Emotional Health and Wellbeing
- We all have mental health. Mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our mental health is important.
- We all have small feelings every day: These sometimes feel strong and overwhelming, whether happy or sad, but they go away before too long.
- Sometimes we experience big feelings: These feel strong and overwhelming for a long time. They stop us doing what we want to in our lives.
The emotional wellbeing and mental health of children is an absolute key focus for all staff at St Chad's. Our school’s core values of love, friendship, compassion and respect sit at the heart of our school community and underpin every aspect of school life.
Love: “Do everything with love”. (Corinthians 16:14)
Friendship: “Encourage one another and build each other up”. (Thessalonians 5:11)
Compassion: “Be kind to one another”. (Ephesians 4:32)
Respect: “Treat others as you want to be treated”. (Luke 6:31)
Positive mental health is promoted explicitly in our PSHE lessons and Collective Worships throughout the year, but ensuring the children develop what we hope are life-long attitudes, happens every single day. Through our interactions with the children and in the provision of our curriculum design, we are committed to:
- Helping our children to understand their emotions and feelings better.
- Helping our children to feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries.
- Helping our children socially to form and maintain friendships.
- Fostering a strong sense of belonging and community.
- Promoting self-esteem and ensuring that our children know that they count.
- Encouraging our children to be confident and to have a positive self-regard.
- Helping our children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks.
In school we teach the children that there are a whole range of emotions that they might feel, and that it is absolutely okay to have these emotions – even so-called ‘negative’ emotions such as anger, fear or sadness. We teach them how and why they might feel like this, and how they might try to resolve these feelings in a healthy way. We also teach them how we might recognise and understand when and why others might be feeling different emotions too.
One of the best ways to address mental health issues with children is through stories. Emotional literacy — the ability to understand, express and cope with a wide spectrum of emotions — lies at the heart of happiness, self-esteem, and positive relationships. Children are not born with an innate emotional vocabulary to draw on at difficult times. Rather, this is language they learn through experiences. When children have words for what they feel – sad, worried, angry, frustrated, excited etc. - they are better able to express and communicate what is happening for them. In our curriculum design, we carefully select books that address a variety of emotional issues and to help develop our children's emotional vocabulary. Below, are some of our favourites.
Talking Mental Health
Ms. Leach is our school's Mental Health Lead. We always encourage parents and carers to come and talk with us if you have any concerns about your child's mental health or wellbeing as soon as possible - your child's happiness is of paramount importance to us.
Some ways to start a conversation about your child's feelings might be:
- “How are you feeling at the moment?”
- “You don’t seem your usual self. Do you want to talk about it?”
- “Do you fancy a chat?”
- “I’m happy to listen if you need a chat.”