Hanbury Helps NSPCC Spread Mental Health Message


February 2023

10th February 2023

The NSPCC has recognised Hanbury C of E First School’s efforts to support pupil’s mental health by featuring them in a new online learning course.

Mental Health Lead and Year 2 teacher, Vicky Bishop and Headteacher, Aaron McDonagh feature alongside other experts from schools across the country in the charity’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Safeguarding in Education” training programme.

The course highlights the role of school staff in identifying and reporting any concerns relating to pupils’ mental health and the impact negative experiences have on the mental health of children of all ages.

It also stresses the importance of empowering students to monitor their own mental health and toteach them how to ask for help if they need it.

“We make sure our pupils know that mental health is as important as physical health and teach them how they can recognise emotions that might be affecting them,” said Miss Bishop.

We work hard to help them understand that ’big feelings’ are quite normal but that there are ways we can help ourselves to manage them.

The school has made improvements to its environment, which now includes areas where children can use to reflect and recover if they feel like they need to. Every class has enjoyed a host of activities as part of Children’s Mental Health Week, learning about healthy connections that can make life a little bit better.

“Sitting on the comfy settee with a book in our library, or curling up in the pod in our cosy corner might be all that’s needed if someone is feeling overwhelmed or upset.

“However, we also use PSHE lessons to share ways we might deal with difficult situations and to make sure our children know that asking for help to deal with their problems is a great way to ease their troubles,” she added.

A camera crew visited the school last year ahead of the course being launched in December. They filmed one of Miss Bishop’s lessons before interviewing her and Mr McDonagh about how such an important aspect of safeguarding is integrated into the school day at Hanbury:

“We are incredibly proud to be able to help other schools find ways to include such an important issueas Mental Health in an already busy timetable,” Miss Bishop commented.

“We hope that by highlighting and supporting the subject at an early age will mean that children will have the tools to ask for help and to deal with the tricky times that might arise later in life.

The NSPCC say: ” It can be hard for adults to recognise when a child needs support with mental health issues. And it can be difficult for young people to speak out about the challenges they're facing.

“So it's crucial that anyone who works or volunteers with children is able to recognise the signs that a child may be struggling with their mental health. And that they know how to take appropriate action to support children and young people in getting the help they need.”

The NSPCC’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Safeguarding in Education course is designed for all school staff and is now available to purchase from the NSPCC Learning website.  Click here to visit the site.