Promotion of Good Mental Health
At The Ridgeway School we are mindful that our pupils are more at risk of developing problems with their mental health and so we want to raise awareness for staff, parents, carers and the wider community.
We have a comprehensive and dynamic policy in place regarding our provision for good mental health and we aim to be an ‘Attachment Aware School’. In practice, this means that some of our staff members have had formal training and we also are committed to providing a culture and structures within the school such as:
- a committed senior management team that sets a culture that values all pupils and staff members.
- an ethos of setting high expectations of attainment for all pupils with consistently applied support. This includes clear policies on behaviour and bullying that set out the responsibilities of everyone in the school and the range of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for children.
- effective and positive working relationships with parents and carers as well as with the pupils themselves, ensuring their opinions and wishes are taken into account and that they are kept fully informed so they can participate in decisions taken about them.
- continuous professional development for staff that makes it clear that promoting good mental health is the responsibility of all members of school staff and community, informs them about the early signs of mental health problems, what is and isn’t a cause for concern, and what to do if they think they have spotted a developing problem.
- clear systems and processes to help staff who identify children with possible mental health problems; providing routes to escalate issues with clear referral and accountability systems. The school has developed a simple diagnostic tool to help teachers plan interventions to promote good mental health and to measure its effectiveness.
- a healthy school approach to promoting the health and wellbeing of all pupils in the school, with priorities identified and a clear process of ‘planning, doing and reviewing’ to achieve the desired outcomes.
We have found that knowledge of risk factors and also protective factors can be very powerful when trying to promote good mental health in school.
We are about trying to manage these factors so that each pupil has more protective factors in their lives than risk factors and a range of helpful, meaningful strategies to hand when life gets particularly tough.
The school has developed a short training package designed to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health and this is free of charge to our parents and carers.
The table below gives an insight into some of the interventions and resources that we use at The Ridgeway. This is just a snapshot and there are many more initiatives which take place on a daily basis.