At St John’s Meads, we prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and families. We do this through our nurturing ethos and by consciously investing in our relationships with one another. It is important to us that everyone feels welcomed and that pupils feel they belong as part of our school community. Wellbeing and mental health is also supported through our curriculum, whole school events, the Place2Be service and the various mechanisms described below. Please get in touch with us if you have concerns related to emotional wellbeing or mental health.
Wellbeing and mental health are foci of our PSHE, forest school, beach school and computing curricula. Pupils from across year groups work together during termly pastoral care lessons, where they learn about and reflect on current issues and our Christian ethos. Wherever deemed necessary, staff will plan and deliver tailored lessons linked to wellbeing based on the needs of their specific classes. Each class has a growth mindset motto to support children to have a positive attitude towards challenge and personal growth.
We buy in to Place2Be and have Jess, a dedicated school counsellor, at school two days a week.
Jess supports pupils, staff and families. Pupils can self-refer to Jess by completing P2B slips which are available in each class. Jess will then check-in with children for about 10-15 minutes to talk through whatever may be bothering them. These check-ins are likely to be used to talk through low-level issues such as friendship difficulties or worries, but can be used for any purpose. For children who need more regular and in-depth support, Jess is able to offer 1:1 weekly counselling sessions. She is also available to staff and families who need a chat or a little extra support.
Family Support Worker
Stacey Newell is our Family Support Worker who supports children and families. Stacey can support with a variety of challenges and fits her support around the needs of each family. Her involvement can be around anything from worries and frustration, behaviour, support with transition, bereavement and financial difficulties. If you would like more information, please speak to your class teacher or Mrs Cork.
Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation are an embedded part of our curriculum. From Reception, pupils are taught emotional literacy through storybooks and circle times. Pupils are encouraged to recognise the physiological effects of emotions on their body. They are supported to reflect, identify how they feel and communicate their emotions. Zones of Regulation displays feature in each class and children are actively encouraged to use these to communicate their feelings. Classes are also taught simple self-regulation strategies to help them to manage big feelings and children think about which strategies work for them personally. We understand that behaviour is a means of communicating, and we listen to various ways children attempt to communicate what is happening for them.
Each class has a message box which is checked at least once a week by the class teacher. A poster next to the box lets children know when their teacher checks messages. These message boxes can be used for all kinds of messages and are not restricted to worries or concerns.
Whole School Events
We come together for assembly every morning. Staff, including Jess, deliver assemblies based on themes such as friendship, connecting with others, kindness, gratitude, resilience and managing big feelings. Throughout the year, we celebrate days and weeks dedicated to mental health and emotional welling. Among other ways, this is done through assemblies, pastoral care and activities in class. The days/weeks we have celebrated in the past have included:
- Children’s Mental Health Week
- Anti-Bullying Week
- Safer Internet Day
- NSPCC Number Day
SEMH library (Social, Emotional and Mental Health)
Books can be a great way of supporting children and broaching subjects which may feel confronting or overwhelming when brought up in conversation or other ways. The school SENCo/DSL manages an extensive library of lovely books that cover themes such as emotions, neurodiversity, different types of families, bereavement, growth mindset and protective behaviours. Families are welcome to borrow books from this collection at any time. Please get in touch if you would like to look through the collection or are looking for books to support any discussions at home.
Additional pastoral support
We also have a trained Drawing and Talking practitioner who can support children to work through difficulties in a child-led way through the means of drawing. Class staff are also trained in delivering nurture sessions for small groups of children.
Support and resources for families
|Childline||0800 1111||Call any time from 9am to midnight to speak to a Childline counsellor.|
|School Nurse||07507 332473||Text for advice and support from a qualified nurse on issues such as eating, sleep bedwetting, etc.|
|CLASS+ (Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service) Advice Line||01273 336887||Open Mondays 10am to 1pm for advice and support. Call anytime throughout the week and leave your details for a call back.|
|ISEND Parents and Carers Helpline||01273 481967||Families of SEND children can call and leave your name, number and a brief description of the kind of support you are looking for and need. An EP (Educational Psychologist) will call you back between 2pm and 4pm on the next Monday, Wednesday or Friday available.|
The Parenting Smart website (part of Place2Be) is full of practical tips to support children’s wellbeing and behaviour. There are short articles and videos to support families to deal with issues such as anxiety, bereavement, separation, transition, cultural and gender identity.
Holding Space provides a safe, confidential space for anyone who needs support with their or their family’s mental health. During this difficult time, Holding Space is offering video drop-ins via zoom 3 times a week.
ELSA Support (Emotional Literacy) provide downloadable resources which are ready to print and use.
Mental Health Foundation
You and your community should be able to live life to the full. That’s why the Mental Health Foundation is continuing to find ways to prevent mental health problems.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families transform mental health by working with infants, children, young people and their families, their communities and professionals to deliver timely evidence-based support for all.
Child Therapy Service is an Eastbourne based non-profit that aims to enhance the emotional wellbeing and resilience of children under 14 years old. Get in touch with Tracy Chadwick to find out more.
Every Mind Matters
Get expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental wellbeing and make them part of your daily routine.
Open for Parents
Open for Parents supports parents with managing your child’s behaviour, supporting their development or their emotional wellbeing or you want support and advice to help build a positive relationship with your child.