At Ewyas Harold Primary School we have a sharp focus on promoting wellbeing, building resilience and good mental health that will improve outcomes for children and young people (objectives clear in SDP). The benefits for individuals, families, business and the economy are clear – increased employability, capability and productivity, reduced absence, reduced demand on services and improved family relationships and happiness. We focus on the early identification of problems, earlier intervention, and increased preventative work to tackle the growing crisis of undiagnosed and untreated children’s mental health. Supporting young people to build emotional resilience can help them to cope with and bounce back from adversity, and can ultimately help to prevent the development of mental health problems in later life. Here we believe schools must play a key role in turning this aspiration into reality.
Schools are a universal service, accessed five days a week by most children. This means that over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school. With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, schools provide an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. For children experiencing adversity at home, school can also provide a consistent, protective and therapeutic environment, which can help them to cope.
Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement and success in later life. There is clear evidence that emotional wellbeing is a key indicator of academic achievement, and subsequently improved outcomes in later life. The Department for Education has found that, on average, children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and school wellbeing, had higher levels of academic achievement and were more engaged in school.