We have a Designated Mental Health Lead in both schools:
Mrs A Wolfe is at Pulloxhill and Mrs J Potter is at Greenfield.
Our Designated Mental Health Leads will not be diagnosing mental health conditions or delivering mental health interventions. Their focus is strategic, putting whole school approaches in place and monitoring them, ensuring a co-ordinated approach. Their duties include:
- Overseeing the help the school gives to pupils with mental health problems
- Helping staff to spot pupils who show signs of mental health problems
- Offering advice to staff about mental health
- Referring children to specialist services
The DMHL role ensures that the safeguarding of pupils' emotional wellbeing is a priority and equally as important as protecting their physical health.
We use the Making Me support packages with the children in school to help promote healthy well-being.
Making Me are a local charity, working with schools in the Bedfordshire area, focusing on the prevention and early intervention of children and young people's mental ill health. All of our staff have had training to use the support packages.
The Making Me Strategies are focused on two main objectives:
That in order to feel emotionally secure, and thereby engage in academic learning, children need to feel 'seen, heard and held'
In a world where mental health difficulties are becoming increasingly prevalent and affecting children of ever younger ages, teaching children how to stay mentally and emotionally well, equips them with life-long skills that will help to safeguard them from mental health difficulties in the future
Making Me’s Emotional Literacy Programme for children develops children's emotional literacy, teaches resilience skills and encourages children to use their words rather than their behaviour to communicate how they feel.
Feelings Flowers act as a gauge by which staff can assess the emotional well-being of each child. Each day, children will place their caterpillar on the feeling they have at the time. The Feelings Flowers in each classroom are appropriate to the ages of the children. If children choose a 'negative' feeling, staff will then talk to the child about why they made this choice. Whatever their emotion, children will know they have been ‘seen’ and ‘heard’, and where needed, ‘held’.
Caterpillar Club involves a weekly story in which any one of 18 feelings are discussed and explored through a simple story about a caterpillar called Casey. The story includes how each feeling is experienced, how best they can be managed and how to practice being calm. Caterpillar Club is a tool that can be used throughout school to help children manage difficult feelings and behaviours. In our school, each class has its own Casey Caterpillar which can be held by children when they want to feel calm. Understanding feelings also then helps children to identify how they feel each morning when they are using the Feelings Flowers.
Shield of Resilience:
In Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4), there will be a 'Shield of Resilience' displayed in the classroom. If a child has a worry or concern, they can write it on the shield and if other children in the class feel that they have a skill that would help their friend, they will write it on the shield. This is very much a tool for discussion about building resilience.
Some links that you may find useful: