Thatcham School, Spurcroft Primary, receives mental health and wellbeing award from West Berkshire Council
Spurcroft Primary School in Thatcham is to receive an award for its progress in teaching pupils about mental health.
Deputy headteacher Jo Griffiths initially introduced the idea of discussing mental health with the aim of talking about 'feelings' with children.
These discussions helped the children recognise how they can 'understand and cope' with those feelings, whether they be anger, sadness or loneliness.
She said: “As a school we are focused on children’s physical health.
“There’s a big gap in understanding between physical health and mental health.”
The school set up a 'wellbeing tree' wall, which features written coping strategies, created by pupils.
Mrs Griffiths said that all pupils, from Year 1 to Year 6, were involved in creating the wellbeing tree – which they now revisit when they are feeling down.
She said: “The tree is full of all their ideas.
“It has meant the staff can take them to the tree and it is a visual reminder.
“They can now say 'this is how I am feeling and this is who I can talk to'.”
Strategies written by the children include talking to someone, listening to music and going outdoors.
The school has since developed its outdoor space so that the children have somewhere to go, beyond the playground, which is quiet.
Mrs Griffiths expressed pride in the work of the staff and the recognition from West Berkshire Council.
She added: “It was a whole school approach.
“This is just the beginning.”