Our Ways to Wellbeing
At Westgate, we prioritise our pupil’s wellbeing with high importance. We understand that wellbeing is fundamental to the overall health of an individual, enabling them to successfully overcome difficulties and achieve.
Our School Values: respect, independence, collaboration, kindness, equality, excellence and resilience are embedded throughout our whole school curriculum and underpin key skills that all children need to be well equipped with in order to develop positive mental health and wellbeing.
Opportunities to Talk
Our pupils know that all staff within our school are trusted adults they can speak with. Pupils are given opportunities throughout the day to talk with a member of staff if needed. They also have regular whole class discussions, where a safe and welcoming environment has been created through the use of our school values and our PSHCE curriculum. This allows children to openly discuss any feelings, worries or concerns that they are experiencing.
As well as having trusted adults in the school, we also have a group of student Wellbeing Ambassadors from Year 6. Our Wellbeing Ambassadors look out for all children in the school; they support other children to talk about their mental health and wellbeing and share their feelings in our open environment.
We run Place2Talk sessions across lunch times where pupils book appointments with a Place2Be counsellor to talk about their problems and worries. Pupils come to Place2Talk for lots of different reasons and are encouraged to share how they are feeling and to talk through any concerns or problems they may be facing.
You can find out more about how Place2Be support schools with improving children's mental health here:
Worry monsters are present in every class. The pupils are able to write down any worries they have and place it in the worry monster. Teachers then check these daily and, if appropriate, address any worries as a whole class or with the pupil individually. If the worry raises a safeguarding concern, then the school’s safeguarding procedure is adhered to.
Zones of Regulation
Pupils use the Zones of Regulation to understanding and regulate their emotions and feelings. The pupils learn that certain feelings are categorized into colours and learn strategies for how to identify and manage these zones. For example, if a child is feeling worried they know they can speak to a trusted adult or write their worry for the worry monster.
Calm Down Areas
All classrooms have an identified area where pupils can go to if they need to calm down. There are also calm down areas on our playgrounds. Pupils also have access to a range of resources in their classrooms that allow them to take time out and manage their feelings appropriately if needed.
Working Closely with Parents/Carers
We work closely with parents/carers in order to gain a clear understanding of our pupils needs and how we can provide for and support those needs in school. We also provide support for parents/carers and signpost for further support. We take pride in the strong relationships that we have with parents/carers in order to provide the highest quality support to our pupils both in school and at home.
We promote a 'peaceful playground' during playtimes and lunchtimes when the pupils are outside. To do this, we ensure there are a range of activities available for the pupils to engage and play with, e.g. building bricks with challenge cards, mindfulness colouring pages, cushions and blankets with baskets of books, puzzles and board games, as well as crosswords, word searches and code breaker challenges. There are also friendship benches and calm down areas for the pupils to use where they will find one of our Student Leaders to talk to and/or help them.
We include a range of literature that focuses on wellbeing, e.g., The Worrysaurus, The Day the Crayons Quit, The Heart and the Bottle and other high quality texts into our discussion time. These texts help children to identify different feelings within themselves and how to manage them.
Mental Health Lead
Mrs Chidgey is our school's own Mental Health Lead. Throughout the year, she supports staff, pupils, parents and our community by directing new initiatives that support and promote mental health and wellbeing.