Published Monday 16 November 2020 at 15:47
The Blackburn school had a starring role on The Politics Show on BBC1 and Granada Reports highlighting its pioneering projects around children’s mental health.
The school was running the mental health schemes for its pupils and the classes have taken on a new importance following the first coronavirus lockdown and the return to school afterwards.
It was chosen by the BBC as a leading example for mental health and mindfulness as a special programme focusing on the issue. The episode aired on Monday, November 9th and was shown as an example of positive ways to look at mental health in the country’s schools.
The school was also featured on BBC North West Tonight highlighting the projects running in the school, and head teacher Rachel Cairney also appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire to talk about the intiatives.
Staff and pupils were filmed talking about the projects and also taking part in a Forest School session.
You can watch the BBC clip here, starting at 28 minutes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000pbfn/politics-live-09112020
Intack has a range of projects to help pupils deal with the challenges of life. There include:
- Forest school provision for all children EYFS through to year 6 – within an outdoor learning classroom, forest school cabin, poly-tunnel, raised vegetable growing beds, a wildlife garden, pond-dipping stations, a newly planted woodland and orchard area.
- Place2be mental health and well-being focus – school based counsellors offering drop-in sessions, and well-being checks for parents and children.
- Relaxed kids – delivering sessions to children focusing on relaxation, breathing and mindfulness sessions.
- Nurture provision is reduced because of ‘bubbles’ COVID but are usual nurture provision is a full-time nurture room staffed by a full-time nurture teacher who runs, 121 nurture sessions, group sessions, friendship groups etc.
Pupils and staff at the school also planted a sensory garden for parents, run well-being sessions and have well-being Wednesday for staff.
Acting head teacher Fiona Hamriding said:
Our whole school focus is to have provision for mental health and well-being across the whole school. Most of our children were away from school from March to September so we really thought long and hard about how we could settle all the children back after such a long break from school and help them to feel safe and happy here.
These programmes and classes at Intack really do help so much, especially as some of our pupils have had many worries and anxieties about returning to school, both about the work and anxieties around the coronavirus, so it has been really beneficial for them and indeed all our pupils and staff.”
Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive member for Children’s, Young people and Education, said:
The return to school after such a long break has been difficult for many children, and the ongoing anxieties and challenges around the pandemic have not made it easier.
What Intack is doing is absolutely wonderful and will be making a difference to the mental health of the pupils. Keeping children safe and happy is the most important thing we, and schools, can do, and these programmes are a great way of doing that.”