At St. Michael's we work to create a culture of care….
At St. Michael’s we are all committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff and our wider community to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive as individuals, knowing that there is always someone there to listen and support. Positive mental wellbeing is essential if children and young people are to flourish and lead fulfilling lives.
We acknowledge as a school, that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times anyone may be in need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play and in so doing, fulfil our school motto of ‘Working together for the good of all’.
Two key elements to support good mental health are:
Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. Including feelings like curiosity, engagement and safety.
Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world, this includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.
Our role St. Michael's CE School is to ensure:
Our pupils are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it.
Our pupils are taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others.
Our pupils learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
As part of our targeted provision, we have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required.
Opportunities for good physical health and wellbeing as it is just as important as good mental health. Having the physical opportunities supports the mental stresses. Pupils at St. Michael’s have two lessons of PE / sport each week. As a school we also provide an extensive range of sport-related after school clubs are run by teachers and external coaches, and many of our pupils have the opportunity to take part in inter-school sporting competitions which include an extensive range of sports and activities.
We promote opportunities for pupil leadership to shine. We are blessed with innovative and confident young leaders (Wellbeing Buddies and Playground Champions) who are excellent at organising activities and games during play times to encourage higher levels of physical activity and promote inclusion. This is actively promoted to support all year groups
By working together as a school community, our vision is to create a safe and nurturing Christian environment where every child can flourish and reach their full, God-given potential is fulfilled. In this context, we place a high value on promoting positive physical, emotional and mental health across the school. We do this in a variety of ways, for example through our innovative PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum, and including World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in the school calendar and planning themed weeks such as our annual Well-being Week in February for the whole school.
School Mental Health Lead
A recommendation from the Government’s 2018 green paper 'Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper’ was that every school and college would have a non-statutory designated lead for mental health by 2025. This role is now named Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) and it’s recommended a person holding this role is on the school’s senior leadership team.
The Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) for St. Michael's is Angela Harris (Deputy Headteacher & SENCo) supported by Adele Stewart (PSHE Faculty Lead) along with the Inclusion Nurture Assistant.
The SMHL role includes:
Creating a whole school approach to mental health
Developing a Mental Health and Wellbeing group
Developing the Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy in consultation with staff, Governors, Parents and Pupils
Overseeing the mental health focus groups that take place in school. In practice, this could mean supervising the delivery of these sessions within the school,
Providing training and CPD. The designated lead will be a trained member of staff who is responsible for the school's approach to mental health.
Overseeing the help the school gives to pupils with mental health problems.
Helping staff to spot pupils who show signs of mental health problems.
Offering advice to staff about mental health.
Please click on the button links at the end of this page for Mental Health Points of Contact Supporting Families and advice.
Staff receive regular training on safeguarding and issues relating to promoting children’s welfare and well-being and staff are fully conversant of their role and responsibility as outlined in the Department of Educations publication: "Keeping Children Safe in Education" Part 1 and Annex A. The SMHL is receiving training from the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE)
In January 2022 our Mental Health Lead (Angela Harris) presented the Government Staff Wellbeing Charter which St Michael's have signed up to, this covers:
Prioritising staff mental health
Supporting staff with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own and others' wellbeing
Giving managers access to the tools and resources they need to support the wellbeing of those they manage
Establishing clear communication
Giving staff a voice in decision making
Driving down unnecessary workload
Continuing our good behaviour culture
Supporting staff to progress in their careers
Holding ourselves accountable by measuring staff wellbeing
We also explored a number of activities staff could use to promote good mental health in themselves.
In September 2022 our Co-Chair of Governors arranged for a member of staff from the Priory to speak to the staff about how to identify elements of their mental health and strategies to support this.
Department for Education Staff Wellbeing Charter
At St. Michael's we firmly believe that everyone working in education should have the opportunity to enjoy the highest possible standard of wellbeing and mental health. We have therefore signed up to the DfE Staff Wellbeing Charter 2021demonstrating our commitment to all our staff at our school to support them mentally and emotionally. We will be adapting this to accommodate our school and designing our own charter in due course.
St. Michael's Sign Up to the DfE Wellbeing Charter
The school has established a well embedded programme for an annual Well-being Week to promote positive mental health and well-being for the children and staff and also workshops for parents on promoting positive emotional and mental health in children.
In addition we carry out a variety of well-being activities for pupils throughout the year. In January 2021, with the majority of pupils learning at home because the the COVID-19 pandemic, we organised a 'Ray of Hope' initiative, where pupils submitted what they are hoping for. This resulted in a wonderful display at the school entrance and in the windows lit up at night for the local community to view and reflect upon.
On February 7th 2023 the school's Educational Psychologists will be running a workshop evening for parents which will look at ways to identify and support their own mental health along with their children.
Annual Well-being Week 2022
Each year we hold a Well-being Week in early February to coincide with National Children’s Mental Health Week. In 2022 this week took place from 7-11th February. A note on the events which took place during this week is below. Bigfoot helped us all to look at our worries and ran workshops for the whole school. The pupils reported that they enjoyed the different activities during the week. The Friday Dress to Express was lots of fun, with pupils and staff dressing up to express their personality.