The mental health and wellbeing of all those involved in the Gesher community is something that we place great importance on. We very much believe that in order for a child to thrive and learn, they first need to be happy and engaged. This is a philosophy that runs right through the heart of everything we do, and is also applicable when looking at how we support our staff and the families of the children that attend our school.

Children with additional needs are particularly vulnerable to mental health challenges, and the impact that this can have on those close to them is also significant. At Gesher, we are therefore constantly evolving and developing new strategies that can help support our pupils with this area of their development. Some of the resources and concepts that we use to encourage positive wellbeing include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • A designated Wellbeing Lead
  • On-site dramatherapy sessions and support
  • A strand within our curriculum specifically focussed around mental health and wellbeing
  • Regular visits from therapy dogs
  • Partnerships with external organisations (i.e. Stonewall, Arsenal Football Club)
  • Weekly mindfulness sessions
  • Lego Therapy and Lego Thera-Build intervention programmes
  • Weekly visits and input from an Educational Psychologist
  • Student wellbeing library
  • Pupil surveys
  • After school clubs
  • Nature walks and outdoor learning in our forest area
  • Grandparent afternoons
  • Training workshops and support for families
  • Zones of Regulation framework to support with emotional understanding
  • Regular opportunities for sensory integration

By taking a holistic approach with the education of the children here at Gesher, we aim for our pupils to come to school each day and feel happy. By giving them the tools to understand their emotional state and how to communicate this, we hope that they can access the wider world around them with as little stress and confusion as possible. Ultimately, the children at Gesher come to school every day for a positive experience where they have the opportunity to learn, thrive, and be celebrated as individuals, and ensuring their wellbeing is prioritised is an integral part of their education experience.