St Andrew's CE Primary School
Community and Living Well together
How we live out this in our school – a celebration of excellence
The concept of ‘shalom’ - referred to in the National Society’s ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing document as ‘flourishing in the enjoyment of relationships’ - fits well with our school culture and all members of the school community generally support and understand the importance of positive relationships.
We recognise that our school has its own particular challenges in building academic resilience and the school invests a considerable amount of resources in supporting our young people and their families
How we achieved this
The school has invested in staff training in terms of emotional health and behaviour, supporting staff to identify problems not symptoms, and understand how a restorative approach works. SLT have had training on Dorset Steps approach to behaviour and our specialist teacher has supported staff in building a wider picture of children’s lived experiences to support relationship building. We are working with the local mental health team (MHST) on an early intervention package, supporting those children who are displaying changes in behaviour and anxieties following covid, MHST work with children, their families and have also delivered whole class and staff workshops.
Another project we are part of is project Stormbreak – aimed at supporting children’s emotional and behavioural needs through activity and mindfulness, including strategies and techniques for building resilience. Stormbreak is timetabled daily into the school day for each class. Our vicar spends time within the staff room during breaks and lunchtimes being available to support staff and listen to them. These initiatives all highlight the priority we, as a school, place on mental and emotional health.
The difference that it makes
Staff focus on building relationships and place this as a high priority across the school. Staff know and use language of a therapeutic approach.
Children are becoming more emotionally literate through the work on Stormbreak and MHST workshops. Families have benefitted from the support MHST provide. Parents feel that they can approach the school to discuss emotional and mental health.
Comments from children in Year 4:
‘Stormbreak helps us with our emotions’
‘It makes anger go away’
‘Stormbreak is good, it makes you warm up for the day’
Class teacher ‘The children need it, they enjoy the opportunity to be calm’