St Francis Church of England Aided Primary School and Nursery

Living our High Five Values as we learn and grow together in our Christian School.

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Mental Health and Well-being

Building your child's resilience during COVID 19

What is Know Your Normal?

 

In 2017 the Youth Council and myVoice volunteers unanimously decided that they wanted to run a campaign around mental health.

The Know Your Normal campaign aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and create resources for autistic young people to work out and understand what their normal is.

Know your normal

As young people with autism we are reclaiming the word 'normal' for World Autism Awareness Month. We want to remind people that everyone's normal is different and that those quirks that everyone has are what makes them who they are. And that is the same for people with autism.

Keys to Happiness posters for children

Actions for happiness and positivity

Actions for happiness and positivity 1

The Five Ways to Wellbeing (and Coronavirus)

Some Top Tips from 2 of Loudmouth's Actor / Facilitators on how to use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing during the Coronavirus lockdown. Ellie and Will are Senior Actor / Facilitators and tour schools with Loudmouth's Mental Wellbeing programme Talking Heads. For more information visit www.loudmouth.co.uk

Mentally Healthy Schools - links, activities, exercises and helplines all linked to mental health for children and adults

Look at the Wild Flowers - Video Reflection

Collective Worship - reflection to help address anxiety, focussing on wild flowers.

Key points from Public Health England on helping to maintain children's Mental Health.

 

➢ Listen and acknowledge. Look out for any changes in their behaviour. Children may feel less anxious if they are able to express and communicate their feelings. Listen to them, acknowledge their concerns, and give them extra love and attention if they need it.

 

➢ Provide clear information about the situation: All children and young people want to feel that their parents and caregivers can keep them safe. Provide honest answers to any questions they have. Explain what is being done to keep them and their loved ones safe, such as washing their hands regularly.

 

➢ Be aware of your own reactions: It is important to manage your own emotions and remain calm, listen to and acknowledge children and young people’s concerns, speak kindly to them, and answer any questions they have honestly.

 

➢ Connect regularly: Make sure you still have regular and frequent contact via the phone or video calls with them if you live away.

 

➢ Create a new routine: Make a plan for the day or week that includes time for learning, playing and relaxing; be active for 60 minutes a day; keep to bedtimes etc.

 

➢ Limit exposure to media and talk about what they have seen and heard: Try to avoid turning the television off or closing web pages when children come into the room. This can pique their interest to find out what is going on – and their imagination can take over. Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate manner, avoiding too much detail.

 

The guidance also outlines how children of different ages may respond for example: 3 to 6-year olds may return to behaviours they have outgrown: toileting accidents, bed-wetting etc

Contact details for Pause (mental health support and counselling)

Contact details for Pause (mental health support and counselling) 1

How to support children suffering from anxiety

Establishing routines at home - checklist to share together

Lockdown Diary

This has been recommended by one of our parents who says:

'It was designed by  a New Zealand artist called Stephen McCarthy who has created this free 28 diary for children.  It's a 28-day diary with a challenge/activity for each day.  Whilst I think it might be more suited to some of the older children at St Francis there are definitely activities pages that everyone could use, so pupils/families could be encouraged to use the whole thing or use the pages they are most interested in and print / recreate these pages as many times as they like.'

 

McCarthy created it with a mix of "prompts" and a careful use of blank space.  In his blog he says:

"I didn't want it to be too constrictive so there are lots of blank spaces for children to record their experiences which are different to those of us oldies," he said.

"Children sometimes find it hard to talk about what they're feeling and drawing is a way of accessing that. Get the crayons out, do something tangible and away from digital distractions."

For those who did not have access to a printer at home, McCarthy suggests looking at the diary online and use it as a template on "whatever is available" to encourage children to make their own creation.

"At the end of the lockdown, they can staple it together and keep it as a reminder of their experiences. I like the idea of children finding it in years to come and having a positive reminder of their time in isolation."

It can be downloaded from www.mylockdowndiary.com

Jigsaw

We use Jigsaw materials to deliver PSHE in our school.  Jan Lever, the creator of the scheme has made some materials free at this time. She writes:

In our efforts to support families, schools, teachers and of course…children… at this difficult time, we are giving away Jigsaw Families stories and Calm Me time(relaxation and mindfulness practice) audios…on the JIgsaw home page of www.jigsawpshe.com  These are accompanied by learning activities and are free foranyone, not just people associated with schools using Jigsaw PSHE materials.

 

We are starting the Jigsaw Big Sing by giving away the Jigsaw song, ‘Together as One’, (seems apt at this time), along with suggested learning activities etc, and then inviting people to upload themselves singing Together as One…and at 3pm on April 14th the collage of videos will go LIVE (same link) so children (and grown-ups) can watch and see if their video made it to the final cut.

https://www.jigsawpshe.com/jigsaw-big-sing/ 

 

 

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness 1
Useful links

Separation anxiety: How lockdown has affected bereaved children and young people (Information from Winston's Wish)

 

Has your child become more clingy and anxious since going into lockdown? Or are you worried about your child’s separation anxiety resurfacing once they start returning to school and ‘normal life’?

During lockdown, parents have been telling us that their children are either more anxious and want to know where their parent is at all times in case something happens to them, or their separation anxiety has calmed because they are around their parent all the time.

Both of these responses are perfectly natural. For children who have experienced the death of a loved one, worrying about what might happen to the rest of their family is very real. Coming out of lockdown is largely unknown to us all, however, on the Winston's Wish website our team suggest a few things you can do to help your child.

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