Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Anker Valley Primary Academy our aim is to care for and develop the whole child educationally, emotionally, spiritually, morally and physically. As well as caring for their education, we also care for their mental health and wellbeing and feel that it is essential to provide children with information to enable them to make life long, well-informed decisions about their diet and health.
At Anker Valley, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing of every member of our school community and recognise how important mental health and wellbeing is to our lives, as is physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health and overall wellbeing can affect their learning and achievement.
A key aspect of 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. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what can affect their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and where they can go if they need help and support.
Positive wellbeing is promoted through the curriculum and all school activities. Through a carefully planned approach to PSHE our pupils are helped to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives, and to become resilient, informed and responsible citizens.
In addition, whole school approaches such as assemblies and PSHE and Character Virtues sessions, are used to further develop the pupils’ knowledge of strategies. For example, peaceful problem-solving is taught to help children learn to control and manage feelings when there are disputes on the playground. Whole school events are held including: Mental Health Awareness Week in May, World Mental Health Day in October, and Anti-bullying Week in November. During these events, the focus is on mindfulness and resilience with the purpose of teaching children strategies for dealing with anxiety and copying with changes.
What do we do at Anker Valley Primary Academy to support children's emotional wellbeing and mental health?
- Anker Valley Primary Academy is committed to creating a happy, caring and supportive environment. As well as a learning environment, the school ensures there is a positive, supportive and inclusive ethos where children can thrive and achieve excellence.
- Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is a central to the curriculum across the whole school. PSHE 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 PSHE include identity, managing feelings and emotions, relationships, change, resilience and being healthy, which includes physical, emotional and social well-being.
- Anker Valley Primary Academy offers Nurture Provision. Children who experience domestic violence, bereavement, anxiety and any other life experiences that may affect their emotional wellbeing are identified and supported by our Trust Wellbeing lead, Sam Lewis, who will offer regular 1:1 or small group nurture support. The school supports the child in their specific needs, meaning the pupil is at the heart of the school focus and their learning is understood developmentally.
- Within the National Curriculum, every child has a minimum of two hours of physical education each week.
- We promote healthy eating throughout the school. We have children’s garden areas where the children will have the chance to grow a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs and when harvested use these in cooking activities.
- We monitor the wellbeing of our disadvantaged and vulnerable children.The Inclusion Manager is Mrs Horlor and she interacts regularly with children and their parents.
- We include World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in the school calendar and plan activities for the whole school community.
- The school is committed to gaining a fuller understanding of mental health and supporting the needs of identified children.
- As a school, we have and continue to access outside help and support for pupils when required.