Yoga and mindfulness activities offer psychological benefits for children. There is a growing body of research that has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behaviour, and reduce anxiety, stress and other mental health disorders in children.
We have received a very generous donation from Councillor Tim Young to start some sessions at Unity Primary Academy. A group of year 6 students have been working with Nicola from Little Yoga Studio, to target SATs exam stress. These sessions run once weekly and 10 pupils as identified by class teachers attend.
Little Yoga Studio offers yoga classes in Essex to children and adults. The aim is to share the wonderful benefits of yoga – deepening our connection to ourselves and others – with all ages and levels of experience. If you would like to find out more please visit the website.
The emotional health and well-being of everyone at Unity Primary Academy is fundamental to our vision and our daily running. We believe it promotes school improvement and success in a multitude of ways:
• Pupils are more engaged with their learning
• Improved standards in all subjects
• More effective teaching
• Parents and carers more involved in school life and learning
• Pupils with high self-esteem and confidence
• Improved behaviour and attendance
• Fewer disengaged pupils
• Lower rates of persistent absence
• Positive and effective relationships between staff and with pupils
• Positive impact on recruitment We believe that positive emotional health and well-being creates happier, motivated staff and pupils who strive to get the most out of life.
At our school, we aim to promote positive mental health for every child, parent / carer and staff. Giving every child, very chance, every day. We pursue this by using both universal, whole school approaches and specialized, targeted approaches aimed at identified vulnerable pupils and families.
What We Offer
Unity Primary Academy educate all governors, its senior leadership team, staff, students, and parents about this issue.
Contextual Safeguarding - the identification and classification of specific behaviours, including digital behaviours,
The importance of taking seriously all forms of peer-on-peer abuse (no matter how ‘low level’ they may appear) and ensuring that no form of peer-on peer abuse is ever dismissed as horseplay or teasing.
Social media and online safety, including how to encourage children to use social media in a positive, responsible and safe way, and how to enable them to identify and manage abusive behaviour online.
Thrive. The Thrive Approach draws on insights to provide a powerful way of working with children and young people that supports optimal social and emotional development. In addition, the Approach can equip trained staff to work in a targeted way with children and young people who may have struggled with difficult life events to help them re-engage with life and learning
Universal Support- We take a whole school approach to promoting positive mental health that aims to help children become more resilient, happy and successful and to prevent problems before they arise. All staff will actively support, contribute to and be involved in the promotion of good health. All children have twice daily emotional well-being check ins. This enables children to score themselves out of 10, if children score lower than 5 a dedicated member of staff will talk to the child 1:1 to offer support and guidance.
Additional support- For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement. Mostly things that happen to children don’t lead to mental health problems on their own, but traumatic events can trigger problems for children and young people who are already vulnerable. Changes often act as triggers: moving home or school or the birth of a new brother or sister, for example. Some children who start school feel excited about making new friends and doing new activities, but there may also be some who feel anxious about entering a new environment.
Targeted support- For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as well-being groups or personal mentors. These are run by our dedicated Pastoral Team who are trained to support children through trauma. Unity Primary Academy support children and families by offering an Art Psychotherapist and Student Counsellor session once weekly to look at more in-depth trauma and attachment concerns.
Within Unity Primary Academy we have dedicated staff who support with both adult and child mental health.
Our Child Mental Health Champion is Mrs Lakey. Mrs Lakey has extensive knowledge and training to help comfort, support and guide children in times of crisis. Mrs Lakey is also the schools Hidden Lives Ambassador. If someone in your family is affected by imprisonment or the criminal justice system, this service can support children understand more.
Our Adult Mental Health Champion and Well-being Lead for Curriculum is Mrs Collin. Mrs Collin works with families and staff members in lending a listening ear, and signposting to supporting agencies. Mrs Collin supports the day to day wellbeing of all. Mrs Collin is our Designated Safeguarding Lead and works closely with outside agencies. Mrs Collin oversees and plans the Wellbeing Curriculum and classroom interventions. Mrs Collin is the Healthy Schools Lead and supports Physical Education within the school.
Our THRIVE Practitioners are Mrs Ager, Mrs Lakey and Miss Oliver. These dedicated members of staff offer 1:1 and group Thrive sessions to support optimal social and emotional development.
If you would like any more information about support given at Unity Primary Academy, please see the Early Help Offer.