At The King John School, we aim to promote positive 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.
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, and where they can go if they need help and support.
What support do we offer the students?
- Learning support department- available for every student requiring extra support with work. This is open before and after school until 4pm.
- Curriculum plus centre. The CPC can provide tailor made interventions for students that have a particular need or opportunity for reflection.
- Safe space- There are 5 safe spaces located around school where student can go to if they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. These are all staffed.
- An area in the CPC to offer respite, time and a quiet space for specific students who require mental health and wellbeing support.
Students (Peer support)
- A 6 form wellbeing team to work as student mentors who can be assigned to groups or individuals.
- Wellbeing ambassadors- A group of students who have applied to focus on initiative and ideas supporting and promoting student welfare.
- Learning resource centre – the LRC is open before school, break and lunch times and afterschool for students to work, read, take out library books and use the computers.
- Student voice- Representatives that feed into the development and improvement of all areas of school life.
- Year 8 buddies- a team of students that can be paired up with specific year 7’s that may be struggling with school life.
- Year 7 transition team- a team of year 7 students who are available to support the transition of year 6 students into our school.
- A dedicated area for mental health and wellbeing on the schools VLE.
- Thought for the week and PSHE drop down days with specific links to mental health and other topics relevant to the wider child outside of the normal curriculum.
- The LRC has a designated section of books focussed on mental health and wellbeing for students.
- Time out pass- These can be issued to students for a variety of reasons. Some examples mean leaving a lesson to report to a designated person or standing outside of the class room for 5 minutes. The use of these cards is monitored and for a set period of time.
- Staff mentors – these mentors can be selected by the student. The mentor will arrange weekly meetings to work on the required need.
- Student support officer 1 to 1 welfare checks as often as needed.
- Designated safeguarding leads. Miss Parrott, Miss Murray and Mr Aitken Cooper. There is a designated safeguarding office in the centre of the school.
- School nurse- a NHS School Nurse from Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service that offers a drop in session 1 lunchtime a week.
- 38 mental health first aid/level 2 training (with 42 additional being trained currently.) These staff members are identifiable on posters and have an M sticker on their name badges.
Targeted services and external agency support
- The targeted services team is made up of a representative from Student Support, Behaviour Support, a Head of Year, the SENCO and the principal DSL. The aim of the group is to provide early intervention for emerging needs. The group triage the referrals and signpost the referrer to appropriate intervention- ranging from behavioural support to counselling. The bespoke service means that each young person’s situation can be matched to the range of external services we work with. We have been expanding the services we work with to address the local context for our school- this means that we do not have waiting lists- but a carefully managed triage system. We have extended the service provision via liaison with local providers so that all referrals in can be accommodated.
- Zenith minds provision for students with complex mental health concerns. This provision offers bespoke, individualise support for specific needs.
Support for parents
The schools weekly newsletter has a safety and wellbeing link signposting parents to useful information.
Mumsnet, who provide advice for parents by parents, are supporting our Make it Count campaign and have lots of great advice on parenting on their website.
Mind have a whole range of information and support information for children and parents on their website.
Young Minds provide useful information for young people and their parents about mental health, seeking treatment and the mental health system.
The NHS website is a useful place to find out about all kinds of illnesses, including mental health problems.
Mind Ed for Families is a website developed by Health Education England and the Department of Education to help families understand and support their children, from parenting tips to getting help in a crisis.
Headspace has some useful audio and video clips about different conditions and people’s experiences, as well as some mindfulness resources.
Yellow door an independent charity offering Information, Advice, Advocacy, Emotional and Practical Support, Education and Counselling and Activities to young people between 11 and 25.
EWMHS Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (provides advice and support to children, young people and families who are in need of support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health difficulties. The service covers Southend, Essex and Thurrock and is open to young people between the ages of 0-18, or up to 25 for those with special educational needs.
Please contact the school if you have any concerns about your child or need any additional guidance or support.