At Great Hockham Primary and Nursery School we are very aware of the daily demands placed on our pupils and their families, therefore we are committed to the well- being of all our pupils.
There is a lot in the news about mental illness but if we can encourage our pupils to become resilient, have high self esteem, to be able to share how they feel and to be open-minded, we can help to keep our pupils mentally well.
Last year, with the support of Nadine Avenal and the Compass Network Group, we introduced our Nurture Nest. This is a quiet, calm and safe space for the children to talk, to reflect and to explore their feelings through art, stories, games and play.
Two members of staff, Leanne Shiplee (Teaching Assistant) and Anna Dobbin (Teacher) completed Mental Health Champions training through the LINK team and lead the Nurture work within school.
As well as our Nurture Nest we also introduced small but simple measures to support children across the whole school.
Every class has a Worry Box, and the school library has a Time to Talk box, where the children can write their name and the name of the adult they would like to talk and place it in the box discretely.
Every child completes a ‘helping hand’, choosing 5 safe people they can turn to at school. Reception children all have Year Six buddies.
We have sensory circuits to help prepare the children for the school day, and finally we have a daily message board where children, parents and staff are invited to write down responses to a daily theme. For example, Monday Moods – how do you feel today? Thoughtful Tuesday – How have you’ve been kind today? Weather Wednesday – what do you see when you look at the clouds?
We launched our school year with a whole school activities week, encouraging children to become Super Squirrels, Respectful Rabbits, Determined Deer, Open minded Owls and High expectation Hedgehogs. Dedicating a week to developing children’s mental wellbeing, growth mindset and a positive approach to learning has given them the best start to the year ahead.