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TEAM TALK MENTAL HEALTH LESSONS FOR SCHOOLS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

How the Community Trust are helping local pupils

30 September 2020

The Northampton Town Football Club Community Trust know how important it is to maintain positive mental health.

This is equally as important as looking after our physical health. Everyone has mental health and everyone experiences challenges in life at one time or another. This applies to everyone connected to the Cobblers; club and trust staff, players, officials, youth team, our partners and sponsors and our partner school pupils. We try to make sure we talk about mental health openly and honestly, sharing our feelings and thoughts generally as well as to help each other through hard times. During the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, it has been important to keep talking to each other and stay as connected as we can. We know football brings the community together so we are using sport as a way to engage people to talk about mental health.

‘Team Talk: Tackling mental health and wellbeing’ is a scheme of work covering a range of mental health topics to support children as they return to school. During the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, Northampton Town FC Community Trust carried out research to find out how these challenging times were affecting our young people, teachers and schools. This national curriculum mapped scheme of work has been designed in response to gaps in local provision and local need.

The lessons will be delivered by Northampton Town FC Community Trust’s Education Sport Mentors. These staff are positive sporty role models who work on our schools programme ‘Premier League Primary Stars’. They work with young people to improve their confidence and self esteem as well as motivation and attainment in literacy, numeracy and PE. Through these PSHE (personal social health education) lessons, the mentors will be creating a safe secure environment in order to encourage children to talk about issues around mental health and wellbeing. Lessons include anxiety, stress, closure, 5 ways to wellbeing and resilience. Practical activities, plenty of discussion and creative tasks in a pupil workbook cover mental health issues arising from covid-19 specifically as well as existing needs.

Aims of the scheme:
• Improve pupils' understanding and awareness of mental health and wellbeing
• Increase pupils' confidence in identifying mental health needs within themselves and peers
• Improve pupils' awareness of strategies to improve wellbeing

It is hoped that this scheme of work can be rolled out and offered to more schools, with the option of teacher training on how to deliver the scheme as well as general mental health training via Mental Health First Aid courses.

Damon Fox, the Community Trust's Schools & Business Development Manager said, "I am really excited about this project and it is part of the route that our Community Trust schools programme is looking to develop and add value to schools as we want our Mentors to have whole child impact on those they are working with.

This project is funded by Laureus Sport for Good response fund. This organisation’s mission is to unite the global sporting community's efforts to protect vulnerable children and young people in the aftermath of Covid-19. A huge thank you to Laureus for enabling the trust to deliver such important content where children will benefit from these skills going forwards.

The first schools to take part in this project are Windmill Primary, Raunds and Woodford Primary Schools where groups of 10 pupils will be working with Education Sport Mentor Brett Moran. This scheme was launched on Monday with Clarence making an appearance to see how the children are getting on throughout the project with their learning.

Director of Primary Education at NENE Education Matt Coleman said "The Nene Education Trust is delighted to be involved in trialing this programme in a a few of our awesome schools. We place a huge emphasis across all of our schools on the social and emotional wellbeing of our young people. Through engaging with this programme, which ties in with our regular mindfulness and wellbeing lessons for our students, we are further developing them as well-rounded, emotionally intelligent individuals who are more able to face the challenges that this tough world will, inevitably, throw at them. We have to get the levels of support right for our young people and we are delighted to be teaming up with NTFC to further strengthen this element of our wider curriculum offer."


For more information on our schools programme, ‘Team Talk’ and mental health training for school staff, please email damon.fox@ntfc.co.uk

For updates please follow @NTFC_CT on Twitter and to find out more about Laureus Sport For Good please see @LaureusSport


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