Pupil Wellbeing & Mental Health

In order to help pupils succeed, schools have a vital role to play in supporting pupils to be resilient and mentally healthy. At St. Mary’s we aim to support all our pupils effectively especially when children are struggling with particular problems.

A key to supporting children who are struggling with their mental health is to provide them with support from trained professionals. At St. Mary’s, our pastoral team will refer pupils and families to specialist mental health professionals however we also provide support to pupils through our trained teaching assistants.

A number of our team are trained in ‘ELSA’ (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants). These staff can offer help to children in understanding, identifying and managing their emotions so that they can become more emotionally resilient. We also have staff trained in ‘Emotion Coaching’ emotion coaching uses moments of heightened emotion and resulting behaviour to guide young people to use more effective responses to the challenges they face. The aim is, again, to help children become more resilient emotionally. We also have teaching assistants trained in nurture groups who support children in developing positive relationships with others.

The whole school staff have also been trained in understanding adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and the impact they have on a child’s development as well as trauma informed practices through Trauma Informed Schools UK. This training equips staff to understand and identify emerging mental health problems and to provide interventions to help children cope.

Positive mental health and well-being remains a priority for many as we work our way through the pandemic and at St. Mary’s we are continuing to ensure that whilst we focus on enabling our pupils to catch up with missed learning, we also keep them mentally healthy.

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