Hello! I’m Jo, I’m one of the Assistant Principals at Dysart and I lead on Mental Health and Wellbeing (MHWB). I have worked here at Dysart School for 10 years and I developed the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team in 2017. Since then, our mental health and wellbeing offer has evolved, bringing with it changes to the way we understand mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people.
At Dysart many of our pupils have limited or no verbal communication and therefore find it difficult to express their concerns and feelings. In order to try and assess the mental health of a child or young person at Dysart, we need to take a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach that considers aspects such as observations, past history, and a reliance on information from people who know the pupil well, including teachers, staff members, parents and carers, and social workers. With this in mind, we have a ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing Team’ (MHWB) and a ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing+ Team’ (MHWB+) at Dysart. These teams work to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing needs of our pupils who require additional support. The support provided may be through small group or 1:1 work with a relevant member of our MHWB team. For pupils who are having a particularly challenging time, a referral is made to the MHWB+ team, a package of support is then provided following a process of observations and discussions with the pupil’s parents and class teacher.
The MHWB teams consist of:
At Dysart, we believe that emotional wellbeing education is a priority across the school. It is explicitly taught through, ‘Relationships, Sex Education’ aswell as 1:1 or in small groups with our Wellbeing Practitioners in the Nest. We use SCERTS as a framework to understand every pupil’s self and mutual regulatory needs and to teach the skills they require for them to build self-awareness, emotional literacy and resilience.
Zones of Regulation is used to understand what each pupil’s own ‘Green zone’ looks like and what may take them into a different zone. We teach our pupils and/or the team around them which tools work best to support them within each zone and what supports are required to help them return to their green zone.
We develop a support plan dependent on each pupil’s need so that we have a consistent plan in place for them.
Our mental health and wellbeing offer extends to our whole school community, we believe that it is essential that everyone – pupils, parents and carers and staff feel part of a supportive and valued community. We recognise that our parents are our most valuable way to learn about our pupils, who have the opportunity to express their views, including input into their child’s educational journey and feel supported throughout their time with us. We know that our staff are our most important resource and are valued, supported and encouraged to develop personally and professionally within a caring, purposeful school community.
We recognise that there is a direct link between the wellbeing of our parents, carers and our staff and the wellbeing of our pupils, and that the culture and values of our School is determined by the extent to which we all work towards our vision.