Students form new 'wellbeing committee' at school near Northampton

Pupils at Guilsborugh Primary School took part in mindfulness classes today, as part of their training.
Pupils at Guilsborugh Primary School took part in mindfulness classes today, as part of their training.

A group of pupils have been trained to spot if their classmates might be struggling with their mental health.

Yesterday (Thursday), 13 year 5 pupils at Guilsborough Primary School took part in a one-day training course, as part of the Magnificent Mind Champion project.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

Between them, they will become a new wellbeing committee who will be a bunch of friendly faces on the school playground to turn to and a voice to tell teachers how other pupils feel.

Katie Shilliam, the headteacher, said: “Good mental health and wellbeing can have an enormous impact on the positive development of our young people, and it is, therefore, a very important part of the ethos here at Guilsborough Primary School."

The training is being paid for by a £460 Northamptonshire Community Foundation (NCF) grant, with training from Pacesetter Sports & Wellbeing who are experts in youth mentoring.

Their course covered the topic of mental health and wellbeing, which involves team building, looking after your wellbeing and what signs to look out for if someone is feeling low.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

The children, who will be leading some assemblies to pass their findings on to their peers, will then report back to the pastoral team at the school who will be monitoriing them throughout.

Katie added: "What’s refreshing about this scheme is the emphasis on looking out for others, and in particular learning about how to spot the signs that friends, fellow pupils, family members might be struggling.

"It has also given those involved the confidence they need to raise things themselves, for the good of the whole school community.”

Rachel McGrath, grants director at the NCF said: "We know that there is an urgent need to provide more services and activities to tackle rising incidents of mental health problems for children and young people.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

"All children and young people deserve the support needed to help them through emotionally difficult times and provide support and treatment for any emerging mental health problems.

"Projects like this help young people develop a toolkit for wellbeing."

Nick Schanschieff, director at Pacesetter, added: "There is so much support and interest in school sport and wellbeing and this filters through from the headteacher and parents, too.

"This project can only be a good thing, not just for the year 5’s but the whole school."

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

If other primary schools in Northamptonshire think this project would benefit their school, call the wellbeing team at Pacesetter Sports & Wellbeing on 01604 686367.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures taken by photographer Kirsty Edmonds.