Why children’s well-being is just as important as their education
To support Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-19), our headteacher, Mrs Webster, explains why she believes that the well-being of children is equally as important as their education
What the experts say
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems affect around one in 10 children and young people. Issues include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder and are often a response to something that is happening in their lives. The organisation’s figures also reveal that 70% of children who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at an early age.
Children have more opportunity to access technology and social media from a younger age which can place extra stress or anxieties on them.
Good mental health allows them to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded adults.
How do we help Pilgrims children?
Children’s mental well-being is something the school takes very seriously and we already have several initiatives in place at Pilgrims to support this.
We have Jake, our Fox Red Labrador, who regularly plays on the school field, greets the children at the school gate and brings a smile to everyone’s face. The children visit him throughout the day, telling him what they’ve been up to, and rewarding him with a little treat now and again!
We also work closely with The Mind Map, a Bedford based charity who focus on children’s emotional wellbeing and resilience and equip teachers with tools to promote emotional literacy and wellness. They have introduced the children to ‘Casey the Caterpillar’, a character the children can interact with and, in the classroom, the staff and children discuss a different feeling each week. There is also ‘Casey calm time’, giving the children the opportunity to reflect and relax.
It is crucial we encourage our children to share their feelings, particularly as mental health problems in young people are on the rise.
We recognise and understand that our children are in a vulnerable stage of their development and that’s why we work hard with our children to communicate their emotions and do what we can to help prevent mental health problems later in life.