At Lime Tree, we know that everyone experiences life challenges that make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that mental health and wellbeing is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play in ensuring a positive culture for our whole school community where this can be shared and supported.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “In order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”.
At Lime Tree we understand that mental health and wellbeing can have an impact on academic performance, and so we strive to put in place and go above and beyond to support our children and their families.
Curriculum – Quality First Teaching
Lime Tree’s invisible curriculum, which encompasses mental health and wellbeing is our ‘Time To Be’ Curriculum.
This supports children in developing the knowledge and skills to enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships.
Children will learn to understand their thoughts, emotions and how they are able to relate to the world in different ways.
Key components run through each year group and phase. We want these practices to be part and parcel of our children’s lives and something that they can take and use beyond the classroom to support them in the real world. We want children to understand that these practices have value and impact in looking after our own mental health and wellbeing.
Once children have been taught different strategies, they will continue to be built upon throughout future years and phases, used as part of the scheduled day with little additional input or teaching.
The key is that the children will start to use what they have been taught independently as a way of dealing with their own emotions.
- Mindfulness and meditation (e.g. zen zones, breathing, visualisation, calm, quiet time, thinking time)
- Movement and bodywork (e.g. yoga, stretching)
- Journaling (e.g. making notes on feelings, doodling ideas, responding to situations by writing, mark making or drawing, using creative expression)
- Growth mindset and resilience (e.g. responding to ‘failure’ as a learning opportunity, bouncing back)
- Managing negative thoughts (e.g. coping with worries, what to do when we are upset, strategies to calm down, zones of regulation)
We also use areas within our school grounds to maximise the space for teaching mindfulness and wellbeing. Zen zone tee-pees are used for quiet time and reflection for every pavilion, and all pavilions have areas for reflection and resource shelves to support emotional wellbeing.
Year 5 currently even have their movement and stretching space at the back of their classroom!
Additional Wellbeing Provision
We aim to make our school a place for children and young people to experience a nurturing and supportive environment that has the potential to develop self-esteem and give positive experiences for overcoming adversity and building resilience.
We seek to implement positive ways of talking about and removing the stigma around mental health, such as using our ‘No Outsiders’ programme to reinforce and celebrate values of tolerance, difference and diversity.
There has been considerable impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children from the additional provision we offer, above and beyond everyday classroom practice, which includes but is not limited to:
- Emotional Literacy Support Assistants
- Commando Joe’s
- Smaller group work e.g. 10-10-10 group splits
- Forest Schools
- Therapeutic Forest Intervention
- Earth Adventurers
- Introduction of Year 6 Wellbeing Ambassadors
Our pastoral and wellbeing teams also work closely with children and their families to offer personalised, targeted support, signposting to appropriate external agencies.
Our Wellbeing Team have also been very busy collating an incredible resource for our whole school community, a PADLET page with a vast array of links and resources for any children who may have additional needs.
It has links for videos and visuals about COVID-19 and also collates all information about local services within Trafford and Greater Manchester. Please visit the link to the PADLET here: https://padlet.com/sarahwindram/u1b4c5qenstn29kj
If you need any support with your own or your child’s mental health and wellbeing then please know we are always here to help.
Please contact the school office or a member of the wellbeing team.
Wellbeing Team @Lime Tree
Please follow our Wellbeing Team Twitter page @SenLtpa where we post what is going on within school, lots of advice, tips, guidance and support for parents and children.
Help at home for parents and carers
You could have a go at using The Zones of Regulation if you need to, to support any emotion coaching children at home. This is a reflection of what we use in school.
The Zones framework provides strategies to teach children to become more aware of and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, manage their sensory needs, and improve their ability to problem solve conflicts. Emotions are categorised into 4 zones;
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be hysterical, elated or experiencing extreme emotions such as anger, rage, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions, however one has more control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings such as when one feels sad, tired or bored.
Emotions…we all have them. Everything we do and everything we learn is shaped in some way by the way we feel. Feelings are a natural part of who we are. But how do children and young people learn about emotions? How do they learn to understand their sadness or joy? What is appropriate behaviour when these feelings are strong? What can a parent do when a child or young person explodes in anger or hides in fear? Parents and teachers spend lots of time teaching children and young people important things such as reading or tying shoes. Taking time to help children learn to understand their feelings is important too.
Research shows that children and young people who understand their feelings and learn about their emotions have these advantages:
They form stronger friendships with other peers.
They calm themselves down more quickly when they get upset.
They do better in school.
They become empowered to problem-solve.
They become more resilient when things go wrong.
To learn more please take a look at The Four Steps of Emotion Coaching.
Signposts to external agencies and links to support children’s mental health and wellbeing at home
Action for Children:
Emotional Wellbeing Class Clips:
NHS Every Mind Matters:
Childline Resources to Support Emotions:
Understanding Emotions in the Early Years:
Resources for Mental Health and Wellbeing:
The Anxious Child: a book for parents
Lime Tree are currently working towards gaining ‘The Wellbeing Award’, a special award which recognises everything we do around mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community. At Lime Tree it is our ethos to constantly evaluate our provision and support for mental health and wellbeing, and ensure that the whole school community is involved in contributing to our vision and strategy.
Thank you for your submitted contributions through email, messaging, surveys, and verbal conversations.
If you have any further comments or would like to get in touch with ideas, then please send an email to the School Office – firstname.lastname@example.org