We have a fantastic support network of pastoral staff that help to look after our children and offer one to one or small group sessions advising and nurturing children that need that little bit of extra support.
Staff that work in both Infant and Juniors:
Jemma Hope – Family Support Worker
Shirley Marvelly – SENDco and Deputy Mental Health Lead
Catherine Shennan – Mental Health Lead
Anna Ryan – Behaviour and Learning Mentor
Janet Wiggins – Vista Children’s Mentor (click here for more info about Vista)
Martin Prickett – School Governor for Wellbeing
Staff working at the Juniors Only:
Loraine Brown – Child and Young Person Wellbeing Practitioner, Mental Health Support Team St Albans
Staff working at the Infants Only:
Tim Goldman – Nessy Drama Therapist
Everyone has mental health in the same way that everyone has physical health. We understand that sometimes we feel physically poorly or sick and that we need to look after our bodies through eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, we might need to seek help or advise from a doctor, but sometimes we just need rest. The same goes for our Mental Health. There are lots of strategies that we can use to look after our Mental Health which we teach children in school. When we are feeling that our mental health is suffering there are lots of things we can do ourselves, but sometimes we need to ask for help and sometimes we just need rest.
Wellbeing is the term for our physical and mental health combined and we have based our whole school approach to wellbeing on the premise that we want to teach our children the best ways to look after their bodies and minds for the future.
The 5 Ways of Wellbeing, created by the NHS are a guide to looking after our mental health in the day to day. We need to look after our mental health in the same way we look after our physical health.
Every other week, in the juniors and infants, we have an assembly dedicated to exploring the strategies and approaches to look after and support our Mental Health and Wellbeing. Alternate weeks look at Skills Builder essential life skills and Building Learning Powers.
Happy Confident Company:
To enhance our provision for teaching the strategies and healthy habits needed to develop positive Wellbeing, we have teamed up with The Happy Confident Company. As one of their pilot schools, we work very closely with them to provide the highest quality explicit teaching of emotional literacy and life skills.
From EYFS we explicitly teach emotional vocabulary through the FEELiT scheme. This builds upon children’s emotional literacy year on year, ensuring that they can both recognise and communicate how they are feeling so that we can best support their ability to self-regulate and process these feelings.
As children reach the junior school, we introduce the concept of journaling through the Daily Journal, Super Journal and Life Skills Journal. This teaches us to reflect on our experiences, sit with and process our feelings and encourages positivity and gratitude as healthy habits for a positive outlook.
At Cunningham Hill, we promote positive mentally health and wellbeing for our students through:
- All staff in school are Mental Health Trained to Level 1 by our mental health leads and have been awarded the Hertfordshire Mental Health Certificate.
- We have several places dedicated to pastoral work which are used by teachers, support staff and professional visitors including: Juniors – The Zen Den, Nurture room, The Brain Box as well as the Cabin and the Lodge. Infants –outdoor classroom, the rainbow room and discovery room
- Promoting our school values and encouraging a sense of belonging through our school mottos
- promoting pupil voice and opportunities to participate in decision-making- every voice matters
- Prioritising feelings through our therapeutic approach to behaviour and our Steps based behaviour policy
- Teaching the 8 essential life skills though Skills Builder in the juniors and Building Learning Powers in the infants
5 Ways to Wellbeing on the NHS Website
https://www.actionforhappiness.org/ – This website has lots of resources and activities children and adults can access to help lift the spirits.
To view this month’s calendar in other languages: https://actionforhappiness.org/calendar#download-block-anchor
https://www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk/ – This website has a section for young people with activities, videos, ideas as well as a section for parents and carers with support and information.
https://youngminds.org.uk/ – This website has a messaging chat service for advice for guidance and support as well as lots of links to more information and activities.