Mental Health & Wellbeing
At St James’s, we work collaboratively with our families to support our pupils’ emotional wellbeing and mental health. We support children to build positive, respectful and trusting relationships with children and adults, rooted in Gospel values. All children are encouraged to discuss their feelings using the Zones of Regulation and all classrooms have worry boxes, which are checked daily by teachers. We support families by providing workshops, interventions and resources.
All staff support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of our children. We have a dedicated team who promote and monitor the children’s wellbeing. The team includes three qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants.
Emotional wellbeing is embedded through:
PSHE: (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum
RSE: (Relationships and Sex Education) curriculum
Science: healthy lifestyle, eating and exercise
Wellbeing enrichment days
The Zones of Regulation
This is a whole school approach. We use the language and framework of the Zones of Regulation to support children in developing an understanding of their feelings and emotions. We recognise that, at times, these emotions can feel overwhelming for a child. The Zones of Regulation framework and curriculum teaches children the skills to develop a metacognitive pathway to build awareness of their feelings and internal state and utilise a variety of tools and strategies for self-regulation and emotional wellbeing. The framework supports neurodiverse and neurotypical learners.
For children who need support over and above the curriculum, we offer a variety of additional programmes.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA)
ELSA is an educational psychology led intervention for promoting the emotional wellbeing of children. ELSAs have received specific, additional training from educational psychologists from whom they receive ongoing supervision. Their role is to support children in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them. Teachers are able to refer children to the ELSAs.
Year 6 Transition Group
We understand that transition from Year 6 to Year 7 can be a challenging time for many pupils. We offer a year-long programme in Year 6 to support this.
This programme is advocated by The Catholic Children’s Society to ‘guide children through life’s storms’. Our ELSAs have been trained to deliver the Rainbows programme to children who have experienced a significant loss in their lives. This may be due to the death of a loved one, family breakdown or another significant loss.The programme helps children cope and feel less alone.
We also work with other professionals who support children with more specialist interventions. Currently, these include: The Purple Elephant Project; Draw It Out art therapy; Plays2talk play therapy.
We are able to recommend other services to support children and their families.