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Red Oaks Primary School
Mental Health and Well-Being

What is Mental Health?
The Children’s Society describes mental health as how we feel about ourselves "emotionally, psychologically and socially".We all have mental health - some people have good mental health and some people don't. It is important to remember that mental health can change at any time in our lives.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and just like our bodies, our mental health can be harmed by many different things, including:
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Experiencing trauma through crime or violence
  • Social isolation
  • Being bullied or discriminated against
  • Feeling stressed or under pressure
  • Living in poverty
  • Having debts
  • Losing someone close to you
  • Having a physical health condition
  • Losing your job
  • Having to care for a relative
  • Substance misuse.
Children’s mental health is especially important, as if young people don't get help with their mental health problems, the issues they're experiencing can stay with them when they get older.

Well-Being and Resilience - what are they?
Well-being and resilience are terms which often come up when discussing mental health.
Well-being describes how happy, healthy and satisfied we are. Further information about well-being can be found on the Children's Society website.
Resilience is the ability to cope when things go wrong.
Resilience can also be described as:
  • Bouncing back after difficult time
  • Dealing with challenges and still holding your head up
  • Giving things a go or trying your best
  • Being strong on the inside
  • Being able to cope with what life throws at you and shrug it off
  • Standing up for yourself
  • Not giving up
Just like mental health, resilience isn't fixed. There are many things to help build resilience, such as asking for help, trying again, looking after your physical health and learning from mistakes.

Meet the Well-Being Team
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Kathy Clarke
SENDCO and Mental Health Team Lead
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Becky Taylor
Pastoral Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Stacey McGahey
PSHE Lead

Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Lindsey Vaughan-Lewis
ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Bonnie Hawkins
ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Naomi Marturano
Barnardos Trailblazer/Early Mental Health Practitioner
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team
Dan Blagg
Mental Health Governor

Mental Health in the Red Oaks Curriculum
At Red Oaks we take Mental Health very seriously and it is covered within our curriculum in a variety of different ways. Our PSHE curriculum follows the Jigsaw scheme. Jigsaw has a strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing physical and mental health as part of a whole school approach. Jigsaw lessons also include mindfulness, allowing children to advance their emotional awareness, concentration and focus. For more information about Jigsaw, please click here.

As well as Jigsaw, children in years 4 and 5 use the Strategies for Safety and Wellbeing programme developed by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The programme is designed to increase skills for children around safety, mental health and wellbeing and how to access sources of support. As part of this, children are supported to identify what feels safe/unsafe, recognise, understand and manage feelings, identify coping and help seeking strategies and challenge stigma around mental illness.

For more information about the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families click here.

What is Mindfulness and what does it look like at Red Oaks?
Mind.org.uk describes mindfulness as a technique you can learn which involves making a special effort to notice what's happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings) - without judging anything. It has roots in Buddhism and meditation, but you don't have to be spiritual, or have any particular beliefs, to try it.
It aims to help you:
  • become more self-aware
  • feel calmer and less stressed
  • feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feeling
  • cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
  • be kinder to yourself
Mindfulness is practised in every class at Red Oaks in a variety of different ways. This includes mindful breathing, positive reflections, visualisation, following mindfulness activities on the Cosmic Kids You Tube channel, yoga and many others.

Dr Pooky Knightsmith
Red Oaks Primary School - Dr Pooky KnightsmithDr Pooky Knightsmith is an internationally respected expert in child and adolescent mental health. Pooky has a PhD in child mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, is the author of five books and is the current vice chair of the Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition.

Passionate about giving all young people the support they deserve, Pooky works tirelessly to ‘be the change she wants to see’. A prolific keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and author, she develops and shares practical, evidence-informed approaches to promoting mental health - arming health and education staff with the skills, inform444ation and knowledge they need to support the children in their care; whilst also working hard to drive collaboration and change at a national and international level amongst politicians and charity, business and service leads. 

As a Trust, we were extremely lucky to have Pooky spend a whole day with us in November. During the day she provided workshops for both staff and parents from across the trust, to provide a valuable insight into how to support young people with various mental health needs.
Click here to see the presentation provided by Pooky.
For more information about Pooky, click here to be redirected to her website.

Useful links for Parents and Carers
General
Kids Helpline - Australian website with many useful resources to support a wide variety of issues
Young Minds - useful information about various mental health conditions and how to get help
Child Line - lots of information and useful resources about mental health, including games to boost your mood
Family Lives - charity providing help and support for a wide variety of family topics
The Children's Society - variety of resources and advice about mental health 0-25 years

Self-Esteem
Young Minds - parent’s guide to supporting children with self-esteem
The Children's Society - information, tips and videos about self-esteem
Kids' Health - information about self-esteem

Resilience
Positive Psychology - information and advice about building resilience in children
Bright Horizons - information and strategies for building resilience in children

Mindfulness
Cosmic Kids - yoga designed specifically for children
Go Noodle - games to encourage active movement and mindfulness
Breath Meditation - You Tube video introducing children to mindful breathing

Anxiety
Young Minds - information and advice about supporting a child with anxiety
Child Mind Institute - tips for helping a child with anxiety
The Anxious Child - booklet for parents about anxiety in children (produced by The Mental Health Foundation)
Anxiety UK - information and advice for parents about anxiety in young people

Bereavement and Loss
Child Bereavement UK
Winston's Wish - childhood bereavement charity.
Wiltshire Treehouse - bereavement support for children and young people up to the age of 25


We hope you find our site informative and interesting and welcome feedback at any time. If you would like to visit the school please do not hesitate to contact the school office any time. If you require paper copies of any information on our website, please ask at the office.

Red Oaks Primary School, Redhouse Way, North Swindon Learning Campus, Swindon SN25 2AN
Tel: 01793 493920 Email: admin@redoaks.org.uk

Red Oaks is strongly committed to protecting and safeguarding children and expects all staff and volunteers to embrace this commitment.

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