At South Farnborough Junior School, we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive. Positive mental wellbeing is essential if children and young people are to flourish and lead fulfilling lives.
We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.
Over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14 and 1 in 10 children and young people has a mental health disorder (Public Mental Health, 2014). Recent survey results found that 12.5% (one in eight) of 5 to 19-year olds, surveyed in England in 2017, had a mental disorder (NHS, 2017).
Our role in school, is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it. Children are taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
At South Farnborough, we believe that teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing as part of a comprehensive PDL education curriculum is vital. Personal Development Learning (PDL) is central to the curriculum across the whole school and assists pupils to cope with the changes at puberty, introduces them to a wider world, manage transitions and enables them to make an active contribution to their communities. The concepts covered in PDL include keeping safe and managing risk, identity, equality, managing feelings and emotions, relationships, change, resilience and being healthy, which includes physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. We aim to promote pupils’ wellbeing through an understanding of their own and others’ emotions and the development of healthy coping strategies.
Mrs Jones, Senior Lead for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Mrs Jones is responsible for identifying our school's needs and priorities and developing strategic approaches to develop these needs. She is working closely with local services to raise awareness and increase capacity so mental health and wellbeing is something that the whole school can contribute to.
Mrs Rumbold, Mental Health Governor
Mrs Rumbold has taken on the role of Mental Health Governor and will support the embedding of mental health and wellbeing provision across the school and create a connection between the governing body and the wider school community.
Levels of support
Additional and Targeted Support
The Emotional Literacy Support Assistant intervention (ELSA) was developed by an Educational Psychologist to build the capacity of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils. We have three ELSAs who work to support and develop children’s emotional literacy through a combination of individualised and small group sessions.
Child and Adolescent Counsellor
For children who require further support we are able to offer the services of a therapeutic counsellor who works with children, at our school, once a week for a period of 6-12 weeks depending on the level of need.
Mental Health Support Team (MHST)
More recently, we have joined our local Mental Health Support Team (MHST) and have an Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) who works to support us in providing advice and resources to ensure we can support our school community effectively. The MHST, work alongside the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to provide accessible support for families without long waiting lists. They can provide a variety of therapies as well as running workshops and courses for parents so that they can support their children when they are facing difficulties.