Pupil wellbeing is very important to us at Bodiam. It is at the heart of our school and is the responsibility of everyone: teachers, pupils, support staff, parents and the wider community.
In the same way we all have fluctuating physical health needs, we all have mental and emotional health needs too. We work very hard as a school to support our pupils to develop a positive attitude to mental health and to build resilience through difficult times.
We encourage pupils to have open conversations around their feelings, to learn how to express themselves and their emotions, to self-regulate when they are feeling upset or angry, and to develop strategies to keep themselves emotionally and mentally healthy.
Any concerns are passed to our SENDCO or Designated Safeguarding Leads as appropriate to ensure children are properly supported in school.
We work in close partnership with outside agencies, including the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and the ESCC Educational Psychology team and Behaviour Support to ensure the best outcomes for our children.
We support pupil mental health and emotional wellbeing in a variety of ways:
Whole school provision: This is the foundation of our offer. We work closely with pupils to build trusting relationships which form the basis of everything we do. We acknowledge the uniqueness of each person and we identify individual strengths and needs, then adapt our provision accordingly. Children learn about mental and emotional health as part of their Relationships and Health education (RSHE). All children receive an hour of dedicated RSHE teaching every week. We have a whole-school approach to emotional awareness and self-regulation including the use of our Calm Corner and Wiggle Wall and the language of Zones of Regulation; this is delivered in a nurturing environment from a passionate, collaborative team of teachers and education support staff.
Low level need: Children are able to identify how they are feeling throughout the day by using the Zones of Regulation and language around emotional literacy. All staff have received training to help them identify when a child may need some additional support.
Medium level need: Children who may be experiencing mental health and wellbeing difficulties receive individualised support ranging from a simple chat, organising a playtime buddy, to a series of individual or group sessions with a trained staff member.
High level need: Occasionally, some children may benefit from expert mental health professionals. We can help families to access this support.
Our school has two trained Mental Health First Aiders on site to offer support and guidance for pupils.
The NSPCC offer support for children's mental health and can be accessed here:
The BBC have also put together a toolkit for parents to support their children's mental health:
Young Minds also support parents through challenges with their children's mental health:
Getting advice for mild to moderate mental health and wellbeing difficulties: