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Mental health can change at any point in our lives and at Orchid Vale we acknowledge this. We have a range of support strategies to help all our community members with mental health.

Mental Health for Children

At Orchid Vale, we believe positive mental health and well-being allows a children to achieve their full potential. It is important that we promote a positive understanding towards mental health so that children understand that it is not something to be afraid or ashamed of.

At Orchid Vale, we understand that research (The mental health of children and young people in England) has shown that early intervention can prevent mental health problems in children as well as build resilience. Therefore, we teach mental health through a variety of ways.

  • Our PSHE curriculum follows the Jigsaw scheme of work which focusses on developing all children’s emotional literacy, building resilience as well as nurturing mental and physical health.
  • We also use enrichment days and weeks, for example Well-being Week, to support children’s understanding around their own mental health, well-being and emotions.
  • Staff are reactive to situations that arise through the actions of children and the conversations that they have with them. As a result, many discussions and activities within the classroom are designed to support children’s well-being.
  • We provide nurture groups and intervention groups to support the mental health of individuals and groups of children.

Staff have been trained in dealing with bereavement with children. We also have trained ELSA staff in order to support a child’s emotional development as well as support them through difficult periods in their lives. Additionally, some members of staff hold a Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

Mental Health for Staff

At Orchid Vale, we believe that it is essential to have a whole school approach to mental health. We promote the positive mental health and well-being of staff in a number of ways.

Some of the ways that we do this are:

  • We have an acknowledge well-being co-ordinator who works closely with SLT.
  • Our Headteacher promotes an open door policy for all staff.
  • Staff have a buddy system, meaning that they can check in with another member of staff across the school.

Creating an Environment for Wellbeing

We strive to ensure that our learning environments are reflective of the ages and stages of development of the children as well as being a safe space to explore, experiment and develop. Our priorities for the physical environment are:

  • Comfort
  • Welcoming
  • Safety
  • Sense of belonging
  • Variety

Our priorities for our emotional environment are:

  • Positive
  • Respectful
  • Inclusive
  • Calm
  • Empathetic
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