'We don't think our child could be in a
better place than this school.'
Parent and Carers Questionnaire January 2023
The staff at Asby Endowed school are passionate about making a difference to young people. Our vision is to create a secure and happy environment, where parents, staff, governors and the community work together to provide the best education possible.
We are proud of how well we know every single pupil and understand that, without good mental health, our pupils cannot be expected to reach their potential academically, emotionally or personally.
The community have an understanding of mental health as a state of well-being that impacts our ability to respond to challenges and adversity. There are risk factors that can have a negative impact on our mental health, such as illness, financial issues or harmful relationships. On the other hand, there are protective factors that can improve our resilience, such as self-efficacy, family or healthy relationships. Having an understanding of our own mental health can help us to live our best possible life.
To promote good mental health, we should strive to make conversations about our thoughts and feelings normal. The children have a good awareness of the ‘Zones of Regulation’, which detail the range of emotions we experience and the strategies that can help us to cope when we experience strong or uncomfortable feelings.
Supporting the School Community
Pastorally, we have a duty to respond to the social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs of our pupils and staff. As such, we follow the following model advocated by the British government (Public Health England, 2021):
- We take a holistic view of promoting the mental health of our school community and have an understanding that, without one of the elements shown in green above, the goals set out in our moral purpose will not be realised.
- School leaders are at the core of what we are trying to achieve in this area; they prioritise their own well-being and do their upmost to promote the mental health of the whole school community.
Our response to the SEMH needs of our pupils centres on four areas:
- Prevention: We aim to make mental health problems less likely by creating a calm and purposeful environment, prioritising mental well-being across the whole school and equipping pupils with the skills they need to cope with life’s challenges.
- Identification: We recognise emerging issues and vocalise concerns early. Although this takes place predominantly through professional staff conversations, the SENCo and parents should be informed at the earliest possible stage, where intervention is at its most effective.
- Intervention: Pupils should be helped to manage their mental health on a whole-school basis, but some children will need additional support. Our emotional learning support assistant (ELSA) will work with pupils who need extra intervention. This should be child-led and informed by pupil voice at every stage of the assess-plan-do-review process. We have an understanding of each child’s individual needs and recognise that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.
- Access to Specialist support: Where intervention in school has not had the desired effect, the SENDCo will coordinate with external agencies in order to access more specialist support. This may include educational psychologists, our local behaviour and emotional well-being officer (BEWO) or the local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS).
Expectations of Each Other
- Notes are kept up-to-date.
- Have read and understood section one of Keeping Young people Safe in Education.
- Make sure you know relevant policies and protocols, particularly regarding safeguarding
- Attend duties to support the wider school community.
- Ensure wave one pastoral work is evidenced.
- Speak to students, staff and each other with courtesy, respect and understanding.
Going forwards, our senior mental health lead (SMHL) will work to ensure that we build on our strengths:
- Furthering the collective understanding of our positive definition of mental health;
- Continuing to normalise talking about thoughts and feelings, as well as the strategies that can help us to cope;
- Nurturing the autonomy of our pupils and enabling pupil voice to inform our decisions;
- Strengthen the ethos and culture of our school to develop a collective understanding of what our community stands for.