Mental Health and Wellbeing
At St. Michael's we support our children to have good mental health in varied ways and place a great deal of emphasis on every child and every person's emotional well-being.
Regular circle times and PSHE (personal, social and health education) lessons allow time for children to discuss emotions in a structured way using a wide variety of high quality stories, other books, and Heart Smart and SCARF resources. Good Mental Health and well-being are also promoted regularly within collective worship.
When children need additional support, perhaps due to events in their home life or difficulties at home, with friends or in school, the class teacher will ensure they make extra time for that child to chat informally about their thoughts and feelings.
At times more support may be required. Mrs Barratt runs Drawing and Talking; a therapeutic approach sessions for both individual children and small groups, depending on a child's needs. These sessions take place for half an hour each week for 12 weeks and are carefully structured to enable children to work through their emotions using drawings and the imagination. In addition, she runs group therapy support that focuses on an emotion each week, again highly structured and including time to represent the emotion in art. Sandplay is another therapy run by Mrs Barratt; figures and objects chosen by the child are used to construct scenes and stories and through careful questioning, loss and conflict are explored and the child works through their own problems.
A form of lego therapy called Brick Club has run for several years in blocks of one hour sessions, sometimes for six weeks, but usually 12 sessions are needed. This therapeutic approach, now run by Miss Rothwell and Mrs Pedder, enables children to develop the communication skills to better prepare them to deal with conflict and to have strategies to communicate feelings verbally rather than resorting to physical means when they feel frustrated or angry.
Miss Brook first qualified as a Mental Health First-aider in January 2019, and since then has provided 1:1 sessions for children who needed to better understand their ‘inner chimp’ or who require more intensive support. She also leads on PHSE and Relationships and Health Education. She completed the 2-day MHFA training again as a refresher in November 2022.
For children needing a quiet space at lunchtime or support with behaviours at this less structured time of day or for children who, due to a medical condition, cannot play outside, Mrs Jahangir runs the Rocket Club in the library area. Children play and draw together, and are fully supported to take part in a range of creative activities.
What our parents say... (Parent Questionnaire April 2021)
My child attended [another local school] and I moved her to St Michael's due to bullying. Well its the best thing I have ever done for my child. She was so behind and due to the hard work by all teachers involved, she is really coming on in leaps and bounds. The head teacher every morning and afternoon greets every child by name and says bye when the school ends. It the little things like this that make it an excellent school. I struggle sometimes with my mental health and I feel comfortable to let the school know when I'm struggling and they are always there to support both myself and child. This school truly is outstanding!!
It is a very friendly school where the children's learning and wellbeing is at the centre of the school's priorities.
I think that St Micaels is a fantastic school where the needs of the children come first. The staff are all excellent and do a fantastic job. The school has coped extremely well this year despite all of the challenges faced maintain an excellent standard of teaching and learning.
Children are supported in all aspects of thier learning and development. It is a safe, supportive environment where children can meet their full potential.
The school helps my children develop in the best possible way. They learn well and have lots of friends there. Teacher have always been helpfu and friendly.