At Mersea Island School we are passionate about promoting positive mental health and wellbeing amongst all members of our school community. We recognise the impact healthy minds and bodies have on securing the best possible outcomes for all and work hard to ensure that we use all available opportunities to support the wellbeing of our pupils, staff and families.
We are very lucky to have a Pastoral Lead in school who is available to support individuals and their families on a day-today basis, tailoring the approach specifically to the need. We actively seek to involve families and work closely with external agencies and services to help signpost parents for additional or more specialised expert support.
Pupils are welcomed in to school each day, firstly by a Senior Leader on the gate and then by their teacher who greets them at the classroom door, setting a very positive tone to the day. Pupils know that the staff in school care about them and there is a listening culture which helps the children feel comfortable in sharing any concerns or worries.
Classrooms have 'Happy' and 'Worry' boxes which provide all children with an alternative route to share anything which may be worrying them or to celebrate the things which they are enjoying, doing well at or that are simply making them happy.
We offer a wide range of opportunities for pupils to try new activities and/or sports. Staying active increases mental alertness and concentration. All children have access to a range of equipment at play and lunchtimes and, across the week, can choose to play table tennis, football, basketball, use the trim-trail, play in the outdoor music area, read in the special reading beach huts, use the quiet area to colour, play card games or draw or use the library at lunchtimes, play with the hoops, balls and toys or simply make up their own creative games.
Our extra-curricular provision also provides our pupils with a wide range of opportunities to get involved and try something new or just to get active, from cheerleading, pottery, sewing, football, rugby, dodgeball, dance to name but a few!
Every Tuesday, pupils take the lead in assembly, many pupils have taken the opportunity to share and celebrate differences i.e. How it feels to have ADHD or to be deaf. This has been a powerful and positive approach towards developing understanding and also in supporting positive mindsets of others. Many children share their interests and this has encouraged others to try new things and to think differently about having a go and coming out of their comfort zone. It has also increased pupil confidence and has enthused others to take the lead.
Our pupils regularly show their kindness by using their initiative to help good causes. Our School Council is active within the school and pupil voice is a real driver for change. Every year, as a school, we have the Advent of Giving, resulting in tens of hampers being delivered to those in need within our community. We donate towards the Porch Pantry which provides much needed food for families on our island. We celebrate acts of kindness in and out of school and acknowledged the benefits of being kind both to our own wellbeing and to that of those in receipt of the kindness.
Pupils also show kindness by speaking up if they see something which is not right. We talk of being a team and the children are generally very considerate and highly reflective.
Our core drivers and school rules are CARE, Be Kind, Be Safe. We are very proud of the caring ethos which is evident within our school community. We follow a Trauma Perceptive Approach, encouraging strong nurturing relationships, showing understanding but also ensuring that pupils are aware of the impact of their actions on others - good and bad.
We aim to give our pupils the strategies to cope with challenging situations, with the tolerance and resilience which is needed to be successful in the wider world but most importantly to be good people who will show kindness and consideration for others.
Visitors often remark about how well mannered and kind our pupils are which is something we are incredibly proud of. In an ever increasingly challenging world, the focus on promoting positive wellbeing could not be more important.