Mental Health and Wellbeing
"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." (World Health Organization)
Here at Kirby Hill, we work hard to make sure that all of our children are happy to come to school and that they have sufficient support to enable them to engage fully in all areas of school life. We promote a range of whole-school approaches and activities to maintain our happy and respectful school community and to support the mental health and wellbeing of all of our staff and pupils.
In our school, our Christian vision shapes all that we do. Through our seven Christian values of love, respect, friendship, honesty, forgiveness, hope and courage, combined with high-quality teaching and a creative, stimulating curriculum, we inspire caring and compassionate children to be confident, resilient, independent thinkers ready to face life’s challenges in an ever-changing world.
Whilst all staff have the responsibility to promote the mental health and wellbeing of all of our children, our PSHE lead oversees the school's work in this area and this is set out in more detail in our Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy (a copy is available upon request to the school office). All of our staff have received Level 1 training in the 'Prevention & Promotion of Mental Health & Wellbeing'. Three members of staff have gone on to be trained up to Level 3 standard to equip them with the skills for early help and intervention. We also have an Emotional First Aid specialist in school who 'checks in' with any pupils who need regular support.
The MindEd learning portal (www.minded.org.uk) provides free online training suitable for staff or parents wishing to know more about a specific issue.
For any parents with concerns about their child showing signs of anxiety, Drangonfly Impact Education have created a very useful information document which can be accessed here:
Healthy Lunch Boxes
We are in the process of renewing our Healthy Schools Award and as Healthy Eating is one of the 4 main strands for us to address, we thought it was a good time to share our expectations for packed lunches and snacks brought into school. Whilst we allow items such as a snack-sized packet of crisps and a chocolate biscuit within a packed lunch, chocolate bars and sweets are not allowed and these will be returned home again. Crisps and biscuits are not allowed as break time snacks; nut-free cereal bars or fruit or veg sticks are highly recommended instead.
According to NHS choices, a balanced lunchbox should contain:
- Starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes or pasta.
- Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs or beans.
- A dairy item, like cheese or yogurt.
- Vegetables or salad and a portion of fruit.
There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body – having a healthy heart and improving your joints and bones are just two, but did you know that physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing?
There are many studies which have shown that doing physical activity can improve mental health. For example, it can help with:
- better sleep – by making you feel more tired at the end of the day
- happier moods – physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself and give you more energy
- managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts – doing something physical releases cortisol which helps us manage stress. Being physically active also gives your brain something to focus on and can be a positive coping strategy for difficult times
- better self-esteem – being more active can make you feel better about yourself as you improve and meet your goals
- reducing the risk of depression – studies have shown that doing regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of experiencing a period of depression
- connecting with people – doing group or team activities can help you meet new and like-minded people, and make new friends.
How much physical activity should children and young people aged 5 to 18 do to keep healthy?
The NHS guidelines state that children and young people need to do 2 types of physical activity each week:
- aerobic exercise
- exercises to strengthen their muscles and bones
Children and young people aged 5 to 18 should:
- aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day across the week
- take part in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscles and bones
- reduce the time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity. Aim to spread activity throughout the day. All activities should make you breathe faster and feel warmer.