Mental Health & Wellbeing
At Maple Ridge, we are committed to supporting good mental health and wellbeing for all our community. It is known that children and young people with special educational needs can be at higher risk of mental health difficulties and, as a school, we know it is not always easy to identify mental health difficulties in children with SEN. Therefore, an important part of our curriculum is providing opportunities for our children to develop the skills to understand and express their emotions, learning strategies to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.
All staff, including Governors are committed to supporting the good mental health of our community.
Here are some of our daily routines and interventions to support good mental health at Maple Ridge:
Morning Meet & Greet
Senior leaders and staff greet the children, parents & carers as they arrive at school, demonstrating positive social interaction and giving them a sense of belonging to our community.
Helps to regulate breathing, enjoyed by pupils & staff, releases ‘happy’ hormones and boosts confidence, well-being of the children & self-esteem.
Supports pupils’ choices and opportunities to try new activities with different children. Boosts confidence, well-being of the children & self-esteem, promoting healthy relationships between pupils
Weekly achievements celebrated with certificates and stickers. Boosts self-esteem, confidence & well-being of the children alongside celebrating the achievements of others.
Turtle Approach (PATHS curriculum)
Identified turtle areas in all classes and wider school where children can communicate and be supported to manage their emotions. Whole class lessons teach social and emotional understanding and self-control – developing resilience and healthy relationships between pupils.
Reduces anxiety through predictability of tasks increasing independence alongside developing pupil confidence and well-being.
Specialist PE Teacher
Ensures delivery of a PE curriculum to meet sensory motor needs supporting emotional regulation as well as developing confidence and physical well-being of the children.
Speech & Language Therapists
Support the development of communication through 1:1 sessions, group sessions and whole class support, boosting confidence and self-esteem and overall wellbeing of the children.
Behaviour Support Assistants
Support with pupil’s emotional regulation and how to keep themselves and others safe. 1:1 sessions are designed to promote reflection and communication alongside emotional and social understanding. BSA’s are well placed to identify risk factors for, and the promotion of, positive mental health.
Team 3 End of Day Clubs
Supports independence, new opportunities and transitioning alongside pupil confidence, self-esteem and well-being, promoting positive social interaction.
Staff in each team are trained to support children with attachment difficulties, supporting keeping themselves safe, emotional regulation, communication and self-esteem. Reference materials (from Kate Cairns Assoc) are available to all staff.
Specialist Computing Teacher
Ensures delivery of a computing curriculum that develops independence, confidence and self-esteem while learning the skills to keep themselves safe online supporting their emotional well-being.
is run by the RDA and provides therapy, fitness and skills development. It boosts self-esteem, confidence & well-being of the children alongside celebrating the achievements of themselves and others.
is run by our home/school co-ordinator and offers different levels of support to our families depending on their needs. Referrals to this service can help to identify risk factors that can affect mental health and focus on areas where support is needed for the child or family.
Informal parent/carers group that meet once a month over tea & biscuits and chat about anything, supporting the wellbeing of the families by staying connected, sharing information and developing a sense of belonging.
(Thomas Outreach Programme)
Provides early intervention for young children with ASD/social communication difficulties. Alongside Open Door sessions, a parent/child support group for pre-school children in development and collaboration with Basingstoke Portage Service. This creates a sense of belonging, developing confidence and supporting the overall wellbeing of the family.
Parents and carers meet one morning each week to develop school resources providing opportunities for parents to get to know and support each other developing a sense of belonging by contributing to the life of the school and providing emotional support improving the wellbeing of families.
(School Home Intergrated Partnership)
is part of our home/school service to support individual families with children whose behaviours can be hard to manage and affect family life. Home visits and liaison with other agencies such as CAMHS, Health & Social Care can provide a multi-agency approach that supports the wellbeing of the whole family.
Supports play, exploration and opportunities for risk taking within a safe environment. Boosts confidence, well-being of the children & self-esteem, promoting healthy relationships between pupils.
Provides a space with a variety of equipment that provides pupils with sensory input that helps them calm and focus supporting the well-being of the child and promoting healthy relationships between pupils.
Improves the physical and mental health of pupils. Pupils can run, jog or walk, up to 4 times around the cycle track every morning, boosting confidence, self-esteem and focus in the classroom.
Individual and group programmes delivered by Sensory OT, Complex Needs team & class team to meet sensory motor needs and emotional regulation developing pupil confidence and well-being.
Staff in each team are Elklan trained; they work with pupils to develop their ability to understand, listen and talk, supporting emotional regulation as well as increasing pupil confidence, communication and overall well-being.
A holistic approach to supporting positive behaviour management through de-escalation and communication over physical intervention wherever possible, supporting communication, positive relationships and overall wellbeing of staff and children.
Apps for offering advice and support for good mental health and wellbeing:
Hub of Hope — links to your location and finds local services.
Panic Shield — supports with anxiety and panic attacks.
Headspace – Mindfulness