WELLBEING AT ABOYNE LODGE
At Aboyne Lodge Primary School, we are committed to supporting the positive mental health and wellbeing of our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers). We recognise that our mental health and emotional wellbeing is just as important to our lives as our physical health. We know that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. At Aboyne Lodge we are committed to removing barriers to learning and work hard to equip children with strategies to manage in times of change, difficulty and stress. We will continue to address and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health difficulties and empower children, staff and parents to reach out and access help when they need it most. We continue to promote positive mental health and wellbeing as an integral part of everything we do. We are all too aware of the devastating impact the Covid Pandemic has had on the mental health and wellbeing of many – we are ensuring extra attention is put into identifying and supporting wellbeing during this incredibly difficult time.
We currently offer the following provisions to support well-being:
Mental health Lead
The school has a designated mental health lead and a deputy mental health lead. (Mrs R Clinton and Mrs M Thomas) They are responsible for ensuring staff are equipped with the skills to support and manage pupils with mental health needs in their learning. Where appropriate, sharing information about pupils who are experiencing any mental health issues with those who work with them in school so that they can be supported in the school environment.
Coffee and Chat sessions
At Aboyne Lodge school regular parent coffee and chat sessions are organised and hosted by the mental health lead. These are sessions where parents can share their parenting worries in a non-judgemental supportive environment. During these sessions many issues linked to SEN, mental health and well-being are discussed and outside professionals are often invited to share information and answer questions.
Drawing and talking therapy
We have two members of staff who are trained drawing and talking practitioners. They are able to deliver individual or group sessions. (See attached drawing and talking leaflet for more information)
Regular Mental Health Updates
The mental health lead sends out regular mental health updates to the parents with up to date information on courses, events and articles. They are also filled with advice and strategies to support parents and pupils.
Education and Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP)
At Aboyne Lodge we have an EMHP–Carolyn Mckay. Her work is predominantly about preventing mild mental health concerns from escalating further. (See attached EMHP leaflet for more information)
St. Albans Plus and DSPL7
At Aboyne Lodge we have contact with networks of professionals through St. Albans Plus and DSPL7. Through these networks we can access advice and support for pupils, parents and staff. For more information on these networks and the support available please use the following links.
Mentoring and counselling
At Aboyne Lodge children can access counselling or mentoring if needed through the Vista network. The aim of the counselling service is to provide early therapeutic interventions for children and young people who are experiencing difficulties which prevent them from engaging in their education. Mentoring offers a ‘listening ear’ and is considered to be an early intervention service. Mentors will explore a variety of issues with the mentee such as low self-esteem, family breakdown, bullying, anxiety, anger and behaviour.
Family Support Worker
At Aboyne Lodge we work closely with a Family Support Worker, Jackie Green, who is able to support parents however large or small the problem. This may be through a short phone call where she can offer tips and advice or she may sign post parents to relevant courses or workshops. She can also guide and support families to specialist services when needed.
Jigsaw PSHE curriculum
At Aboyne Lodge we use the Jigsaw PSHE curriculum. Jigsaw offers a comprehensive Programme for Primary PSHE including statutory Relationships and Health Education, in a spiral, progressive and fully planned scheme of work, giving children relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others.
With strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health, Jigsaw equips schools to deliver engaging and relevant PSHE within a whole-school approach. Jigsaw lessons also include mindfulness allowing children to advance their emotional awareness, concentration and focus.
Zones of Regulation
At Aboyne Lodge the children learn about the Zones of Regulation. This is a curriculum which is geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Using a cognitive behaviour approach, the curriculum's learning activities are designed to help students recognise when they are in different states called "zones," with each of four zones represented by a different colour. In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students' understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: how to read others' facial expressions and recognise a broader range of emotions, perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour, insight into events that trigger their less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills.
Our Nurture sessions support children to meet the social and intellectual demands of school life, improving their self-confidence and self-esteem, supporting them to improve their learning behaviours and removing barriers to their learning; we do this through a carefully planned curriculum.
Positive Minds Intervention
Positive Minds; is a 10 week wellbeing programme delivered, by Watford FC Wellbeing, within the school setting to Year 6 students. The programme aims to improve children’s knowledge and understanding around mental health, as well as provide tools to help them be prepared for future change, particularly transitioning to secondary school. (See attached positive mind parent’s guide)
Ayla - Our School Dog
Ayla is our lovely school dog. She belongs to Mrs Clinton, our SENCO. Ayla has been part of the Aboyne Lodge family since she was a puppy, joining us in 2018. Ayla is a Cavapoo which is a breed that is known for being affectionate, easy to train, intelligent and enjoys spending time in the company of children. As a breed they shed very little hair so have little impact on those with allergies.
Ayla is often in school to greet children in the morning, play with them at break times, comfort them when they feel upset or anxious and take them on therapeutic talking walks. She listens to reluctant readers and supports those children with low self-esteem. Ayla has made a significant impact on the wellbeing of children, parents, staff and visitors and we can’t imagine school without her!
Supporting Children at Home
Please find below ways you can access support at home.