Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we are committed to support the emotional health and wellbeing of all of our pupils and staff. We recognise that the complete experience school life contributes to the emotional wellbeing of everyone who learns and works at Holy Family. Therefore, we take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that each of us have a role to play.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Team
Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead: Mrs Quigley (Deputy Head and SENDCo)
Learning Mentor and ELSA – Emotional Language Support Assistant: Mrs Featherstone
Rainbows Trained staff – Mrs Quigley, Mrs Featherstone, Miss Evans, Mrs Donohue, Mrs Jones-Shearn and Miss Kenworthy
Promoting pupil wellbeing is more than just helping children to achieve academically. A child’s wellbeing could be the key to their current and future happiness. With this in mind, we are determined to support our children in every way possible, to ensure that they are provided with the best start to their life and are fully equipped with the tools to manage their thoughts, emotions and wellbeing.
We feel the social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that children can learn in our school can help them build resilience and set the patterns for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.
Influenced by our Christian values and our curriculum, we provide a supportive and caring environment where each individual is valued and is driven by an ethos of respect and kindness. We have high expectations for all of our children, and we know they all have the potential to do well in all aspects of life.
We have trained staff and a range of resources and activities available within school to support our children, and we also work closely with a variety external services to provide further support where and when necessary.
Positive staff wellbeing is at the centre of a successful school. At Holy Family, we work together as a team, where everyone’s voice and thoughts are heard, where everyone is valued and where we all actively work towards the same vision and ethos.
We are regularly provided with opportunities to express our thoughts on school events, actions and policies, and our leadership team will constantly seek and consider opportunities to support the wellbeing of our team.
We understand that people may face challenges at certain times in their life. As a school, just as we would for our children, we aim to form an effective supportive network for all of our staff. Where they know we will do everything we can to ensure they receive the relevant support and advice needed, however big or small the ‘hurdle’ may be.
We are proud of the relationships we have with the school community and feel this plays a big contributing factor to the whole school experience. These positive relationships are at the heart of our school, with both the adults and our children, and they are formed through our inclusive and supportive culture.
We appreciate the open and supportive conversations we are able to have with our families, and we continue to be an open door to them when they are in need of support and guidance. Our aim will always be to work collaboratively with our community, to ensure our families get the support they require and deserve.
Please, always get in touch with a member of staff or one of the Mental Health and Wellbeing support team. We are here to help and will do everything we can to assist you.
Feel Good Friday
On the last Friday of each school month, our students have a ‘Feel Good Friday’, which enables them to participate in additional sporting activities, due to the positive impact which sport can have on mental health. Children are also allowed to express themselves by wearing their own clothes and can vote for different activities to take place on the day.
Mrs Quigley and our PTFA volunteers plan different opportunities for our children to participate in throughout the school year. These events are designed to bring our school community together, by involving all members of the family. In summer 2023, school held a Circus and raised money for our school library. There are events such as school discos, Santa Dash, Easter raffles and school fairs. All money raised from the events is used to buy new resources to enhance the curriculum for our children. The PTFA have recently purchased new outdoor picnic benches and bikes / trikes for our EYFS children to use. All these events help to promote the ‘Play’ element of our school mission and allow the full school community to be involved.
Since September 2022, we have been using Zones of Regulation in school to enable our children to discuss their emotions and promote good mental health strategies for everyone to use. Children are aware of the four zones, Green, Blue, Yellow and Red, and are able to explain which emotions you might find when in each zone. Children have daily wellbeing check-ins in their classrooms and are able to explain to their teacher if they need time to regulate before continuing with their learning
Developmental Trauma Training
All teaching staff have participated in Trauma training through Beacon House, which has helped to develop a culture amongst staff that all children may have experienced some trauma in their lives that they are not able to share or discuss. This has allowed staff to take trauma informed approaches to supporting children when they can sense that there is a greater need for support. This is all backed up through our daily emotional check-ins, as they are a great way to find out if a child is in the Green zone and ready to learn, or whether they may need time to explore their emotions and talk to an adult first. Staff are also aware of how trauma in a child can look very similar to the characteristics of a child with ASC or ADHD, so this has helped to support SEND referrals for children and ensure that the right support has been offered when it is required.
Useful contacts, websites, articles and resources
Anna Freud – National Centre for Children and Families
‘Wise Up Prioritising Wellbeing in schools’
‘Helping children develop emotional literacy
Impact – Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching
‘Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing in Primary Schools’
The School Run
‘Best Wellbeing Apps for Kids’