Wellbeing and Mental Health
What is WAMHS?
The Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools (WAMHS) project is an initiative led by the CAMHS Alliance with the support of the Children and Young People’s Integrated Commissioning work stream in City & Hackney.
This innovative service aims to improve mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people in schools, colleges, specialist and alternative provision education settings in City & Hackney.
Grazebrook Primary School is part of the WAMHS project which supports our aims to improve wellbeing and mental health support by giving us access to a mental health practitioner, known as a CAMHS Worker in School (CWIS). The CWIS meets regularly with children, teachers, support staff and senior leaders to monitor, support and promote well being in the school.
For more information on WAMHS in schools, click here.
At Grazebrook, Our CWIS is Emma Fitzgerald, a Clinical Psychologist. She is in our school on alternating Thursdays. She supports the school to increase awareness and knowledge in identifying and supporting our students’ mental health difficulties. She provides regular training to our staff to recognise early signs of mental health difficulties, She supports the teaching team in managing the effects these difficulties can have in school settings. She is available to parents and carers and can offer advice to parents and/or staff with concerns about any pupil. If you wish to book an appointment with her, please contact the SENCo at email@example.com She will also be in the playground at pick up time on alternating Thursdays so come and say hello!
Our Designated Mental Health Lead is our SENCO Caireann Conlon. She meets regularly with Emma to support the wellbeing and mental health of all at Grazebrook Primary School. They regularly run assemblies together to explore strategies for supporting wellbeing and mental health. See the slides from our latest assembly here.
Zones of Regulation
How do we help children manage their emotions at Grazebrook Primary School?
At Grazebrook Primary School, we encourage children to regularly “check in with their emotions”. We use the Zones of Regulation to identify and talk about how we are feeling. This approach supports the use of a consistent shared language to discuss emotions.
Emotions are grouped into four colour zones which represent different groups of feelings. We teach our children that all emotions are part of the natural human experience and that we all experience these emotions throughout the day. Through our use of the Zones of Regulation, our children are encouraged to:
Recognise and name their emotions
Express their emotions in a healthy way
Share with an adult/peer how they are feeling
Use strategies to support them to regulate their emotions
Understand the emotions of others
Begin to develop empathy
Develop their emotional intelligence
Help their friends and peers to recognise and name their emotions
The zones can be compared to “Traffic Lights”.
When you are in the Green Zone you are “good to go and ready to learn”.
A yellow sign means be aware/ caution
A red light/stop sign means stop. Use your strategies to get back to the green zone.
The Blue Zone can be compared to a rest area sign. You may need to rest or re-energise
How do we use these Zones at school?
Every classroom has a zones display in their “Calm corner”. All adults model using the language of zones to talk about their feelings and the strategies they use to regulate. Teachers do regular “check ins” with their classes. They teach their class strategies to regulate their emotions such as movement breaks or mindfulness activities. Support staff might do individual zones of regulation “check-ins” with some children to support them to regulate their emotions and develop strategies to look after their wellbeing.
How can you help your child at home?
Talk to your child about how they are feeling, help them to label and name their emotions
Identify your own feelings using Zones language in front of your child (e.g. I’m frustrated because I can’t find my keys; I am in the yellow zone)
Talk about how your body feels when you experience different emotions. (e.g. my hands are trembling, I must feel nervous)
What are the physical feelings behind the emotions (butterflies when we are nervous or excited) Recognising emotions is the first step to regulating them!
Discuss why they are feeling a certain way, has anything happened?
Key dates for the Autumn Term
- Managing Child anxiety workshop for Parents/ Carers (online) 5th October 2023, 10-11am
- Supporting Your Child's Transition to Secondary School - (online) 2nd November 2023, 10-11am Click here to book
- Parent Workshop: Supporting young people to be body positive: promoting healthy relationships with food, exercise and body image (online) 9th November 2023, 5-6pm Click here to book
- Managing Child Anxiety Workshop (Face to face) Grazebrook Primary School November 30th 9-10am