Health and Wellbeing
At Forefield Community and Infant Nursery School we ensure all children are nurtured and supported through a supportive environment so that pupils will become happy, respectful, independent and responsible members of society and develop the qualities and attributes children need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
We understand that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everyone’s business and that we have a role to play in ensuring that children know what mental health is and how to support their own and others’ mental health.
We therefore aim to develop children’s self-esteem and provide positive experiences for overcoming adversities and building resilience. We want our school to ensure that children are capable of managing times of stress and that they are supported to reach their full potential or know where to go and get help from when they need it.
At our school we:
- Help children, staff and parents to understand their emotions and feelings better
- Help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- Help children socially to form and maintain relationships
- Promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they count
- Encourage children to be confident and understand that it is ok to be different
- Help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks through using the Forefield Five Ways to Wellbeing and the Rainbow Room.
We offer different levels of support dependant on the needs of the children. All pupils’ needs are met through our overall ethos and wider curriculum. We offer additional support to children who may have some short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable through life experiences such as bereavement. There is also targeted support for children who may require interventions such as wellbeing groups or personal mentors (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants trained staff).
Forefield Five Ways to Wellbeing
We have introduced children to the Forefield Five. These are 5 superheroes that individually can help you feel better both physically and mentally but together are a super team who will continually boost your health and wellbeing. These superheroes are used to support the children identify strategies that can be used to help them identify how they might help themselves and others feel better.
We are very lucky at Forefield Community Infant& Nursery School to have a ‘Rainbow Room’. Our Rainbow Room is led by Mrs. Boardman, who is our Pastoral and Education Support Coordinator. The Rainbow Room is a safe and special place designed to allow children to discuss feelings, friendships and family and allows us to support the learning and emotional wellbeing of all the children in our school. It is a calm, welcoming and nurturing space where children can visit if they need some time to relax, calm down or chat. Mrs. Boardman will also ‘check in’ with targeted children throughout the school day, inviting them to play games or draw pictures; allowing them the opportunity to share any concerns they may have.
The Rainbow Retreat
The Rainbow Retreat is a small room, adjoining the Rainbow Room that has recently been developed into a sensory nook for the children to use. This is an area which provides a range of stimuli to help individuals develop and engage their senses. It includes light, colours, sounds, sensory soft play objects and aromas within a safe environment that will allow the child to explore and interact without risk. It will support children to use calming strategies and provide children the opportunity to self-regulate and rebalance.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)
We are very lucky to have several trained ELSA teaching assistants within school, who develop and deliver individualised support programmes to meet the emotional needs of children in their care. We recognise that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are addressed. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by Educational Psychologists, who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils.
Mental Health First Aiders
As part of our staff Wellbeing Team we have a designated mental health first aid team. We have 10 trained staff, including lunchtime supervisors and a governor, who have been specially trained in mental health first aid. This allows us to support children, staff and parents, at all times of the school day, with their health and wellbeing.
Inside Out Day 2020
On Thursday 6th February we took part in the first ‘Inside Out Day’’. We asked the children to come in non-uniform, wearing one item of clothing inside out, for the whole day to raise awareness about mental health. The idea of ‘Inside Out Day’ was to make people stop and consider that others may look OK on the outside despite feeling upset on the inside. Children discussed things that we notice from looking on the outside e.g. hair colour, clothes etc. and then we looked at how it was difficult to know how someone was feeling on the outside. We discussed lots of different feelings words and then talked about the importance of sharing our feelings with a trusted adult or friend. We talked about how it is OK not to be OK but we can help ourselves.
Charlie Waller Foundation
We feel very lucky to have welcomed Zoe Woodworth from the Charlie Waller Foundation, who helped us launch our ‘Forefield Five Superheroes’ for supporting mental health and wellbeing. Zoe also led two workshops in the evening to inform staff and parents about the strategies we are using in school and how you can support your child. If you couldn’t attend the workshop the PowerPoint is available for you to look at.
We have also had an article published in the Charlie Waller Newsletter as they wanted to use Forefield as an example of good practice.