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Red Oaks Primary School
Mental Health and Well-Being

At Red Oaks we take the emotional health and well-being of every child seriously. We believe that the school can help pupils build resilience and support them to be mentally healthy. Our Mental Health and Well-Being policy sets out how we do this.

We all have ups and downs in life but in childhood it can be particularly hard to cope with sad feelings and worries that arise when things are hard or scary. There may be times when your child is unhappy or struggling emotionally. You may notice that they seem low or worried or that their behaviour changes. We may notice that they seem withdrawn or upset at school.

If you are worried about your child's mental health then you are not alone. Many parents and carers have similar worries and stresses. There is good support available from local and national organisations. The sooner you seek help the better for you child and you.

The leaflet: Mental health problems in children and young people: guidance for parents and carers provides some useful tips for helping your child plus links to local and national services.

If you have a mental health or pastoral concern about your child and wish to contact Mrs Taylor, in confidence, please click here to send her a message

Summer 22: Check out the Red Oaks Children's School Development Plan 2021/22 for Mental Health updates happening this year.

Covid and Mental Health

Suporting Parents Helpfinder
Mental Health charity Young Minds have produced a six question survey for parents to find out how to support children during the pandemic. Follow this link to find out more.

Action for Children have launched Parent Talk
4 in 10 parents have been suffering from increased anxiety as a result of the pandemic. It’s scary, but there is help available. Parent Talk offers free, down-to-earth advice and live chat for parents of children aged 0-19.

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.

Looking After Your Own Mental Health
In order to support your child, you need to stay strong and well yourself. It isn't easy being a parent or carer especially when you are experiencing problems of your own such as relationship difficulties, money worries, problems with work. Often it helps to talk to someone, so don't be scared about doing this, with friends, family, your GP or a support service. The following organisations can also offer information and advice to help you.
Always remember, it's ok not to be ok. Nobody should feel they have to go it alone.

NSPCC - Mental health advice for parents
Lift Swindon - A Swindon service which offers various types of support for a range of different issues including anxiety and low self-esteem
Mind - A mental health charity offering advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem
Mental Health.org - The Mental health Foundation’s A-Z of Mental Health
NHS - a list of mental health charities, organisations and support groups offering expert advice
Relate - counselling and advice service for families
Counselling Directory - directory of counsellors offering support for families
Citizens Advice Bureau - Comprehensive generalist advice to help people with a wide range of problems including benefits, debt and money, employment, housing, immigration, consumer, relationships, discrimination, law and rights, healthcare, education and much more. There is also a full advice service over the telephone 08082 787813 (Calls to this number are free)
Money Helper - Impartial money and pensions guidance, backed by the UK Government and free to use. There is also a helpline you can call on 0800 1387777
Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind - 01793 432031
Samaritans - Tel: free confidential listening service 116 123
NHS Choices: moodzone - Helps manage stress, anxiety, depression. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing
CALM Campaign against living miserably - Information and help around mental health particularly focussing on men
Live Well Swindon Hub - Offering information, signposting and support to help you make the most of your health and wellbeing

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
David Peterson
LAB Member for Mental Health


Meet your Mental Health Ambassadors
Mental Health Ambassadors have been a new and very welcomed addition to the Helping Hands team this year. These children are passionate about supporting the children of Red Oaks with their mental health. They are advocates of ensuring stigma that is attached to Mental Health is reduced and children learn many ways to take care of themselves. They have been a huge part of the actions taken on this year’s Children’ School Development Plan (CSDP). Take a look at the Helping Hands and CSDP to see what they have been doing.
Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team Red Oaks Primary School Well-Being Team

Local services for Children and Young People
The School
Please talk to us about your concerns, so that we can work together to help your child feel better. You can either talk to your child’s class teacher or click here to send Mrs Taylor a message.

Your GP
A GP can check any physical symptoms linked to your child’s health and talk with you about their emotional well-being and make a referral to a specialist service if necessary

The School Nurse
Parents and carers can contact the Swindon School Nursing Service for advice and support on a range of health issues

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
A free NHS service that assesses and treats 0-18 year olds with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties

Kooth
Children and young people aged 11 and over are also able to access support themselves from Swindon Kooth. This provides links to advice as well as online counselling

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.     Red Oaks Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Policy

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.

Websites that offer information and advice
The following organisations provide reliable information and advice to help parents/carers to support heir child when experiencing emotional difficulties.

General
NSPCC: Mental Health - Childline campaign "We all Feel It", which support young people, particularly males, struggling to reach out for mental health support.
Kids Helpline - Australian website with many useful resources to support a wide variety of issues
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
Young Minds - Help for Parents Information about all aspects of child mental health, including a Parent Helpline 0800 802 5544 (9.30am – 4pm, Monday – Friday)
You’re Never too Young to Talk Mental Health - Leaflet for parent/carers of primary aged children
Talking Mental Health with Young People at Secondary School - Advice for parents and carers of primary aged young people
Self-Care - Top Tips for Young Parents and Carers Advice for taking care of your own and child’s wellbeing
Childline - Lots of information and tips for children of all ages about feelings and difficult situations
Minded for Families - Free learning resource about mental health for parents and carers including Parenting in a Digital World
Happy Maps - Lots of information about health topics including mental health, organised under different age groups i.e under 5s primary age, secondary age, young adults. Includes information about parenting children with ADHD, autism, school anxiety, problems with food, self esteem and many more
Charlie Waller Trust - Leaflets on a range of topics to support your family's mental health
Shout - 24/7 text messaging help service for parents. Text SHOUT to 85258 for free, anonymous and confidential support. Open to anyone in the UK and won't show on a phone bill.
Child in Mind - Expert led podcasts to help parents understand and manage child and family mental health problems

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

KS2 -3 Transition
Room 627 - Room 627 is a website project for children and families around transition from Y6 to Y7.

If you have a pastoral concern about your child and wish to contact Mrs Taylor, in confidence, please use the form below


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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