Wellbeing runs through everything we do and is central to our prioritisation of children feeling happy and safe at school. It’s embedded in our teaching and learning approach which is about knowing our community and children.
Our curriculum enrichment through creative arts, sports, outdoor trips and activities and the importance we place on collaboration and connection, are all elements that we know support positive mental health, self-efficacy and subsequently attainment.
Being a small school, we have the advantage of knowing all our children and families extremely well and forming positive, trusting relationships. We place great value on relationships, within the classroom, the wider school and with parents, strengthening connectedness and shared purpose.
At Eleanor Palmer, Wellbeing is also a specific taught part of the curriculum.
Every child is taught the skills they need to be emotionally literate, to develop positive mental and physical health, and to form and sustain positive relationships. We call this curriculum Wellbeing, and it is vital to creating life-long learners who can lead safe, healthy lives.
Our Wellbeing curriculum teaches the children how to recognise and regulate their emotions. It also includes the three broad themes of health education, relationships education, and later, sex education. We have tailored our programme of learning to the needs of our pupils and our diverse community, covering the objectives set out in the National Curriculum.
Wellbeing at Eleanor Palmer is taught to all pupils through a combination of weekly whole class lessons, regular class discussions, assemblies, planned stories and visitors. This enables the children’s knowledge to build over time. The teaching of emotional literacy uses a mix of approaches based on a strong evidential base, including mindfulness, the mood metre, zones of regulation and therapeutic storytelling. We make links to other curriculum areas, including science, computing and PE so the children can build and apply their knowledge.
Most children thrive within our core provision and as with any part of the curriculum, our teaching team will adapt activities and levels of support to enable all children to successfully learn. If a child needs provision beyond this, they might learn in a smaller group focusing on a specific set of skills.
For a small number of children, individual support is the best match for their needs. This will take place in conjunction with specialist professionals, and usually involves our trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA). Our team includes a specialist teaching assistant and a broad range of professionals, including a family counsellor, an educational psychologist and outreach teachers focusing on communication and SEMH needs. Where required, individual Wellbeing Plans are made to support these children and ensure that staff, parents, carers and professionals work together effectively to ensure the best outcomes for children.
At Eleanor Palmer, we understand that in order to maintain the wellbeing of our children, we must also take care of the wellbeing of adults. This is not taken for granted and we keep Wellbeing on the agenda – from professional development meetings to after-school team sport sessions for staff. In our school we build positive, supportive professional relationships based on kindness and respect.
Our Subject Vertical linked shows how this progression with Wellbeing is planned and how connections are made.