At Waverley we believe that positive mental health is a key component in keeping children safe, happy, healthy and learning to the best of their ability. We therefore have a range of well-being resources, activities and support that are available to pupils at all times.
We have two fully trained Mental Health Awareness First-Aiders who are on site all day throughout the school term. These are Mrs Philly Hatton-Evans (Year 5 teacher) and Mrs Jane Mayes (Year 4 teacher) who are both fully trained and undertake regular top-up sessions. They are there to listen and encourage children to talk and explain how they feel, whenever they feel the need to talk. Both then try and help the children express their feelings and concerns and, where necessary, discuss coping strategies. It may be just a quick chat, or regular catch-up sessions can be scheduled.
To encourage communication by whatever means pupils feel comfortable, we also have a ‘Time to Talk’ post-box where they can post a note if they would like to talk or have a concern. Our ‘Time to Talk’ box is a great alternative for children who don’t feel comfortable enough to raise their concern directly face to face as a first step.
With the younger generations becoming much more aware of global issues than previous generations, we hold regular assemblies where we remind children who they can talk to and we also spend time in both assemblies and the classroom, discussing global events in a way that children can understand.
We encourage all of our pupils to look after each other, an area that was positively commented on in our recent ISI inspection. The Inspectors found that ‘Pupils contribute strongly to the well-being of those around them.’ Waverley encourages a strong community support network and this was explained to the inspectors when they chatted to pupils. The ISI report pointed out that ‘The oldest pupils explained to the inspectors how important it was for them to look after younger ones, to set a good example and develop their confidence.’
We also have a ‘Playground Buddy’ system, whereby one pupil from each year group is allocated the role of ‘Playground Buddy’ each week during lunch and break times. These children are responsible for ensuring that all their fellow pupils are happy and have someone to play with. They also have to keep an eye on the ‘friendship benches’ which is where a pupil sits if they are feeling lonely. The ‘Playground Buddy’ then has the responsibility of ensuring that the lonely child has someone to play with.
‘At Waverley, our strong sense of family and community helps support our pupils and staff, to ensure that we are all well, both mentally and physically, to be able to cope with what has been a very challenging couple of years.’