SEMH (Social, Emotional, Mental Health)
SEMH; Social, Emotional and Mental Health.
At Kippax Ash Tree Primary, we promote an inclusive, restorative environment in which each individual is valued and respected. We have an ethos of setting high expectations of attainment for all pupils with consistently applied support, tailored to each individual child where needed. We recognise that all children and young people need a solid foundation of positive mental health to benefit fully from all of the opportunities that are available to them. We want our children to be resilient and mentally healthy, so that they can succeed.
At times, anyone may need additional support to maintain or develop good mental health. The mental health of children and young people, adults in schools, parents and carers and the wider whole school community will impact on all areas of a child's development, learning, achievement and experiences. As a staff team, we understand and recognise the risk factors and indicators that may signify that a child needs additional support with their SEMH needs and we respond accordingly.
During their time at Ash Tree, some children may experience short but significant periods of high anxiety, stress, distress or anger that affect their education, whilst some children may have a range of longer-term recognised mental health conditions. Through high quality whole-class teaching, we provide our children with inner resources that they can draw on as a buffer when negative or stressful things happen, which helps them to thrive even in the face of significant challenges.
Mental Health Aware
Mrs Bellas and Miss Smithies have now completed their Youth Mental Health First Aider Course and can now support Ash Tree to raise awareness, define mental and emotional well being, recognise signs of mental health distress and support our children to practice self-care. Their vision for Ash Tree and Mental Health is to normalise societies attitudes and behaviours around mental health, by supporting Ash Tree to develop the skills both staff and children need to look after their own and other’s well being.
Emotional Well-being Check In
At Ash Tree, we use the 'The Mood Meter' to build emotional intelligence. The aim is that children will develop the skills to monitor their emotions and learn what causes their mood to change. Our staff are amazing at building relationships with our children, but this adds an extra layer to our PSHE curriculum. Adults check-in on a daily basis with their children, building their emotional vocabulary as well as learning effective strategies to help them regulate their feelings.
The aim is for talking about 'feelings' to become part of our everyday language at school, helping to normalise it and giving children to confidence to speak out about how they are feeling whilst building those strong relationships.
Where a child needs targeted SEMH intervention for a mental health problem, we work with others to provide interventions that use a graduated approach to inform a clear cycle of support. Assessment is used to establish a clear analysis of the child’s needs, a plan is set out as to how the child will be supported, the action needed to provide that support will be planned and regular reviews will be held to assess the effectiveness of the provision, leading to changes where necessary. We offer specific interventions led by specialists such as Pastoral Support, Family Outreach Workers and Play therapists and through close work with Outer Agencies such as GPs, Educational Psychologists and CAMHS. We respond reactively to meet all children's SEMH needs.
On this page you will find:
- details of our proactive mental health teaching (MindMate)
- support and guidance for parents, with useful links
Why is teaching about mental health so important?
Teaching SEMH skills has the potential to improve academic outcomes, keep children safe and improve the mental well-being of pupils and future generations. There is an increasing focus on the roles of schools in meeting the SEMH health needs of their pupils, and this is something of upmost importance to us at Kippax Ash Tree.
All staff at Ash Tree are trained on the MindMate 'Scheme of Work'. MindMate is a brand new, exciting and modern social, emotional and mental health curriculum for Key Stages 1-4. The MindMate lessons have been written by a range of teachers, mental health professionals and consultants in partnership with other services and groups. They are designed to fit into our PSHE curriculum in a modern, engaging and evidence based manner.
Age appropriate content includes both broad upstream topics such as healthy relationships, and more mental health specific topics such as low mood and depression. In addition, Emotional Literacy skills (based on the work of the Southampton Psychology Service) are incorporated into all the lesson outcomes to ensure that the learning is personalised and embedded. This means that children practice a range of skills, including talking about their feelings, rather than simply developing a theoretical understanding of SEMH. In a safe environment, we’re equipping our children with the language that they need to be able to talk about their own mental health and that of others, and we provide activities to enable them to rehearse conversations around mental health.
The MindMate lessons are self-contained lessons, but they join together to form a spiralised social, emotional and mental health curriculum. There are six themes which form the framework for primary learning. In addition, there are specialised modules which allow for a more detailed focus on selected topics and which could be used in addition to the core lessons or for targeted groups of pupils.
The 6 key themes, which are taught in the order that they appear, are:
- Feeling Good and Being Me
- Friends and Family
- Life Changes
- Strong Emotions
- Being the Same and Being Different
- Solving Problems (and making it better)
This teaching directly complements our PSHE Scheme, 'You, Me and PSHE'.
Click here to watch a video of inspirational ideas explained by some older children in Leeds. It is a short film made by the Future in Mind: Leeds involvement panel.
What is available in Leeds to support Parents and Carers with their child's SEMH needs?
Useful links for parents: