Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing

At Hayward’s Primary School, we believe in promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to ensure that our school is a community where children, staff and parents / carers feel able to thrive.

What is mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.

The mental health foundation states that we all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Our mental health is how we’re feeling inside or how we are emotionally. 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.

What happens in school?

In school, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice.

We encourage children to regularly reflect on their 'Five-Finger Network' and to consider those adults, both in school and at home, who they can speak to if they are worried. It is worth talking to your child about who is on their 'Five-Finger Network'.

Our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum focusses specifically on developing children’s social and emotional skills which can prevent poor mental health from developing and help all children cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. It is about helping children to recognise, understand and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and build skills that help them to manage these. Through the use of our Hayward’s heroes we teach children to show resilience and perseverance when things get tricky.

What if my child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing?

Mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time and neither does it mean avoiding stresses altogether. One of the most important ways to help your child is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously.

In many instances, children and young people’s negative feelings and worries usually pass with the support of their parents and families. It is helpful for the school to know what they are going through at these times. This is so staff can be aware of the need and support this.

If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, come and talk to us or speak with your GP. 

Looking after yourself  

If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. Come and talk to us, in confidence, and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.

Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.

Useful links:

We know parenting isn’t always easy. It can feel especially hard if your child's mood and behaviour seem different and you're not sure why, or what you can do to help. 'Young Minds' provides practical advice and tips on supporting your child.

Here are our tips for looking after  yourself while looking after your child.

Be Kind to Your Mind - There are small things we can all do to help be kind to your mind, and these can make a big difference to how we feel. Get expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental wellbeing and make them part of your daily routine.

Advice and guidance for parents and carers to help the support a child or young person experiencing poor mental health and well-being.  An NHS site which provides information and support for your mental health.  Is the way that you are feeling affecting your daily life? Are you struggling to cope, feeling low, anxious or overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings? Are you living with a health condition that is making you feel tired, frustrated and worried? You are not alone and we can help.