Mental Health and Well-being at St. Patrick’s

“Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.” -Pope Francis

At St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we share this same vision of Pope Francis and want our school community to be a place where everyone feels welcomed and loved. We aim to promote positive mental health and well-being for our whole school community. This includes the positive mental health and well-being for our children, staff, parents and carers.

Positive mental health and well-being is vital for all and impacts directly on our everyday lives and our capacity to realise and celebrate our abilities, our ability to achieve and our ability to thrive as productive members of the communities in which we live in and serve.

At St. Patrick’s we recognise that children’s positive mental health and well-being are key components which promote learning, achievement and a positive sense of self.

We recognise that everyone will experience highs and lows in life and that some will experience significant life events and challenges.

We aim to help our children to build resilience, develop strategies for helping to recognise and take positive action where ill mental health and well-being is experienced.

We strive to be inclusive where all children, staff, parents and carers feel safe and welcomed.

Our school offers a mentally healthy environment where children:

  • have opportunities to participate in activities that encourage belonging
  • have opportunities to participate in decision-making
  • have opportunities to celebrate academic and non-academic achievements
  • have their unique talents and abilities identified and developed
  • have opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
  • have opportunities to reflect
  • have access to appropriate support that meets their needs
  • have a right to be in an environment that is safe, clean, attractive and well cared for
  • are surrounded by adults who model positive and
  • appropriate behaviours, interactions and ways of relating at all times

We are a  mentally healthy environment is a place where parents and carers:

  • are recognised for their significant contribution to children and young people’s mental health
  • are welcomed, included and work in partnership with schools and agencies
  • are provided with opportunities where they can ask for help when needed
  • are signposted to appropriate agencies for support
  • are clear about their roles and expectations of their responsibilities in working in partnership with schools
  • opinions are sought and valued and responded to
  • strengths and difficulties are recognised, acknowledged and challenged appropriately

We are a mentally healthy environment is a place where staff:

  • have their individual needs recognised and responded to in a holistic way
  • have a range of strategies that support their mental health, e.g. a named person to speak to, signposting
  • have recognition of their work-life balance
  • have the mental health and well-being of the whole staff reviewed regularly
  • feel valued and have opportunities to contribute to decision-making processes
  • celebrate and recognise success
  • are able to carry out roles and responsibilities effectively
  • are provided with opportunities for CPD both personally and professionally
  • have their unique talents and skills recognised and opportunities are provided for development
  • have time to reflect
  • can access proactive strategies and systems to support them at times of emotional needs in both the short term and the long term

Well-being support at St. Patrick’s:

Universal Support

In school, we promote and celebrate the learning to learn values of being resilient, forming good relationships, risk-taking, being reflective, resourceful and respectful. All children take part in PSHE lessons.

Targeted Support

For children that might, at times, need a little extra support, we can offer more specialised provision that might include play therapy and counselling, therapeutic work or working with external agencies such as CAMHS and Mindset.

We have an ‘open door’ policy and are keen to hear if you have concerns or worries about mental health and well-being. Where face to face meetings are not possible, we are happy to arrange a virtual meeting instead.

We believe that healthy, happy children have the greatest potential to become active, engaged citizens who achieve success academically and socially. The school’s drive to promote positive wellbeing and mental health for pupils, staff and the wider community is evident in all aspects of school life. Here are other specific ways that we support our pupils in growing healthy minds and resilience:

  • All year groups have a curricular focus on PSHE – Personal, Social, Health Education with lessons during which children can talk about social issues at school and in the wider community.
  • All staff are trained in supporting mental health and wellbeing of children and young people
  • All classes receive weekly PE lessons with a specialist sports coach as physical health also improves mental health
  • Wrap-around care for all children
  • St Patrick’s pupils’ opinions and ideas are highly valued and our surveys show that the children are happy and feel secure and safe in school
  • The School Council is an active forum through which children discuss issues and put forward ways to improve the school.
  • The consistent use of our behaviour policy by all staff ensures that children feel that their thoughts and feelings are valued by staff.
  • Mental Health week is used to remove the stigma around mental health and develop a growth mindset in our children
  • Children are empowered to take responsibility and to be part of the process in matters of their behaviour. When things go wrong, it is important that children are able to talk about it openly so they are reflective and they feel supported.
  • Prefects and Playground Buddies are roles of responsibility that the children take very seriously and give the children valuable life skills.
  • Throughout the school day, staff plan for and seek out opportunities to ensure that children are in a positive frame of mind and enjoying their learning and social experiences at school.
  • A wide range of extra-curricular activities are provided to give all children a chance to share their gifts and talents. Assembles, as well as a range of music and drama performances, workshops and trips offer opportunities for expression in many different ways.

Mental-Health and Well-Being Policy

Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team:

Mrs Ryan- Mental Health Coordinator

Mrs Horsman PSHE Lead