Looking after your mental health is not something we should just do if we are struggling, or feeling low, anxious or stressed. It’s actually something we should think about all the time and really invest in, just like with our physical health.
Having good mental health can help us sleep better, feel better, enable us to do the things we want to do, and help us have more positive relationships with those around us. We do not need to wait until we’re struggling. Looking after our mental health is not only good for us now, it can also help us deal with and manage difficult times in the future. Over time, it may also reduce our risk of physical health problems.
At Lime Tree, we know that everyone experiences life challenges that make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that mental health and wellbeing is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play in ensuring a positive culture for our whole school community where this can be shared and supported.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “In order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”.
At Lime Tree we understand that mental health and wellbeing can have an impact on academic performance, and so we strive to put in place and go above and beyond to support our children and their families.
Lime Tree’s invisible curriculum, encompasses mental health and wellbeing.
This supports children in developing the knowledge and skills to enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships.
Children will learn to understand their thoughts, emotions and how they are able to relate to the world in different ways.
Once children have been taught different strategies, they will continue to be built upon throughout future years and phases, used as part of the scheduled day with little additional input or teaching.
The key is that the children will start to use what they have been taught independently as a way of dealing with their own emotions.
We also use areas within our school grounds to maximise the space for teaching mindfulness and wellbeing. Spaces are available for quiet time and reflection for every pavilion, and all pavilions have areas for reflection and resource shelves to support emotional wellbeing.
We aim to make our school a place for children and young people to experience a nurturing and supportive environment that has the potential to develop self-esteem and give positive experiences for overcoming adversity and building resilience.
We seek to implement positive ways of talking about and removing the stigma around mental health, such as using our ‘No Outsiders’ programme to reinforce and celebrate values of tolerance, difference and diversity.
There has been considerable impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children from the additional provision we offer, above and beyond everyday classroom practice, which includes but is not limited to:
Our pastoral and wellbeing teams also work closely with children and their families to offer personalised, targeted support, signposting to appropriate external agencies.