At The Lea, 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.
“We know that our mental health and wellbeing are vital to our ability to thrive and achieve. One in ten young people has some form of diagnosable mental health condition and we know that children with a mental health problem face unequal chances in their lives, particularly where childhood mental health issues continue into adulthood.” (Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper – DfE 2017).
Young Minds in 1999 defined positive mental health as “The capacity to live a full, productive life as well as the flexibility to deal with its ups and downs. In children and young people it is especially about the capacity to learn, enjoy friendships, to meet challenges” and “develop talents and capabilities”.
A key element of The Lea’s ethos therefore is to nurture children to become resilient learners who develop a love for learning which is fostered in a happy and fun environment. Ensuring that all staff are aware of the mental health challenges that may be faced by children and the importance of wellbeing in supporting these, are an important element of this ethos.
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. We do this through a therapeutic approach to positive behaviour management following the Hertfordshire Steps programme. This often enables us to identify potential underlying concerns that may affect children’s emotional wellbeing.
We aim to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:
- All children are valued.
- Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
- Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems without feeling any stigma.
- We have a whole school approach to promoting good mental health.
- We have clear policies on behaviour and bullying is not tolerated.
In addition to children’s wellbeing, we recognise the importance of promoting staff mental health and wellbeing.
Our Mental Health Lead is our InCo: Sally Davey. We are currently progressing with our Healthy Young Minds in Hertfordshire Accreditation.
More information on mental health and wellbeing can be found at: www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk including any new developments and initiatives happening across Hertfordshire.
The Lea is a school that embraces and promotes a Growth Mindset. As professionals we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with ‘growth mindsets’ has become a key element of the schools approach to teaching & learning. We have introduced the theories of Dr Carol Dweck to staff and pupils and are determined to embed its ideas within our school ethos.
We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their future education and later as adults.
Watch this short clip to learn more:
Feeling Good Week
Feeling Good Week is an annual Hertfordshire-wide event that encourages schools and the wider community to promote children and young people’s emotional wellbeing by raising awareness of mental health and showing where support can be accessed within the community.
At The Lea feeling good week is a big part of our curriculum calendar. This year children took part in a range of interesting activities including art therapy, fitness training, relaxation techniques and Zumba!
The entire week helped our children understand our school aims that we want all children to:
- feel confident in themselves
- be able to express a range of emotions appropriately
- be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others
- cope with the stresses of everyday life
- manage times of stress and be able to deal with change and failure
- learn and achieve