Mental Health support
At St. Michael's we support our children to have good mental health in varied ways and place a great deal of emphasis on every child and every person's emotional well-being.
Regular circle times and PSHE (personal, social and health education) lessons allow time for children to discuss emotions in a structured way using a wide variety of high quality stories, other books, and Heart Smart and SCARF resources.
When children need additional support, perhaps due to events in their home life or difficulties at home, with friends or in school, the class teacher will ensure they make extra time for that child to chat informally about their thoughts and feelings.
At times more support may be required. Mrs Barratt runs Drawing and Talking; a therapeutic approach sessions for both individual children and small groups, depending on a child's needs. These sessions take place for half an hour each week for 12 weeks and are carefully structured to enable children to work through their emotions using drawings and the imagination. In addition, she runs group therapy support that focuses on an emotion each week, again highly structured and including time to represent the emotion in art. Sandplay is another therapy run by Mrs Barratt; figures and objects chosen by the child are used to construct scenes and stories and through careful questioning, loss and conflict are explored and the child works through their own problems.
Mrs Matthews, a teaching assistant, runs a form of lego therapy called Brick Club. This runs in blocks of one hour sessions for six weeks, but usually 12 sessions are needed. This therapeutic approach enables children to develop the communication skills to better prepare them to deal with conflict and to have strategies to communicate feelings verbally rather than resorting to physical means when they feel frustrated or angry.
Miss Brook qualified as a Mental Health First-aider in January 2019, and since then has provided 1:1 sessions for children who needed to better understanding their ‘inner chimp’ or who require more intensive support. She also leads on PHSE and Relationships and Health Education.
What our parents say... (Parent Questionnaire April 2021)
My child attended [another local school] and I moved her to St Michael's due to bullying. Well its the best thing I have ever done for my child. She was so behind and due to the hard work by all teacher involved, she is really coming on in leaps and bounds. The head teacher every morning and afternoon greets every child by name and says bye when the school ends. It the little things like this that make it an excellent school. I struggle sometimes with my mental health and I feel comfortable to let the school know when I'm struggling and they are always there to support both myself and child. This school truly is outstanding!!