At Kilburn Grange School, we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels valued and able to thrive. Positive mental wellbeing is essential if children and young people are to flourish and lead fulfilling lives. This is why we have chosen ‘Health and Wellbeing’ as one of our six curriculum drivers.
The World Health Organisation’s definition: ‘Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’
At our school, we know that everyone experiences challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play. Our senior mental health lead is Ms Helen Khinich, who works closely with our SENDCo, Ms Sarah Storey to oversee the mental health provision at our school.
Levels of Support
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 to their full potential or access help when they may need it. Children are taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, which affects their mental health and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. We aim to offer a responsive approach with early intervention that is proactive rather than reactive. As part of our targeted provision, we have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required.
- Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos, school values, quality first teaching, PSHE curriculum and our wider curriculum.
- Additional support– For those who may have short-term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as separation or bereavement.
- Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as a referral to wider professionals.
At Kilburn Grange School, we believe that teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing as part of a comprehensive PSHE education curriculum is vital. PSHE is central to the curriculum across the whole school and assists pupils to cope with the changes at puberty, introduces them to a wider world, manage transitions and enables them to make an active contribution to their communities. The concepts covered in PSHE include keeping safe and managing risk, identity, equality, managing feelings and emotions, relationships, change, resilience and being healthy, which includes physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. We aim to promote pupils’ wellbeing through an understanding of their own and others’ emotions and the development of healthy coping strategies.
Good mental health and wellbeing are just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time. Children at Kilburn Grange School have two lessons of PE each week in addition to daily playtimes. A wide range of sport-related after school clubs are offered, whilst many of our pupils take part in inter-school sporting competitions, which include an extensive range of sports and activities.
This academic year, we have also introduced the Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation is an approach designed to support the development of self-regulation in children. It teaches children to build awareness of their feelings and use a variety of tools and strategies for regulation, prosocial skills, self-care, and overall wellness.
We mark World Mental Health Day and Children’s Mental Health Week through age-appropriate conversations and whole school planned activities. We teach the children the importance of having a healthy mind and help them to understand that it is ok to ask for help.
As part of our in-class, inclusive quality first teaching, we utilise a range of approaches that support emotional health and build relationships. As Karen Treisman says, ‘Every interaction is an intervention’. We know that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship and it is crucial that staff work hard to create and maintain positive relationships that are underpinned by mutual respect.
We recognise that early intervention is vital. As part of the additional support for mental health and wellbeing at Kilburn Grange School, we have an Intervention Lead Teaching Assistant who delivers nurture groups to provide tailored support to groups of children. The Intervention Lead Teaching Assistant has a good understanding of SEMH and is in the process of completing a Master’s of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health (postgraduate level), as well Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training. The Intervention Lead TA is also the school’s mental health first aider. This means she is available to provide check-ins or support for children as it arises.
We have also linked up with a mental health charity Unlocking Potential to deliver therapeutic programmes across the school. The support provided by Unlocking Potential varies from additional support such as nurture groups, group/individual talk-time sessions and check-ins for identified pupils. Pupils can also self-refer themselves for a check-in through our worry boxes located on each floor of the school building. To learn more about Unlocking Potential, you can visit their website: https://up.org.uk/
Please click here to read the Unlocking Potential Privacy Notice for Parents & Pupils.
We involve parents as appropriate in the support which we put in place.
Typically, a child will access additional support for a period of six weeks. Progress is reviewed after a six-week block of sessions with the child’s teacher and most importantly the child themselves.
Unlocking Potential also provides targeted support for pupils with SEMH needs that require a more long-term intervention or support. A complex therapist and therapist trainees are employed to provide therapeutic support for more complex cases. From time to time, children may require a referral to an external professional such as CAMHS or the Inclusion Team as part of the targeted support.
If pupils are provided with additional or targeted support, progress is reviewed at the end of the intervention and/or during termly pupil progress meetings.
At Kilburn Grange School, we want children to leave our school as respectful, responsible and caring citizens, that understand what makes a caring, healthy and safe relationship. They also understand the importance of a healthy body and mind. Children with identified social, emotional and mental health needs are provided additional or targeted support to enable them thrive and manage their emotions. We want children to enter the next phase of their learning journey as independent, successful and resilient learners.
Two key elements to support good mental health are:
- Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. Including feelings like curiosity, engagement and safety.
- Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world, this includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.