The promotion of positive mental health for children is everyone’s business.
The mental health of children, adults in schools, parents and carers and the wider school community impacts on all areas of development, learning, achievement and experiences.
All children have the right to be educated in an environment that supports and promotes positive mental health for everybody. All adults have the right to work in an environment that supports and promotes positive mental health for everybody.
New Hall Primary recognises these needs and rights. It is committed to raising awareness, increasing understanding and ensuring that we can and do make a difference by providing a place where all feel safe, secure and able to achieve and experience success and wellbeing.
In response to the annual staff wellbeing questionnaire and general feedback from the last academic year, staff workload has been reduced in a variety of ways.
Expectations for marking have been down scaled with the introduction of pupil and teacher ‘on the spot marking’ to benefit all.
An admin morning has been introduced, once a week, whereby TAs prepare resources for class teachers for the following week. This is scheduled close to teachers’ PPA so they can plan the tasks for the TAs.
Staff meetings have been lengthened to an hour and a half but only take place every two out of three weeks. The collection of assessment data has been reduced to three times a year. TAs now have timetabled hours to prepare resources and cover classes less.
Regular opportunities are provided for staff CPD and this is monitored and measured for impact. Staff are aware of how to access support at times of emotional need, both personal and professional.
Wellbeing for Children
The school offers a variety of interventions to support good mental health for children. Some of the initiative we use are:
- Self-esteem workshops – a tailored programme delivered to identified children over a several weeks. This programme is delivered by Our Place.
- Fun Friends Groups – a workshop for groups of children who have been identified as needing social or emotional support. The workshop runs over a term and is delivered by trained school staff.
- One to One mentoring – a child may need one to one support from time to time. This may follow a change of circumstance that a child may have experienced or to help them refocus, grow in confidence and raise aspirations. This is delivered by trained staff in school or Our Place mentors.
How children at New Hall think and feel is important to us. We capture our pupils voice in many varied methods:
- Wellbeing survey (twice a year)
- Head Boy, Deputy Head Boy. Head Girl, Deputy Head Girl
- Student Council
- Peer mediators
- Play leaders
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
P4C improves outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. New Hall received the Gold award for Philosophy for children in July 2019.
Liverpool Primary Care Trust identified the need to support wellbeing and mental health in schools. As part of a pilot programme run by the Liverpool Healthy Schools Team, four schools used P4C to develop skills for improving wellbeing and increasing community resilience.
Behavioural outcomes included:
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
- Increased reflection
- Greater for others
- Wider contribution from quieter pupils
Social skills outcomes included:
- Accepting guidance
- Problem solving together
- Exploring feelings
- Increased feelings of inclusion
Liverpool Healthy Schools, Philosophy for Children – Pilot Programme Evaluation Final Report, July 2013.