- Inclusion team meetings- supporting early identification and opportunity to discuss concerns
- Strong pastoral team: Safeguarding lead, Mentor, Attendance officer and Family Support Worker
- Mentoring interventions: Resilience group, Socially Speaking, Talkabout, Th.Inc Yourself Great!
- 1:1 mentoring to meet individual needs
- ACEs course
- Lunchtime nurture club
Intervention from external agencies
- Together Trust staff (Occupational Therapist + Specialist advisory teacher) working with staff and pupils
- Intergenerational Skills Café with LJMU
- Intervention Wellbeing sessions with Lisa
- Action for Children 1-2-1 mentoring
- Oakleaf Bereavement
- Educational Mental Health Practitioner
High level intervention
High level intervention through CAMHS at Alder Hey
- Alder Hey Eating Disorder Service
- CAMHS Crisis Care Line
We acknowledge the importance of supporting our parents and support our community through the following training/ support networks:
- Zones of Regulation parent training led by the SENCo and Mental Health Led to support behaviour and emotional regulation at home.
- Mental Health First Aid for parents course
- Intergenerational cookery programme for parents and pupils
- Crafts programme for parents and pupils
- Links with My Clubmoor parent classes
- Baby massage courses
For more information see the key documentation below:
- Leamington CPS Whole school approach
- Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy 2020
- PSHE Jigsaw-Whole School Overview
Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.
Ask Sam – Children can write a letter to Sam if there is something on their mind or they need support. They can also contact a counsellor for free or call 0800 1111
CAHMS- Liverpool CAHMS provides mental health support and advice for children and young people in Liverpool.
Kooth: Kooth is your online mental wellbeing community. Access free, safe and anonymous support for children age 10+
Mjnd– Information about the different places you can go for help when you need support for how you’re feeling.
SHOUT: if a child is unable to cope and needs immediate support, they can text “Shout” to 85258. It’s free and available 24/7
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Other links you may find useful: