The wellbeing of our whole school community is an important strategic pillar of Lady Boswell’s School and integral to everything we do.
In January 2024 we were proud to be awarded the Wellbeing Award for Schools in recognition of the exceptional work we do to support the wellbeing of our School community.
Our school vision sets out that commitment:
We value every member of our community as a unique child of God and seek to demonstrate His love through our words and actions. We enable every child to achieve their full potential so that they leave us with their heads inspired and their hearts enriched.
As a result, our children will ...
- Develop a positive sense of self and well-being; confident to make the right choices and keep themselves safe in an ever-changing society
- Strive for academic excellence, developing a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning
- Become effective communicators, collaborators and leaders
- Be resilient, resourceful and courageous
- Be curious, creative individuals and confident problem solvers
- Grow in spiritual awareness and develop a strong moral compass and a deepening understanding of the Christian faith in a multi-faith British society
- Become responsible and tolerant global citizens who value diversity, forgive readily, and have concern for the needs of each other, the school, the wider community, and the planet
The school recognises that there is a strong link between wellbeing, progress and attainment and see the development of resilient, emotionally literate children with good self-regulation is essential in ensuring that they are ready for the next stage of their education.
We encourage every member of our school community to talk openly about wellbeing and mental health and have dedicated strategies for pupils and staff.
What do we mean by mental health?
The school adopts Mentally Healthy School’s definitions of wellbeing and mental health:
Mental Health is the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life and survive pain, suffering and disappointment. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our and others dignity and worth.
Wellbeing is all about our holistic health, including the physical and emotional. When we have good levels of wellbeing we feel that life is in balance and that we can generally cope well. We feel motivated and engaged, we’re resilient and able to deal effectively with daily troubles, as well as ’bounce back’ from life’s challenges. (World Health Organisation). Mental health affects all aspects of life and behaviour.
Like physical health, mental health is something we all have. It can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time, see spectrum below.
AT OUR SCHOOL WE:
- help children to understand their emotions and feelings better
- help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- help children socially to form and maintain relationships
- promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they matter
- encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
- help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
We aim to create a culture of awareness of mental health needs, with no stigma or discrimination, providing high quality mental health training for all. For effective teaching and learning to take place, good mental health and wellbeing in all aspects of life is necessary. We aim to promote positive mental health for every child. We pursue this aim using both universal, integral, specialised and targeted school approaches aimed at vulnerable pupils. In addtion to promoting positive mental and physical wellbeing, we aim to recognise and respond to mental ill health. We have a highly personalised approach to meeting the academic, physical and emotional need of every pupil and by developing and implementing practical, relevant and effective mental health and wellbeing policies and procedures we can promote a safe and stable environment for pupils affected both directly, and indirectly by mental ill health. This also creates a shared understanding of all aspects of mental health, enabling those with mental health related issues to self-disclose and seek support in a safe confidential manner.
Above all, we want pupils to be happy and enjoy coming to school. Our exceptional pastoral care permeates every aspect of life within the school. Our core values of respect, kindness, love, forgiveness, honesty and faith are at the heart of all that we do. Expectations are high, in terms of manners, discipline and general behaviour, and the children respond accordingly. We treat each pupil as an individual, and provide the framework to support and promote growing confidence and self-assurance
Supporting pupil wellbeing
Pupil wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility and for a number of years, the school has adopted a highly successful three-tiered approach to wellbeing within the school as part of our pupil wellbeing strategy. Full details of the three-tiered support and our wider, comprehensive wellbeing strategy for pupils, please click below:
The School adopts a number of evidence-informed programmes to support pupil wellbeing and mental health:
|RULER : A mechanism for emotional literacy and regulation
Lady Boswell’s is proud to adopt the RULER approach to underpin our PHSE and wellbeing curriculum. RULER is a systemic approach to Social and Emotional Learning developed at the Center for Emotional Intelligence in Yale, US. RULER aims to infuse the principles of emotional intelligence into young children, from EYFS up and throughout primary school, informing how leaders lead, teachers teach, children learn, and families support students.
The approach promotes the development of five key emotional skills, including Recognising, Understanding, Labelling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions (the “RULER” skills).
Every child across all year groups benefits from the RULER approach, through the vocabulary and emotional literacy development, use of the mood meter and support in tools to regulate their emotions. RULER underpins our positive behaviour policy and is the framework we use to talk to children about their emotions and actions.
Bi-weekly RULER words are shared with parents via the newsletter.
Thrive : Evidence informed therapeutic approaches to support wellbeing.
We are delighted that as a school we will be implementing a new wellbeing approach called 'Thrive'. We would like to congratulate 3 members of staff who have completed their Thrive practitioner training; Hollie Cossell, Ros Collett and Anne-Marie Lara.
The Thrive approach is a dynamic, developmental, trauma-sensitive approach to meeting the emotional and social developmental needs of all children and young people. It is informed by recent developments in neuroscientific research and is underpinned by a theoretical base in child-developmental theory and research into creativity, play and the arts. There is a growing recognition that supporting the social and emotional development of young people is vital not only for their mental health now and in the future, but also enables them to reach their full potential in adulthood. The Thrive approach will enable us to assess pupils for wellbeing concerns, plan and implement effective support for them, track their progress towards their wellbeing goals and provide them with useful strategies that they can use to self-regulate.
If we believe that your child would benefit from a Thrive intervention, then we will invite you to discuss this with us.
Please click on the link below this table to see the Thrive School Parent and Carer flyer.
ELSA: Emotional Literacy Support
ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. An ELSA is a teaching assistant who has had specialised training from educational psychologists. We, as a school, recognise that children learn better and are more content when their emotional needs are being addressed. The ELSA’s role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst respecting the feelings of those around them.
In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
Loss and bereavement
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher or on occasion the SENCo. Every half term we meet with to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the following 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind we then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What they can do is provide emotional support. They aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
The Lady Boswell's ELSA is Miss Anna-Marie Pullen. Miss Pullen has provided dozens of children and their families with ELSA support over a number of years. Over this academic year, Miss Pullen’s role will see her adopting the Thrive approach to support pupils that may have previously received ELSA sessions.
The Wellbeing Team
At Lady Boswell’s, we have a shared responsibility for promoting and protecting the wellbeing of our pupils and every member of staff shares our commitment. The school also has a dedicated team of strategic leads and wellbeing practitioners:
Mrs Sharon Saunders, Co-Headteacher, Lead for pupil wellbeing
Mrs Hannah Pullen, Co-Headteacher, Lead for staff wellbeing, Qualified SENCO, Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aider
Mrs Hannah Browning, AHT for Inclusion, SENCo and lead for pupils with identified Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs, Designated Safeguarding Lead
Miss Hollie Cossell, Lead Thrive Practitioner, PHSE Curriculum Lead
Miss Anna Pullen, ELSA and Thrive Practitioner
The Wellbeing Team are supported by two additional thrive practitioners: Mrs Lara and Mrs Collett, and our well-trained team of teaching and support staff.
We have two dedicated wellbeing governors: Mrs Rachel Hilary and Mrs Cindy Von-Kaufmann
Members of the School Council, who are elected representatives for each class, work with the school’s wellbeing leads to have their input regarding wellbeing and pupil mental health. Additionally, the views of pupils and parents are formally sought at least once per year through the annual survey and additionally through wellbeing surveys. All members of our school community are actively encouraged to speak openly about their wellbeing and provide feedback to the school in regard to the effectiveness of its provision, in order that we can continually improve.
Support for parents
Parents are encouraged to approach their child’s class teacher if they have concerns about their child’s wellbeing.
We appreciate that there is a wealth of information available regarding mental health for children and that navigating the advice around children’s mental health can be tricky! We have produced a handy guide for parents of trusted sources of advice and information.
NELFT - KENT EMOTIONAL WELLBEING TEAM
To enhance our Wellbeing provision, at the end of 2023, we were delighted to have been selected to be the Sevenoaks Primary School’s Wellbeing Hub, supported by an NHS appointed Emotional Wellbeing team.
From December 2023, our NHS Emotional Wellbeing practitioners, Ellie, Lucy and Megan, have been based at Lady Boswell’s School offering sessions aimed at supporting both the School and the children, in providing an enhanced wellbeing package. They are keen to work alongside parents, running parent workshops on anxiety, friendships, alongside other NHS commissioned services such as introductions to autism, ADHD, resilience, sleep and behaviour problems. As well as working with children and parents, they also run group workshops on phobias, anxieties, problem solving and cognitive rebalancing through a CBT-based approach.
Below, please find details of their up-coming Parent Workshops.
Parents that are seeking support for their child’s wellbeing and mental health outside of school operating hours or during school holidays may find the following contact details helpful:
Childline: 0800 1111 (24/7)
Samaritans: 116 123 (24/7)
NHS: 111 or 999 (24/7)
Kent Early Help for Families: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/early-help-support-for-families