At Shaftesbury Park Primary School, we understand the critical importance of positive mental wellbeing in helping children to thrive at this stage of their lives and to continue to do well into adulthood.
Talking and listening play an important role in this, helping children to make sense of feelings and manage difficult experiences, and therefore play an important role in the life of Shaftesbury Park.
As a rights respecting school, children at Shaftesbury Park understand that they have the right to be heard and have their opinions valued in line with Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (please see our Pupil Voice page for more information). Staff at all levels of the school welcome discussion with pupils about the things that matter to them and we encourage the children to write letters to us too.
Other measures to support positive mental wellbeing include the following:
All children participate in a weekly circle time sessions where children share their views and discuss a given topic e.g. how to be a good friend, how to resolve arguments etc.
Mindfulness is an important skill, helping to improve concentration, emotional regulation and decrease stress and anxiety. All children benefit from a daily mindfulness session at the start of the school day.
Children from years 1 to 6 are able to sign up for Talk Time to discuss any concerns they have. All sessions are facilitated by a trained member of the Unlocking Potential team who will liaise with school staff where necessary to resolve any issues.
Friendship Buddies are good listeners and have a great understanding of how other people feel. Every half term, each class votes on 6 Friendship Buddies who work on a rota basis to support others at playtimes and lunchtimes. If children have a problem they cannot solve themselves, they can find a Friendship buddy to help them. They are easy to spot as they wear a special hat or sash!
Peer mentors provide individual support to other pupils, giving them the opportunity to discuss their learning and any problems that may influence their behaviour and/or learning. Peer mentors also support pupils who are new to the school, helping them to learn about Shaftesbury Park and make friends. All of our peer mentors are supervised by our Learning Mentor, Mrs Di Doi, and receive regular training on how best to support others.
We recognise that some children may find it difficult to share a problem or concern with an adult. To overcome this problem, all classrooms have a Worry Box where children can leave a note which will be followed up by an adult later that same day.
Children’s Mental Health Week
As a school, we also celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week with children given the opportunity to take part in special assemblies, activities and workshops based around the year’s theme.
Insight Timer – https://insighttimer.com
A free app offering a range of guided meditation sessions designed to restore calm, improve sleep and more. Our personal favourites include the Cake Meditation, Flying Advanture for Sleep and the 5 day Kids:Learn to Meditate course.
Change 4 Life – https://www.nhs.uk/change4life
A government campaign aiming to help families lead healthier lives by eating well and moving more. Check out the website for lots of fantastic resources for the whole family.
YoungMinds – https://youngminds.org.uk
This is the website for the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people.
Kids Yoga Stories – https://www.kidsyogastories.com/kids-yoga-poses/
This is a fantastic resource for parents wishing to practice yoga with their child/ren, providing 58 basic poses mimicking our natural surroundings.