Whilst it is important to provide children with an excellent academic education, at St John’s, we recognise that it is equally important that we equip children with the skills they need to use this education in the real world around them.
Personal Development is designed to help pupils gain the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to lead healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. It focuses on safety, well-being and enriching pupil’s educational experiences so that they are able to fully flourish. Children learn about the role they play as part of a local, national and international community and about the challenges and risks they may face outside the classroom and in turn prepares them so they know how best to deal with these.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that “in order to help their pupils succeed, schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”.
Here at St. John’s Primary School we embrace a whole school approach where all staff value and recognise the need to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in every child and adult. We place great importance on developing the whole child academically, socially and emotionally. The skills needed throughout life can be taught and learnt at any age; all aspects of a child and young person’s experience in and out of school contribute to their personal and social development and, as a school, we feel that it is essential that we share this role with parents, carers and families.
At school, we encourage the children to recognise their mental wellbeing. Evidence suggests there are 5 steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing:
Connect – connect with the people around you: your family and friends. Spend time developing these relationships.
Be active – take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Exercising makes you feel good.
Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence, as well as being fun. This includes hobbies and interests as well as academic learning.
Give – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Do something nice for another person or group/class.
Take notice – be mindful of feelings, sensations, surroundings and nature. Be curious, catch sight of the beautiful and remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.
St John’s has a multifaceted, proactive approach to supporting our children and their families. Here are some of our current personal development and wellbeing provisions:
Wellbeing Team – A team of trained Safeguarding Leads and identified adults in school to talk about any concerns or worries they may have.
Who are the Wellbeing Team?
Mrs Gemma Stone – Wellbeing Lead, Thrive Practitioner & PSHE Lead
Mrs Janes - Wellbeing Mentor & Thrive Practitioner
Jayne Barton - Play Therapist
Mrs Haigh – Wellbeing Mentor & ELSA
How do we provide wellbeing support at St. John’s Primary School?
The Wellbeing Team helps to coordinate a range of wellbeing activities and resources accessible for both pupils and staff - Real Time Learning.
Family support is offered in school to parents/carers.
Our aim is to help in signposting pupils and families to appropriate support, agencies and professionals outside of school.
Wellbeing information is shared, where appropriate, to relevant members of staff weekly.
Individual reparative work and group interventions for pupils around issues such as;
Designated spaces that act as a sanctuary for pupils and offer them a safe environment where they can talk about their worries or concerns.
All staff are kept up to date with training such as mental health, safeguarding and protecting vulnerable children.
Playground Pals are used to support their peers during the play and lunchtime breaks.
Thrive groups and 1:1 sessions to support children’s emotional development
‘Developing Me’ – To explore personal skills and interests.
‘Physical Me’ – To encourage physical activity, including healthy eating.
‘Wellbeing Me’ – To develop positive mental health and wellbeing.
‘Local Me’ – To discover and celebrate the local area.
‘Global Me’ – To learn more about their place as a global citizen.
Thrive provides a way of understanding and addressing the emotional and social development of all children. It offers right time interventions to meet the social and emotional needs of children at the developmental stage for their age, as well as reparative interventions to support children with gaps in their development.
Children with gaps in their social and emotional development, can find it difficult to engage with academic learning. Thrive enables us to identify those gaps and to address them using relational strategies and arts based activities.
Children may attend individual or small group sessions for specific reasons which may be a barrier for learning for example
Quiet, shy, withdrawn,
Find it hard to listen to others and join in
Disrupting own and others learning
Find it difficult to share and take turns
Find it tricky to settle and focus in class
The Blossom room is a designated Thrive space. It’s a calm, and cosy room where individuals and small groups can spend time with a Thrive Practitioner engaging in activities from an action plan. Pupil profiles are undertaken in order to identify the area of need. A whole class, small groups and individual action plans support pupils' development and a series of activities and interventions are put in place.
Activities may include: –
Arts and crafts
Movement and relaxation
Wellbeing Champions - Wellbeing champions are used to support and promote the wellbeing in each and every class.