A survey by Parentkind asked parents and carers to prioritise three things schools should focus on in autumn — mental wellbeing came top of the list with 70% of parents and carers prioritising this — above curriculum learning with 57%.
In addition, a recent report by Barnardos — Time for a Clean Slate: Children’s Mental Health at the Heart of Education identified the importance of putting wellbeing at the heart of the learning environment.
However, as stated earlier, it is important not to assume that all pupils have found recent events traumatic or negative– pupils will have had different experiences of the pandemic’s impact and may have developed new skills and coping strategies.
Recognizing and Responding to Anxiety
The children have now fully returned to school and initial signs of the pupils’ wellbeing are very good indeed. However, we are still mindful of the fact that being around others may be daunting after the experience of lockdown. Some, whether adult, teenager or child, may have spent extended periods shielding, isolating from their friends and family. Even those who outwardly appear ‘fine’ may still have underlying fears about safety. Anxiety is not always easy to spot and can be masked by other emotions and behaviours and we may not recognise the fears that sit beneath.
Our PSHE strategy led by Mrs Davies is one component of our school-wide strategy to address mental health. As part of this, Mrs Davies has provided the following resource on some common things to look out for …
Pupil Wellbeing Survey
As part of our commitment to our children’s wellbeing, we have designed a short survey to help us to gauge our pupils’ current mental health status. The survey is designed from the children’s point of view, but please do feel free to help them to complete.