Our Golden Thread of Well-being

At Holland House Infant School and Nursery, we aim to promote positive emotional mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement.

At our school we know 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 everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play. Our role in school is to ensure that children 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. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, children being able to talk about their emotions, and where they can go if they need help and support. We adopt the ethos that children can manage their own well-being but also support the mental health of others.

As a school we acknowledge that children will have different periods in their life where their mental health and wellbeing may be affected by trauma and at these times they may need more time and support for the mental health. The aim of this policy is to show the ways we provide and promote mental health and emotional well-being as a school. How we aim to equip our children with tools and techniques that enable them to build emotional resilience and what to do in periods of emotional dysregulation.

As a Rights Respecting school we acknowledge that children have the right to a good quality of education to the highest standard for each child. By supporting children’s mental health and well-being we are acknowledging that for children to receive a good quality education their mental health and well-being needs to be supported.

Five Ways to Well-being 

At Holland House we have adopted the approach of five ways to well-being. The five ways to well-being is the golden thread that runs through our school. It is pinnacle to all aspects of school life, as we acknowledge that all children’s mental health needs to be cared for as much as their physical health. Without healthy mental health the children’s learning can be affected. Research shows there are five simple things you can do, and encourage others to do, as part of your daily life – to build resilience, boost wellbeing and lower the risk of developing mental health problems in the future. These simple actions are known as the Five Ways to Wellbeing. They help people take care of their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The reason why the five ways to well-being work is because it enables children and staff to:

  • Connect: Strengthening relationships with others and feeling close to and valued by others is critical to boosting wellbeing.
  • Give: Carrying out acts of kindness, whether small or large, can increase happiness, life satisfaction and general sense of wellbeing.
  • Take Notice: Paying more attention to the present moment, to thoughts and feelings and to the world around, boosts our wellbeing.
  • Keep Learning: Being curious and seeking out new experiences in life positively stimulates the brain.
  • Be Active: Being physically active improves physical health and can improve mood and wellbeing.

Elsa Support

We recognise that there are periods of times where children may need more support with their wellbeing and mental health. During these times we offer children interventions in ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants). Mrs Shaw is our trained ELSA who delivers the interventions with the support of the ELSA supervisor Mrs Wootton. Teachers and parents can refer a child for ELSA if they feel a child needs extra support.

Gold TIASS Award

Staff at Holland House have been trained in Trauma informed practice through TIAAS (Trauma Informed Attachment Aware School). An Attachment Aware School is a place where resilience is promoted and where the most vulnerable children are able to recover from trauma. Through participating in this programme, staff are equipped with knowledge and skills which enable them to apply trauma and attachment aware strategies in school.

Mental Health First Aider

Mrs Wootton is a trained Mental Health First Aider who is equipped to support children. Staff and the communities in our school. Please get in touch if we can be of any support to you.

Whole school approach

At Holland House working with parents/carers is an integral part to developing mental health and of the children in our school. We actively encourage parents to talk to teachers about their child’s mental health and offer support at school where we can. If the child requires further support from outside agencies we will support parents with referrals or signpost them to the right agencies or professionals. Each half term, as school focusses on a different way of well-being, we offer opportunities for not only children but parents and the local community too. Well-being workshops are run throughout the Year for parents to support them in promoting well-being at home and identifying where children may need emotional support. School also provide mental health workshops to support parents with their own mental health.

Working with the wider community

To promote the mental health and well-being of our community we want our community to know that we are here for them. We pride ourselves on reaching out and giving back to the community in a range of ways. At Christmas we preform carols to the local residential home for the elderly, we link up for sport events with other local schools and links with the local church who offers the local foodbank. It is important to us that our community feels included by us as a school reaching out and connecting.

Staff Well-being Offer

As a school we recognise that it is important that staff understand how to recognise and support their own mental health and well-being. As a school we invest time in staff well-being this will have a positive effect of the teaching of children’s mental health and well-being. As a school we have a group of staff volunteers who form the well-being committee. These individuals meet and discuss initiatives to support staff. The well-being team offer ideas to enable staff to support their own mental health and well-being. The staff also know that they have a team of people that they can talk to if they feel they need support. This group provides staff with a voice to feedback and offer ways in which school can support them further. As a school, we provide high quality CPD for staff to educate them on mental health and well[1]being to support them in their understanding and ways in which they can be healthy in body and mind. We have a Mental Health First aider in school (Mrs Wootton) who provides check ins with all members of staff and runs CPD for staff on areas of development. Staff voice is imperative to our leaders and governors and we regularly ask staff to complete well-being questionnaires which are shared at Governors.