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The Importance of Well-Being at Skippers

Posted: 10th December 2019

The Importance of Well-Being at Skippers

Anti-Bullying Week was celebrated from the 11th-15th November with the theme ‘Change Starts with Us’ and the week's activities were a huge success. We believe that schools are much more than centres of learning and below I have highlighted ways in which we are trying to develop the pupils’ well-being on a day to day basis here at Skippers. 

We make sure the pupils know who is there to help them, including specialist staff, and how to access support. We have introduced the use of an independent listener/counsellor on a regular basis and we do our best to make sure pupils can access them easily and confidentially, in a safe space.

We create an environment where all health issues, both physical and mental, are treated equally.

We try to be creative! Mental health can be a discussion point and topic in all sorts of lessons. By casually and consistently embedding conversations about mental health across all lessons, awareness will be raised and stigma challenged. This was recently embedded when the pupils experienced writing themselves a letter about how they felt and engaged in practical mindfulness techniques in class.

We ensure that there is always time and space for talking about things, whether that be with our Vote for Schools and PSHE provision, or an open door policy for pupils to access staff at all levels. Our new garden room has been a huge success with pupils of all ages using it as a safe space to talk issues through with staff or to just take a moment to reflect and regroup. 

We work using a whole school approach to address and challenge bullying. This includes our new Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme. Their roles are to help educate their peers on bullying, to lead on anti-bullying campaigns, to promote a culture which celebrates and tolerates difference and helps keep their peers safe both on and offline. We are looking forward to seeing this initiative grow over the coming years.  

We normalise the idea that we all need to take care of our well-being throughout school with a range of promotional materials, outside facilitators and speakers. We also always ensure staff are around to notice and pick up on anyone who might want to talk about things that may be concerning them. 

Our school development plan for the next two years incorporates well-being as a whole school approach which means that ALL staff have a responsibility to embrace and include pupil well-being within all aspects of their work. 

It is our commitment to make sure all school staff have the skills and knowledge to support issues around mental health and make pupils aware of this. We are embracing a new programme which will allow staff to become school mental health first aid trained in order to best serve the pupil community and only recently Mrs Hammond, Jackie Parker and Mrs Van Dyk all successfully passed this qualification. 

We have and promote a safe and informal space for students to meet and be themselves – we are investing through the help of FOSHA in alternative playground activity areas, buddy benches and of course our garden room provides this safe space all day long. 

It’s now time for all at Skippers to take a well earned rest and recharge our energy levels  and you can be assured that when we move into the New Year our focus here on pupils well-being will continue to be at the forefront of our thinking.

Merry Christmas

David Leggett 

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