Introduction to the award
Developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), the Wellbeing Award for Schools is intended to help schools prepare and equip themselves to promote emotional wellbeing and positive mental health across the whole-school community. The vision is to create an education system where good emotional wellbeing and mental health are at the heart of the culture and ethos of our school, so that our pupils, with the support of their teachers, can build confidence and flourish. Evidence shows us that wellbeing is of central importance to learning and attainment, with high levels of wellbeing associated with improved academic outcomes.
Principles behind the award
There are four key principles driving the ideas and recommendations behind the award:
- Emotional wellbeing and mental health are a continuum. Related issues can range from positive attitudes and behaviour, through to experiences of emotional distress and mental disorder.
- Schools already experience and manage emotional issues on a daily basis; the objective is to minimise the impact of such issues and maximise the effectiveness of any responses.
- Emotional wellbeing covers a range of dimensions, such as resilience, character building, relationships and self-esteem, etc. Understanding both developmental and mental health awareness is critical.
- Creating a positive school culture requires a whole-school approach that is led from the top while involving all in the school community.
Embarking on the award process does not imply that our school is failing in this area, but rather that we are recognising the needs and demands of our school are changing and we remain committed to responding to these. Much of this change will be apparent in the issues that most schools face on a daily basis.
The whole-school community
One theme that is central to the award is the need for schools to draw the wider community and relevant stakeholders into the centre of the change process. Parents and carers are one such group. Evidence shows that, for parents, the emotional and mental health needs of their children is of increasing concern, and often parents look to the school to support and inform them. Pupils also need to be given the opportunity to express their own voice and this can be an influential source of good ideas for any school looking for innovative and appropriate solutions.
One important aspect of this broad community of stakeholders are utilising those who offer help and support generally and can provide access to specialist interventions. There is no doubt this aspect of a school’s strategy (i.e. how to access different types of help) is often a thorny issue. Currently there are recognised gaps in provision, limits and barriers to getting the help needed and poor communication and understanding of roles. This award cannot solve these problems, but it will offer ideas and solutions on how best to manage and create links and partnerships needed to help those with clinical needs.
What are the eight objectives we are working towards?
The Well-Being Award for Schools (WAS) has eight objectives which focus on areas of evaluation, development and celebration of the work of schools in promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and positive mental health. Each of these areas is further broken down into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Objective 1: The school is committed to promoting and protecting positive emotional wellbeing and mental health by achieving the Wellbeing Award for Schools.
Objective 2: The school has a clear vision and strategy for promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and mental health, which is communicated to all involved with the school.
Objective 3: The school has a positive culture which regards the emotional wellbeing and mental health as the responsibility of all.
Objective 4: The school actively promotes staff emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Objective 5: The school prioritises professional learning and staff development on emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Objective 6: The school understands the different types of emotional and mental health needs across the whole-school community and has systems in place to respond appropriately.
Objective 7: The school actively seeks the ongoing participation of the whole-school community in its approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Objective 8: The school works in partnerships with other schools, agencies and available specialist services to support emotional wellbeing and mental health.
As a school we are working towards achieving this award as it will help us to ensure that highly effective provision is in place at Manor High School to promote the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and pupils.
As a school, we are proud of the initiatives we offer students. We promote positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone with these initiatives:
- Students are supported by Form Tutors, House Managers and all staff
- Regular assemblies and celebrations to raise the awareness of mental health and wellbeing occur throughout the year
- Humanutopia and Route to Resilience
- PSHE lessons
- Extra-curricular clubs including a wide range of sports
- Games room for those students who feel vulnerable
- Mental Health Ambassadors
- School counselling service
- Mental Health professional at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Post box system for students to inform us of their feeling without speaking to us
- School Nurse working with individuals and groups
- House Managers attend Well being and Mental Health training
- Work in collaboration with Zephs café (loneliness campaign)
- Community cuppas
Students who have a specific learning need or are having difficulties at home may access the following support:
- The Learning Support Department, led by our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator Siobhan Long
Getting Help and Support
As parents, you may notice that your child is struggling for a variety of different reasons; the teenage years can certainly be a challenging time. If you would like any advice or support, please contact the relevant House Manager who will ensure that students are referred for the right kind of support. You may contact Mrs Mehta, our Pastoral Deputy Head and Well-Being/Mental Health Lead for specific enquiries in this area.