St Paul’s has put mental well-being as a key school priority: we recognise the importance for our whole school community. We want our pupils to be aware of their feelings and emotions, challenge the stigma around mental health, and stress the importance of having a healthy mind as well as a healthy body.
Our work in this area really began to flourish back in 2016, with our school’s efforts to promote both positive attitudes towards mental health, and identify well-being as a key school focus, being granted the Gold Healthy School London Award. From this, our pupils created our permanent MOLAR hand display to remind them of ways to keep ourselves mentally well: mindfulness, others, learning, active and relationships.
To continue this excellent work, we have a school day each term dedicated to mental well-being where the whole school participate in a range of off-curricular activities linked to MOLAR. This is in addition to our usual assemblies and PSHE lessons. Both staff and pupils enjoy these days and fully immerse themselves.
Some activities we have incorporated have been: Bollywood dancing, workshops, social games outside, whole school picnics, mindfulness colouring, yoga, healthy eating games, writing thank you letters, sketching, exercise, jars of strengths and talks from mental health professionals and university lecturers.
What our school community have to say:
It is important to keep fit so you live a long, healthy life. Year 2
It’s important to be outdoors so that we can live a long and happy life. Year 3
My favourite activity was when we made jars of strengths in Year 3. I still have it in bedroom now. Year 6
St Paul’s is a real trailblazer in terms of mental health promotion. How wonderful it is that we dedicate whole days to both pupil and staff well-being. Teacher
We have caring and supportive staff whose aim is to show our children how to achieve balanced and emotionally fulfilling lives by giving them the ability to cope with and manage change and situations they may encounter; the ability to maintain good relationships with others, and to be kind and considerate. We want our pupils to leave St Paul’s as well-balanced young people who are caring, confident, have opinions and curiosity and, importantly, who make the most of their potential. Governor
Texts to support mental well-being
You will find a range of books for primary-aged children in the entrance hall (beneath the MOLAR) display which you are free to borrow. Many of the activities can also be used with older children and even adults; why don’t you give them a try? Should you decide to take one home, please tell the school office as some of the texts belong to staff rather than the school.
Below is a list of texts which some of our school community have found useful. As a school, we have not read them all so please do check first to see if a book is suitable for your child’s age and maturity. It would be good practice to have a number of these books at home to help start conversations about feelings and emotions, and to provide opportunities for children to share any worries they may have.
Should you have any further suggestions to add to this list, please contact Mrs Poole via the school office.
Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG) have also put together a very useful document - Directory of Counselling Services in Kingston - which lists websites, phone numbers and addresses of services in the local area for both children and adults.
Texts to support mental well-being:
Directory of Counselling Services:
Many of our worries about children’s mental health or quirks are often short lived; professionals frequently reassure us that our children’s behaviour is normal, and say that ‘they will grow out of it’ and to give the child time. However, if you are still concerned, it is always best to go and make an appointment with your GP. Likewise, if you yourself are suffering with any anxieties or general health and well-being, please see your GP.
Children and adults alike may find the organisations below useful:
0300 123 3393
0808 802 5544
Kingston Bereavement Service:
0208 547 1552
Click here for some additional websites.
We would also like to reiterate that St Paul’s staff are here to help you. Feel free to make an appointment at the school office or catch a member of the Senior Leadership Team on the gate.
From time to time, we are asked for suggestions for private mental health provision. Firstly, we would always recommend that you go and consult your GP as an initial step. If you are still keen to seek support privately, we would advise that you check if they have some form of professional registration and some NHS experience. All Clinical and Counselling Psychologists have to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to practice, and you can confirm their registration on the HCPC website. Therapists do not require this registration, however, it is good to look for therapists who are accredited with a reputable professional body such as, The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). Registration and accreditation means they’ve had sufficient training and competency in what they’re offering, and abide by ethical and professional standards. You can find a list of professional clinicians from reputable organisations such as:
The British Psychological Society:
The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies:
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy:
As a reminder, should you have any concerns about a child’s welfare or feel that a child is at risk in anyway, please contact Single Point of Access Team (SPA) on 0208 547 5008 (midweek 8am-6pm) or 0208 770 5000 during evenings and weekends.