Cumnor House School makes supporting child mental health top priority

Students at Cumnor House Sussex marked Children’s Mental Health Week with a Wellbeing Day.

The children were joined by a wealth of experts and mental health advocates on February 8 to showcase the school’s unique wellbeing curriculum.

Cumnor House School's wellbeing ambassadors

Cumnor House School's wellbeing ambassadors

Professor Stein, an esteemed consultant, led the seminar on understanding child behaviour, with the single aim of making the conversation about children’s mental health and wellbeing a normal part of everyday life.

Cumnor House Sussex also welcomed Hamish and Linda Elvidge, founder and trustees of The Matthew Elvidge Trust and Hope Virgo, author of ‘Stand Tall Little Girl’ and mental health campaigner.

A spokesman for the school said this group of individuals are united in their objective to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of wellbeing and mental health and to break the stigma surrounding it.

The school’s director of compliance, health and welfare Paula Talman said: “We passionately believe that we have a role to play in teaching children how to attend to themselves, to others, to learning and dealing with life”.

Hamish, Linda and Hope spent the day reviewing the school’s iSpace Wellbeing curriculum for four to 11 year old children.

Developed by Pala Talman, it offers a language and toolkit to help children, teachers and parents start the conversation about mental health and has been swiftly followed by #iWonder, which has recently been introduced for 11 to 13 year-old children in Years 7 and 8 pupils.

It focuses on helping teens understand their emotional, physical, social and mental health.

They observed wellbeing-themed lessons across all age groups including a Pre-Prep Assembly where children from nursery to year three demonstrated the iSpace vocabulary they have learnt to help them talk about how they are feeling.

In addition the group watched a Year 6 play about how understanding mental health and wellbeing will influence the workplace in the future, and handed out 12 ambassador awards to children showing a keen interest in wellbeing lessons and putting their learning into practice.

Mr Elvidge said: “This should be at the centre of every school as it is so important in supporting learning, enabling children to achieve their best, develop positive relationships with others and for life 
ahead.”

Head teacher Christian Heinrich said the day ‘has served to demonstrate how important it is to provide individual support, something we are uniquely placed to do at Cumnor’.