Health and Wellbeing
TALKING THERAPIES - BARKING & DAGENHAM
Barking Junior Parkrun - Keeping children fit and healthy.
Barking Junior parkrun is a weekly, organised, free 2km run for children aged 4-14 held in Barking Park every Sunday morning next to the splash park. Click on the links to find out more about it and how to get involved. Children can run, jog or walk and adults can run alongside them if they wish.
0 - 5 HEALTH AND WELLBEING INFORMATION
HELLO YELLOW DAY
Thank you for all who participated in Hello Yellow Day, with your support we raised £246.10 for this charity! Money raised is helping ‘young minds’ showing they are not alone with their mental health. Together, we can create a brighter future for children and young people.
Mrs Hamer 😊 Nursery Teacher/DDSL
NSPCC Tips For Parents To Promote Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing
Maintaining a routine
A steady routine can help provide stability in a child’s life, which can give children and young people a sense of security and help reduce stress. Here are some tips you can suggest to parents and carers you work with:
- plan regular weekly activities, such as seeing friends and relatives or taking part in a club or hobby
- have regular mealtimes
- set and stick to bed times, particularly for younger children, as sleep is important for children’s mental and physical wellbeing (NHS, 2020)
- establish a night time routine for younger children, such as reading a story before bed
- work with older children to create a routine that works for them – including homework, seeing friends, extra-curricular activities and time offline.
Interacting with younger children
The early years of a child’s life can help lay the foundations of wellbeing for their future (Falcounbridge et al, 2019). Positive interactions with adults during this time can help improve child’s mental wellbeing throughout their lives.
If you work with parents and carers who have young children, encourage them to:
- have individual face-to-face activity with their child, such as talking, singing and playing
- follow the child’s lead: focus on what they choose, and support and encourage their curiosity
- maintain eye contact, as this helps build a strong relationship.
Advice for parents on the NSPCC website
The NSPCC website has a range of information to help parents and carers support their child's mental health.
Some parents and carers may feel unsure about how to talk to their child about feelings and emotions. Use these pointers to start a conversation with your child:
- choose an appropriate time when others aren’t around or where you won’t be interrupted
- actively listen to how your child feels
- be patient and let your child talk in their own time
- make it clear that you support their child.
This month's theme: Friendly February
We need each other more than ever right now! This month let's focus on reaching out to connect with others and doing our best to be a good friend. Our acts of kindness and connection ripple out and impact so many more people than we realise - and they also boost our own happy hormones too! In stressful times people around us may be feeling the strain, so let's try to keep calm, take time to listen and show compassion.
For many children the second half of the autumn term is exciting as it includes many festivities and family get-togethers. Other children can find the next few months really stressful, not least autistic children or children coping with trauma.
Beacon House Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team have a special interest in repairing the effects of trauma and attachment disruption. Amongst their many resources is one with ideas for coping with Christmas: 'The Christmas Storm: Surviving & Thriving At Christmas'. Please see the images above for information or click the following link: https://beaconhouse.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/The-Christmas-Storm.pdf (This document has also been emailed to all parents / carers.)
Parenting Smart (Place2Be)
The children's mental health charity, Place2Be, has launched a new website aimed at helping parents with typical situations they can find themselves in with their children.
Advice can be found on over forty topics including:
- Understanding sibling rivalry
- My child is lying, what does it mean, what should I do?
- My child has trouble going to sleep
- My child says ‘I hate you!’
- Cultural identity: who am I?
The Parenting Smart website can found here: https://parentingsmart.place2be.org.uk/
This month's theme: Do Good December
This month, we're encouraging you to carry out small acts of kindness. This has been another difficult year of uncertainty and ups and downs for many of us. Kindness is contagious, and helping others has been proven to make us feel better too! Let's try to focus on being generous with our time and attention rather than money - it's free and better for everyone, as well as our planet!
Let's take the time to pause, breathe and really take in what's all around us. This month we're encouraging you to take some time to look within. Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life - like the way we eat, the things we notice or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future - so we get more out of the day-to-day. It can also help us identify what we're grateful for, which has been proven to help boost your happiness levels!
NSPCC suggested books for children who are worried or anxious
1. Something Bad Happened: A Kid's Guide to Coping With Events in the News, By Dawn Huebner
When children learn about something big and bad - even when they hear only bits and pieces - their brains get busy trying to make sense of it. Where did it happen? Why did it happen? And especially, will it happen again? Something Bad Happened guides children ages 6 to 12 and the adults who care about them through tough conversations about national and international tragedies. The non-specific term "bad thing" is used throughout, keeping this a flexible tool, and so children are never inadvertently exposed to events their parents have chosen not to share. Fear, sadness and uncertainty about the "bad thing" all are normalized, and immediately usable coping tools provided. For children and parents to read together, this one-of-a-kind resource by child psychologist and best-selling author Dawn Huebner provides comfort, support and next steps for children learning about troubling world events.
2. Starving the Anxiety Gremlin: a cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on anxiety management for children aged 5-9, By Kate Collins-Donnelly
Workbook for parents and practitioners to use with children aged 5 to 9. Based on cognitive behavioural principles, it uses activities to teach children how to manage their anxiety by changing how they think and act. Includes: stories, puzzles, quizzes, drawing and writing games.
3. Super coach Arty vs. the shadow: taking the fear out of failure, By Lorraine Thomas:
Presents a creative way for children to help them to manage their own worries. Includes practical guidance for parents and teachers on how to use the book and specific coaching activities. Aimed at children aged 8-12 years.
4. The Panicosaurus: managing anxiety in children including those with Asperger syndrome, By K.I. Al-Ghani
Illustrated storybook for younger children, including children with Asperger's syndrome. Uses simple storylines and the character of the Panicosaurus to explain how the brain works to produce anxiety. Shows children how they can manage and take control of their own level of anxiety.
5. What To Do When You Worry Too Much: a kid's guide to overcoming anxiety by Dawn Huebner and Bonnie Matthews
Self-help book to guide 6 - 12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive behavioural techniques most often used in the treatment of generalised anxiety. Uses metaphors and humorous illustrations to explain difficult concepts. Includes drawing and writing exercises to help children to master new skills related to reducing anxiety. Provides an introduction for parents and caregivers. Looks at what a worry is, how a worry gets started, making worries go away; spending less time on worries; talking back to worries, re-setting your system and keeping worries away.
6. Difficult Days for Dinosaur Douglas, by Heather Maisner and Alex Godwin,
Picture book featuring Dinosaur Douglas and friends, who experience stress in everyday situations and learn to deal with them. Concerns child brain development and in the impact of stress. Written in consultation with Alberta Family Wellness Initiative, NSPCC, and FrameWorks.
7. Monkey Mind and The Mountain: mindfulness for 8-80 year olds (and older). By Cheryl Rezek
Introduction to mindfulness for children including practical relaxation activities aimed at reducing stress and anxiety. Discusses why difficult feelings are experienced, the reasons for and situations when these occur and how best to respond to them. For children over 8-years-old. Can be used by parents and carers with younger children.
Wellbeing at Leys Primary School
At Leys Primary School, we take mental health very seriously - as seriously as physical health. Every class regularly engages in a wide range of activities that develop competencies and strategies for strong mental health through both the PSHE, and PE subject curriculum, as well as developing sensibility and empathy through our school Buddy, and Wellbeing Champions systems.
Wider school experiences, such as school trips and sporting fixtures, along with a multitude of creative opportunities such as assembly performances, class presentations, and participation in borough and national competitions, galas and festivals for poetry, writing, and singing, develop our pupils' confidence, awareness of self and empathy for others; all of which contribute to a clear awareness of their own and others' wellbeing.
As a school we are proud of our achievements in evidencing our commitment to this area of personal development through our work to achieving the accreditation of: Wellbeing Award For Schools which we secured in July,2019 (please see the accreditation logo above). Our commitment to continuing excellence in this area is unwavering.
Details of requirements of the Wellbeing Award for Schools
Promoting positive well-being and mental health for the whole school community
At Leys Primary School, we are excited to be working towards the Wellbeing Award for Schools, administered by Award Place, in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau.
We have signed up to this award to further develop our work to promote positive wellbeing and mental health for the whole school community and gain accreditation for the work we have already done. It also ties in with our school motto of Resilience to Achieve – Aspiration to Succeed, as we firmly believe that both a healthy mind and body are prerequisite to achieving the best versions of ourselves.
About the award
There are eight objectives to achieve within the Wellbeing Award Framework, containing several Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set out within each. The award focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision is in place that promotes the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and pupils. Many of these are already in place. The award will enable us to develop these practices where necessary and help us to ensure that wellbeing is rooted in the long-term culture of our school. It will help us to create an ethos where, like safeguarding, mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.
With this award, we will demonstrate our commitment to:
- Promoting mental health as part of every day school life
- Improving the emotional wellbeing of our staff and pupils
- Ensuring mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided
- Offering provision and interventions that matches the needs of our pupils and staff
- Promoting the importance of mental health awareness
- Capturing the views of parents, pupils and teachers on mental health issues
There have been a number of ways in which you have contributed to helping us work towards this award:
- taking part in the well-being homework activity set over the last Christmas holiday
- by attending our popular coffee mornings
- workshops, which are sometimes run in conjunction with the Adult College.
- by participating in the parent and carer surveys - the results of which can be seen below:
Our Links to external agencies
for further information and advice: