Health & Wellbeing
Priors Hall is proud to hold a TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health Support) bronze and silver accreditations, which means we have been recognised for our good practice in promoting and delivering interventions for children’s mental health.
We have a team of staff trained as Mental Health First Aiders who understand mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing. We are confident to step in to reassure and support children if needed.
Here is just a selection of the support and opportunities we provide:
- A mental health team dedicated to monitoring and progressing the support within our school.
- A Pastoral TA who is on hand to further support our pupils’ social, emotional and mental health on a day-to-day basis.
- Daily wellbeing check-ins (for all pupils, in every class) using progressive vocabulary to aid emotional literacy.
- The ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ are used as a tool for improving wellbeing.
- Pupils are listened to; they can self-refer themselves for a check-in with the Pastoral TA.
- Weekly mindfulness sessions enable children to learn techniques for regulation, which they can then use at any point in their life.
- Drawing and Talking: a one-to-one person-centred intervention to support children who are experiencing social, emotional or mental health barriers.
- Our curriculum, particularly PSHE & RSE, ensures we teach children how to be healthy and safe.
- We support mental health awareness days/weeks.
- Children take responsibility – all Year 6 children are trained Mental Health Champions so they can help themselves as well as others. They also take the role of ‘lunchtime champions’ to help other children when out of the classroom.
Our Approach to Wellbeing
Across our school, there is a focus on wellbeing and developing emotional literacy; we weave wellbeing into our everyday routine.
On a daily basis, during both morning and afternoon registration we do a ‘one word check-in’ where children respond to their name with a word to describe how they are feeling. Adults then take time to talk privately to any children needing further support with the emotion they have expressed. We encourage progressive vocabulary so children are building their awareness and broadening their emotional literacy.
Pastoral Support/The Spot
We are proud to have a pastoral teaching assistant (Mrs Haycock-Hall) who is dedicated to further supporting the wellbeing of our pupils. The Spot is our wellbeing hub: a calm, safe and supportive environment to provide pastoral support in. Pupils can self-refer to The Spot using a check-in slip and then Mrs Haycock-Hall will take the time to talk to them about their feelings.
Transition times such as coming into school and then lunch times can cause heightened emotions. To address this, we offer a calm start and calm lunch. Calm start helps children to enter the building in a relaxed manner, see some familiar faces and have some breakfast. Calm lunch is offered to all year groups, children come away from the lunch hall and eat in a smaller room with calming music on.
Our curriculum provides rich opportunities for pupils to gain knowledge and skills in the field of health and wellbeing. The majority of curriculum subjects have health and wellbeing intertwined into their programmes of study and PSHE has a stand-alone unit:
PSHE lessons have full curriculum coverage across five topics: family and relationships, safety and the changing body, citizenship, economic wellbeing and a full unit dedicated to health and wellbeing.
- In KS1 children will explore many aspects such as personal qualities, strategies to manage feelings, the impact of sleep and relaxation on wellbeing and people in the community who keep us healthy.
- In Year 3 and 4, children move on to understanding healthy lifestyles through physical activity and a balanced diet, exploring identify through groups we belong to and learning how our strengths can help others.
- In Year 5 and 6, children learn to take greater responsibility for sleep, sun safety, healthy eating and managing feelings.
At Priors Hall - A Learning Community we are very fortunate to work alongside our Mental Health Support Team (MHST).
What do MHST do?
MHST are a service collaboratively working alongside schools, to support children, young people and their families with their emotional & mental wellbeing. MHST work with our school and help to adopt a whole school approach to attain a schooling environment with positive mental wellbeing. MHST offer early intervention, low intensity, mental health support within schools for children with mild to moderate mental health difficulties and, on occasion, their families. The MHST will also offer support and advice to education setting staff to identify the most appropriate services for their need and help liaise with other appropriate services as well as supporting the Mental Health Leads to introduce and develop a whole school approach to wellbeing.
Who is the MHST?
In Northamptonshire, teams are developing in Schools, each team will consist of 4 trainee Education Mental Health Practitioners, one CBT Therapist/supervisor, 1 Mental Health Practitioner/supervisor. There is also a full-time administrative post and a MHST Clinical and Team Lead. The MHST will sit within CAMHS services within Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Deidre McLaughlin, CBT Therapist and Supervisor (Team Lead)
Currently on maternity leave.
Hello, my name is Dee, I am a CBT Therapist & Supervisor within MHST. I have worked in healthcare with families & young people for many years. I am a keen advocate for accessible & individualised support at the time it is needed, therefore I am really excited to be in a professional team merging education & health.
In my downtime, I like to get out in nature, connect with loved ones and binge on Netflix series.
Katie Frost, Clinical Team Lead
Hi, my name is Katie, I am the clinical team lead for Corby MHST. I have worked in mental healthcare for the past 17 years and in that time worked in secure adult services, as well as school nursing and CAMHS. I am passionate about supporting young people and families to look after and manage their mental health and am really excited to be part of a new project collaborating health and education services. I am a Mental Health Nurse by background but also have a degree in Psychology and Post-Graduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing.
Outside of work I’m always busy with a new project whether that’s doing something to my house or trying to grow my own vegetables. I love being outside and spending time with my family, as well as relaxing on the sofa in front of the latest TV drama.
Sheila Gallagher, Clinical Team Lead / Mental Health Practitioner
Hi, my name is Sheila, I have worked previously in the 0-19 team as a School Nurse Specialist Community Public Health Nursing, with a background of Learning Disability nursing. I have also completed additional training as a Professional Nurse Advocate.
I am passionate about supporting children, young people and families with their emotional wellbeing needs and I am excited to work within a team that supports health and education.
Outside of work I am kept busy with my grandchildren, but I also enjoy swimming, cooking, walking my dog, travelling and watching Netflix.
Lucy Cunningham, Educational Mental Health Practitioner
Hi, my name is Lucy, I am an Education Mental Health Practitioner in the Corby Team. I have been part of the Mental Health Support Team since 2021 working through my Trainee year and I am now a qualified EMHP. I have loved being able to support children and young people and their families with their mental health and wellbeing and I thoroughly enjoy working closely with schools as well to support all involved to manage and encourage positive emotional wellbeing. I have a degree in psychology and a masters in Psychological Wellbeing and Mental Health, as well as different experiences working with both adults and children/young people with additional needs in various settings.
I enjoy spending my time with family and friends outside of work. I love going out for meals and socialising, and I’m also partial to a day in front of the TV relaxing.
Jaymee Stanley, Education Mental Health Practitioner.
Hi, my name is Jaymee, I am an EMHP in the Corby team. I have been a part of the Mental Health Support Team since 2020 and enjoy working with young people to reach their goals and manage their mental health. I have a degree in psychology and have work experience in various CAHMs teams.
Outside of work I like gaming and spending time with friends. I also love music and want to eventually own and play as many instruments as I can.