Mental Health and Wellbeing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes mental health as a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. Mental health is a basic human right and is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development.

The Acorn Multi Academy Trust is committed to supporting mental health and wellbeing for children, staff and the wider community. As part of its strategy, the Trust signed up to The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter and introduced a Mental Health Ambassador scheme that engages child volunteers to support their peers.

At Thorncombe St Mary’s, our Christian roots help shape our approach to wellbeing through providing a warm, safe and positive environment where everyone can learn and grow feeling uniquely valued and nurtured to be the best they can be. We understand that everyone experiences challenges at times and that anyone may need additional support in some way. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play 

We Aim High

We want everyone to flourish and ‘live life in all its fullness’. Through consistent high expectations and celebrating success we create an aspirational culture in which everyone strives to do their best in all aspects of school life. Hope inspires everyone to aim high with their dreams and goals, and endurance helps develop the emotional resilience to manage setbacks. 

Wellbeing is thoughtfully woven into our curriculum and revisited through class discussions, worship and awareness days. Our Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) lessons provide a progressive approach to understanding mental and physical health and includes online safety. Through Science, PE and Forest School we promote healthy eating and active lives; and we know that expression through music, art and drama helps build self confidence. 

We Show Respect

We want children and adults to feel that they belong at school; that they are supported and can develop trusting relationships. We believe that respect for others, thankfulness and forgiveness are central to forming and maintaining positive, caring and constructive relationships. Safe ‘wellbeing’ spaces, buddy benches and reflection areas enable openness around sharing concerns and seeking support or advice. Our policies and practices empower tolerance and respect that encourages everyone to be confident, ‘dare to be different’ and enjoy greater wellbeing, 

We Make a Difference

Through love, compassion and service, we believe in celebrating all abilities, interests and points of view so that everyone is given equal opportunity. To promote self esteem, we encourage ‘pupil voice’ and enable children to make a difference in shaping school life as Mental Health Ambassadors, Play Leaders or through roles on the School or Eco Councils. We forge partnerships with parents, the local parish and the wider community so that we can all support one another. On World Mental Health Day the whole school united for #HelloYellow, wearing yellow as a symbol that we are not alone and to support the charity, Young Minds.

Levels of Support Available

Universal Support - To meet the needs of all our children through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For instance developing resilience for all.

Targeted support-  For children who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing or nurture groups.

Family Support - We work with a Family Support Worker through the Local Authority who can support families to access a range of services such as parenting support, self-help and support groups, and can attend 'Team around the Family' (TAF) meetings.

Additional support - For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences, we work with a number of outside agencies to facilitate support.