Emotional, Social and Mental Well-being
We feel that nurturing the emotional, social and mental wellbeing of our school community is vital for helping each other flourish.
Our therapy dog Digger
Digger is our lovely therapy dog who is working in our school as part of an on-going provision for wellbeing and mental health. Digger lives with Mr Leader and belongs to Natures Den Education and comes in to school every day to be alongside the children.
What are the benefits of a school dog?
• Improved pupil behaviour and concentration,
• Reduces stress and improved self-esteem,
• A calming effect on pupils,
• Encourages expression, participation and confidence in all children,
• Fostering a sense of responsibility,
• Motivating pupils to think and to learn,
• Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils' relationships with each other, parents and teachers,
• Teaching children to nurture and respect life,
• Helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children,
• Helping overcome a fear of dogs,
• Increasing staff morale and wellbeing,
• Developing the understanding of unconditional love,
• Supporting with the development of cooperative play,
• Supporting children to develop empathy,
• Further promote our wellbeing agenda for pupils,
• Enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals,
• Helping children build confidence in reading,
• Improving attendance.
How has the school planned for this?
• Rigorous research has been carried out to ensure that we have selected the most suitable breed of dog for our school, pupils and staff,
• Prior to purchasing Digger, Mr Leader has visited the home of the breeder to ensure that the puppy's temperament, and that of it's parents, is suitable for interaction with children,
• A full risk assessment and policy has been written and is available on the website,
• When Digger begins working with the children, consent will be sought for each child to have contact,
• All contact will be carefully planned and children will not be left unsupervised with Digger
• When not working, Digger is based in one of the School Offices.
What about allergies?
• All areas of the school are vacuumed and surfaces are wiped down daily
• Movement around the school will be controlled
• Any child working with Digger will wash their hands afterwards
To help promote mindfulness and wellbeing, there are lots of activities to do beyond colouring books and deep breathing.
The Positive Psychology Program website has a range of suggestions.
Apps for Adults and Children
Headspace (Free Trial)
Chill Panda (Free)
A range of other apps recommended by the NHS can be found at NHS Apps Library
Here are a number of websites and resources (for both adults and children) which look to promote emotional, social and mental wellbeing.
Gingerbread - Information and support for lone parent families
Here are some websites with more support for families with additional needs.
National Autistic Society - 0808 800 4104
PACT - Support for families with ASD - 07837 606089
5 Ways to Well-being
I am delighted to tell you about the launch of a mental health and wellbeing project for our school community.
What is Mental Wellbeing?
It is how we are feeling and coping with the things we face in everyday life. Just like physical health, sometimes it is good and sometimes not so good. You could think of it as your mental fitness.
I am sure you will agree that there has never been a more important time to speak openly about mental health and wellbeing with children and young people and to encourage them to talk about their feelings with family, friends, and trusted adults.
Research tells us that building the following proven five simple ways into our everyday lives can make a really positive difference to the mental health and wellbeing of both children and adults alike and help to build resilience and confidence.
- Talk and listen – CONNECT
- Be ACTIVE
- Remember to TAKE NOTICE
- Keep LEARNING Every Day
- Acts of Kindness – GIVE to others
As part of our commitment to the wellbeing of our children, staff, and wider school community, I am proud to advise you that we will be launching the 5 ways to wellbeing project in our school with effect from Tuesday 27th April.
We will be sharing information with the children about the 5 ways to wellbeing through assembly and then exploring how we can put them into practice everyday both in school and at home. The focus of the project will be to highlight to the children how the 5 ways to wellbeing can easily form part of their daily lives and link to their everyday experiences and to know that by doing these 5 things every day, they are taking good care of their mental health.
You may already have heard of the 5 ways to wellbeing as this freely available NHS guidance has become more widely used since the start of the pandemic. One of our key aims as soon as the COVID restrictions allow will be to provide an opportunity for our parents and carers to find out more about the project and to become more involved. In the meantime, the 5 ways to wellbeing guidance is available for parents on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk. You can also find further information about how to apply the guidance at home at www.youngminds.org.uk/amillionandme and on our school website.
We are feeling incredibly positive about promoting the 5 ways to wellbeing guidance in our school community and we welcome the opportunity to encourage our children and staff to reflect on the 5 ways each day in school and the positive steps they can take to look after their own mental health.
We will keep you informed about the project over the coming weeks through Class Dojo and our Facebook page and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all.
Mr K Leader