Pupils have been putting their wellbeing first during a special week focusing on mental health.

Last week, Manor Park C of E First School in Mellstock Avenue held its first Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Each day had a different theme and accompanying activities. On Monday, the students focused on ‘being positive’ and each child made a positive pebble with a message written on it. This weekend the children will place their pebble somewhere in the community in order to pass on the positive feeling.

On Tuesday, children filled an imaginary bucket with all the good thing in their lives. They then discussed ways to cope and what to do if their bucket was not always full.

Wednesday focused on mindfulness and keeping calm and relaxed and Thursday the children learnt about how their brains work and what actually happens when they get anxious or angry.

Pupils got active on ‘Fitness Friday’ to look at how exercise can help mental health.

The school also hosted workshops for parents to give them ideas about how they can support their children’s wellbeing at home and take care of their own mental health.

The week culminated with a Mental Health Awareness Morning on Friday.

Representatives from mental health organisations in the Dorchester area including Sure Start, Relate, Steps to Wellbeing and even 1610, were on hand to offer advice and support to parents.

Assistant headteacher, Emily Birch said: “We believe emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health and want all of our children to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them.

“As a school we have seen children struggle at younger and younger ages. The latest research suggests that one in ten children between 5 years and 16 years of age suffer from a diagnosed mental health problem. It’s important that they are aware of their mental health and know that their feelings are valid and there’s help out there.”

Miss Birch added with cuts to services including CAMHS the school was trying to put mental health support in earlier and be creative in what they could offer.

“The children have really engaged with it and we’ve had such positive feedback. Parents have said the children have gone home and talked about it and taught them mindfulness activities. It’s definitely something we will do again.”