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In response to government recommendations for enhancing mental health support in schools, Furness Primary School has established a comprehensive strategy that outlines the steps being taken to meet these guidelines effectively:

1. Implementing Core Educational Programs

  • Relationships and Health Education: As mandated from September 2020, our school has integrated robust Relationships Education and Health Education into our curriculum. This ensures pupils are taught the importance of mental wellbeing alongside physical health.
  • Mental Wellbeing Education: By the end of primary education, students at Furness Primary will understand a range of concepts related to mental health, such as the spectrum of emotions, the impact of social interactions and the internet on mental health, and effective strategies for self-care.

2. Establishing Leadership in Mental Health

  • Designated Senior Mental Health Lead: We have appointed a Senior Mental Health Lead (Luis do Nascimento) who collaborates with the Senior Leadership Team to create an inclusive school culture where mental health is prioritised, and emotional expression is supported.
  • Continuous Professional Development: Our staff regularly receives training to recognise early signs of mental health issues, understand their roles in responding to these concerns, and implement interventions effectively.

3. Identification and Support Systems

  • Monitoring and Intervention: Utilising school data, we identify pupils who may need mental health support based on their behavior, attendance, and academic performance. Vulnerable groups, such as children from disadvantaged backgrounds or those in foster care, receive particular attention.
  • Collaborative Approach: We work closely with parents, healthcare professionals, and social care to create a supportive network around students. This includes regular communication and collaborative planning to ensure each child’s needs are comprehensively addressed.

4. Curriculum Integration and Interventions

  • Jigsaw Curriculum for Life Skills: This curriculum is used to highlight factors that contribute to mental health issues and to teach social skills, helping pupils manage and express their emotions constructively.
  • Classroom and Behavioral Management: Strategies are tailored to foster an environment that supports positive interactions and learning experiences, helping students manage their behavior and engage socially.

5. Referral and External Support

  • Cooperation with Health Services: Serious cases are referred to specialists like CAMHS. Our school provides services with comprehensive behavioral records and student histories to facilitate targeted support.
  • Engagement in Local and National Health Initiatives: We actively participate in initiatives that promote mental health awareness and are in close contact with local health boards to stay updated on best practices and resources.

6. Community and Parental Involvement

  • Parent and Community Engagement: We hold sessions for parents to discuss mental health, provide education on signs of mental health issues, and involve them in the planning of interventions for their children.
  • Strategic Planning and Policy Development: At a governance level, we contribute to policies that enhance our mental health provisions and ensure staff and community members are aligned with these strategies.

Through these comprehensive steps, Furness Primary School is dedicated to fulfilling government recommendations on mental health education and support, ensuring that our students not only excel academically but are also supported in every aspect of their mental wellbeing.

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