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Health and wellbeing

Social and emotional wellbeing supports healthy behaviour and good educational attainment. Good emotional wellbeing helps prevent behavioural difficulties and/or mental health problems.

Children’s Mental Health

At Sandown we offer Drawing and Talking therapy. It helps to support those who are not realising their full potential either socially or academically.

Drawing and Talking is a safe and non-intrusive drawing technique. It helps children who have:

  • suffered trauma or
  • underlying emotional difficulties affecting their mental health and well-being.

The technique uses Jungian and Attachment (Bowlby) theories.

Healthy Eating, Diet and Exercise

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme help your child achieve 5 A Day.

Fruit and vegetables are a good source of the nutrients that children need and form part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Chartwell’s supply a nutritious hot meal at lunch time. Their philosophy is Eat, Learn, Live. It helps teach children to lead a happy, safe and healthy lifestyle in a sustainable way.

Change 4 Life is a fun child-friendly website. It has games and freebies to encourage the whole family to make better food choices and try new recipes.

Ready, Steady, Go is an eight-week programme for children aged 4 to 11 and their families. The focus of the programme is to help families achieve and maintain a healthy weight by making small and achievable lifestyle changes with the support of a team of trained staff. The sessions cover a range of important lifestyle topics including healthy eating, being active, sleep and screen time. They are delivered in groups in local venues and last up to an hour or alternatively you have the opportunity to access 1:1 support.

The school PE curriculum follows the national Curriculum requirements for daily physical exercise. We also use REAL PE at Sandown to ensure our pupils are well both physically and mentally.

Encourage your child to walk or ride to school, join an afterschool club or take a trip to the park with a football or bike.

Illness

Not every illness needs to keep your child from school.

If you keep your child away from school, be sure to inform the school on the first day of their absence.

Our policy is that a child can return to school 24 hours after the last bout of sickness or diarrhea.

Remember: if you’re concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.

Dental Health

It is very important that all children register with a dentist and visit them twice a year.

Children should brush their teeth for 5 minutes at least twice a day and limit sugary foods and drinks. See Children’s teeth for advice on brushing and tooth care -

Headlice

Please make sure you check your child’s hair regularly for headlice and eggs. Pharmacies sell treatments to kill the live bugs but the best treatment is prevention! Use conditioner and a fine-tooth comb to regularly comb your child’s hair.

Adult Mental Health

It is important to speak to someone if you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or unhappy. Speak to a trusted friend, family member or a professional like a GP. At Sandown Miss Fraser, our Parent Support Advisor, can listen and offer support.

Support for families with SEN

Bringing up a family isn’t always easy and having an additional need can make it more challenging. See the East Sussex Local Offer for parent/carer support and support groups and activities for children with special needs.

Behaviour

As children grow and develop, they can display challenging behaviour. It is important to remain consistent, calm and positive with a child.

There is lots of support for parents who are struggling to manage their child’s behaviour. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that usually children grow out of behaviours with a little guidance.

Being a parent is not always easy. You are not alone if you find it difficult sometimes. But it’s OK. Open for Parents are there to talk to if you want some more information on Parenting tips and/or advice. 

Self Harm

Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves on purpose as a way of trying to manage distressing or overwhelming feelings and experiences. Someone who is self-harming might be dealing with lots of intense thoughts and feelings, and hurting themselves may feel like the only way to cope. Or, they might feel numb and hurt themselves in order to feel something.

If your child is self-harming, or you’re concerned they might be, it can be incredibly worrying and upsetting for you as their parent. The important thing to remember is that you and your child are not alone - lots of young people go through this and come out the other side with different ways of coping with their feelings.

Guidance for Parents and Carers 
 What parents can do if they discover their child is self-harming 

• Stay calm and avoid judging your child, even if you are upset. Be supportive. 

• Understand that your child is often self-harming to manage emotions and/or to communicate distress - they may want you to notice the self-harm so that non-verbal communication of distress is received. 

• Listen and talk to your child and try to understand what is prompting the behaviour. Be empathic and non-judgemental. 

• Convey to your child that you want to understand their difficulties and support your child to find new ways of coping. 

• Try to remove the temptation of self-harm, if possible, by encouraging your child to avoid situations in which they could self-harm. 

• Help your child think about why they are self-harming by asking if there is anything that can be done about the cause or if something else needs to change to make things better for the child. 

• Make a list of people your child can talk to such as you or your partner, other relatives, a teacher, or friends of the family. 

• Depending on your child’s age, encourage talking about feelings; writing them down; drawing them; breathing exercises, or physical activity as a way to relieve stress and anxiety. 

• If your child’s behaviour is not changing, or if you suspect they might be depressed, ask your doctor for advice. Depression and anxiety can be treated in many ways. 

If you are struggling to start a conversation with your child or young person access the young minds conversation starter webpage here.

For more information on supporting a child or young person who is self-harming access here.

“My advice would be to never give up on them however severe the self-harm becomes. Don’t push them away, love them even more. Approach with ease, the more you blow up at them the more they’ll want to spiral back to that dark hole and self-harm. Everyone that self-harms is crying out to be saved from the feelings of darkness. Gentle love” – Parent 

If you are worried or would like more information on supporting a child or young person who is self-harming, please access the links below: