Promoting mental health and well-being at St. Mary's
At St. Mary's, we promote mental and physical health and pupil well-being through a multidisciplinary team approach. We are proud of our family ethos and the importance of knowing every child and their family. We hold strongly the principle that good mental health is essential in order for children to access learning.
Having a member of the Extended Senior Leadership Team as Mental Health Lead was key to ensuring that emotional health and wellbeing is always part of school development plans and embedded in the school’s ethos.
Promoting well-being through the curriculum
The curriculum is the driver for improvement at St. Mary's. Through our bespoke curriculum, we teach and talk openly about significant people and their battles to overcome mental health barriers in order to succeed. For example: In our Art Curriculum, pupils become knowledgable about the life and times of artists such as LS Lowry - learning about the struggles he experienced through poverty and mental breakdown. In the book 'Wonder', read by our Y5 children, the concept of mental well-being is explored through the central character and their battle with Autism.
Well-being approaches at St. Mary's
The Senior Team have considered carefully the needs of the children at St. Mary's, we have built the following well-being offer to support every child:
- An ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) for each phase at the school. Our ELSA colleagues cover: social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship.
- Volunteer Mentorship for children requiring support to build effective relationships. Delivered through targeted group and individual interventions - these include 1:1 reading and gardening with a trusted adult.
St. Mary's School Foodbank
Established in March 2022, St. Mary's Foodbank is open to the families of every child registered at the school. The purpose is to provide a lifeline of support for those who are struggling. Requests are anonymous - we do not refer parents/carers to external agencies and we do not ask questions related to your personal circumstance or finances.
Parents/carers may ask for support via: firstname.lastname@example.org
A breakfast for EVERY child, EVERY day!
In March 2022, in conjunction with the 'National School Breakfast Programme', St. Mary's begun feeding every child (Year N to Year 6) a breakfast every day! We recognise the need for children to have that balanced diet and first stable meal of the day - after all, hungry children cannot learn!
At line-up children are offered a cooked bagel - with a choice of healthy topping - to eat as they go on their way to home class for registration.
At registration, pupils can choose between a choice of three cereals: shreddies, cornflakes and cheerios. Pupils are in charge of their breakfast - collecting a bowl, choosing cereal, eating this and then washing up.