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Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing at Kew

The Pastoral Team at Kew Riverside includes:

Mental Health Lead Teacher: Ardeep Virdi 

Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs): Liz Strong, Laura Wrigglesworth and Rachel Chambers 

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA): Jessica Tuckey

Dedicated Safeguarding Governors: Michelle Green, Patrick Neave, Peter King

School Nurse: Pat Fosu

Why do we care about mental health?

At Kew Riverside we feel strongly that no stigma should be attached to the term 'mental health' and we recognise the importance of supporting and educating children to look after their mental health and wellbeing, just as we would their physical health. Although there is no single accepted definition, the following one proposed by the World Health Organisation is frequently used:

Mental Health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community.

We understand that a person’s mental health may encompass a range of strengths as well as difficulties, and these can range from mild to severe. According to the NHS 2017 survey, there has been an increase in overall rates of mental disorder. The area with the highest increase is emotional disorders, about one in 10 5-10 year olds had at least one disorder. In an average primary school of the same size as of Kew Riverside it is expected that:  

  • 3 children will be seriously depressed
  • 11 children will be suffering from significant distress (which may include a divorce or separation or a bereavement)
  • 12 children will be affected by phobias
  • 15 children will have a conduct disorder (such as selective mute)

With this in mind, we take our responsibility to nurture and educate your children very seriously, and it is important to us that all pupils at Kew Riverside feel secure and happy, and that they have the ability to recognise, name and appropriately manage the many different emotions they will experience as they grow up. We are, after all, preparing future citizens of the world!

How do we support children to have a healthy mental wellbeing?

We invest heavily in pre-emptive work, which includes: 

  • Dedicated ELSA (Emotional Learning Support Assistant)
  • 'Ask It Baskets' in each class - see Staying Safe Poster below
  • 'Time to Talk' sessions at lunchtimes - see Staying Safe Poster below
  • Dedicated assemblies, with guest speakers from charities such as Childline and Mind
  • Parent workshops
  • Play therapy 
  • Support from the local authority Emotional Health Service

We also prioritise interventions for groups or individuals who might need further support, such as:

  • 1:1 and group ELSA sessions
  • 'Zones of Regulation' intervention for targeted individuals and groups
  • Individually tailored approach to mentoring or support
  • Lego Therapy
  • 'Think Good Feel Good' sessions

In addition to this we are committed to ensuring our staff team are well qualified and trained in supporting our children

  • All Senior Leaders are trained to Safeguarding Level 3 and all other staff to Level 2
  • The ELSA and Mental Health Lead Teacher are qualified Mental Health First Aiders. 
  • Positive Handling ('Team Teach') training for support staff

What can you do if you have a concern?

If you are concerned about your child, we can both support them in school and support you in understanding which services are available, guiding you through the process of getting support. We work very closely with social care, the NHS, Educational Psychologists and CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services), as well as local charities such as Man & Boy.

If you are worried about your child or about the impact a family member’s mental health may have on them, and you would like to speak to a member of staff about your concerns, please do make an appointment to see Ardeep or Laura.

Further Reading

For parents and carers looking for more information to help understand their child's, or their own, mental health, we recommend the following websites: 

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, click here

Papyrus, prevention of young suicide, click here

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, click here 

Richmond-upon-Thames, MIND, for better mental health, click here