At Chafyn Grove the mental health and well-being of our children is as important as their
physical health. Teaching children to look after their mental health, and giving them the tools
to do it, is becoming more and more important.

Our staff use a variety of methods for ensuring sound emotional health and well-being for
children. These complement and reflect the overall aims and philosophy of the school. Our
approach includes:

  • Mindfulness sessions (whole year groups and class)
  • Codes of conduct, developed from our school moto
  • Clearly identified rewards and sanctions, understood by all
  • Rewards for positive behaviour and achievement
  • Setting appropriately challenging tasks
  • Providing a forum for listening and talking, e.g. using circle time as a tool for personal,
    social and health education and citizenship, bushcraft, school council, Mini Eights
  • Encouraging co-operation and collaboration – such as Chafyn Champs and The Chafyn
  • Developing social competence
  • Encouraging and developing coping strategies and resilience
  • Termly first aid lessons
  • Specific talks – IE age appropriate period talks for the girls
  • Yoga sessions at lunchtimes

The school places emphasis on problem-solving, positive self-assessment, time for reflection,
quality feedback and encouragement to participate in school and community events. A range of
extra-curricular opportunities exist for children that enable them to extend interests and
talents beyond the classroom. So far this year over 62 different activities have been on offer to
the children.

The delivery of personal, social, health and economic education is fundamental to our
promotion of emotional health. Through the planned programmes and informal curriculum,
opportunities exist to explore issues appropriate to children’s ages and stages of development.
Staff deal sensitively with these issues and differentiate according to the varying needs of the
children in their care.

We believe that emotional health is closely linked to mental health and that as a school we can
encourage positive development of mental health in childhood. We believe that children who
are mentally healthy will be able to:

  • Develop psychologically, emotionally, creatively, intellectually and spiritually
  • Initiate, develop and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships
  • Use and enjoy solitude
  • Become aware of others and empathise with them
  • Play and learn
  • Develop a sense of right and wrong
  • Face challenges, resolve issues and setbacks and learn from them

Embedding Well-being into our curriculum is the goal, but we recently organised a Well-being
Week so that we could be actively thinking about what we do to support this idea. We had
several outside speakers come in including a session on fitness and growth mind-set run by Stef
Collins an Olympic Basketball player. James Shone, founder of the charity, ‘I Can and I Am’ gave
motivational speeches to the students, including his personal story of overcoming a major
setback, and discussions on mind-set and self-confidence. The week was concluded by a visit
from a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist, introducing to the children that mental health is
on a parity with physical health, and that mental health is all about thoughts and feelings and
behaviour, and demonstrating how they are linked together.