From the Head
I am delighted to let you know that following our two year focus on well-being at schools we have been accredited with the Wellbeing at School award offered by the National Children’s Bureau with Optimus Education.
I’d like to thank Fraser Wiseman and his change team which comprised staff and parents and I’d like to thank Lorna Sharp from West Kent Mind, who helped us build our training partnership to become the lead school in Kent for the number of trained staff and parents.
If you would like to train in mental health First Aid please do sign up for the next course which is in November
The award takes the school through a period of questioning, reflection, engagement and action to improve outcomes, awareness and signpost sources of help. During this period a great deal of progress has been made. People feel more confident to say they’re struggling if they are and there is no shame attached to expressing such a feeling.
Of course there is a tension for leaders and parents, who also know that resilience is a key component of wellbeing and hand-in-hand by providing challenge, managing disappointment and failure with positivity and making explicit next steps and new opportunities for trying again, children can grow the ability to deal with disappointment and thus alleviate anxiety and stress.
Of course this does not mean to say that we will lose focus in this area, quite the contrary. We recognise that we are at a point within the journey and we will continue to focus on adapting the curriculum for children, so that the vocabulary to articulate things that can cause anxiety is known and mastered by children. We also know and understand that staff and parents must be clear that unless they look after themselves they will be no use to anyone else and they have our blessing in this endeavour!
My assemblies on perseverance in Prep and Pre-Prep have focused on two stories to date, the first is the incredible story of team Hoyt.
For those of you that you that are not aware, Rick and Dick Hoyt raced as a team together in marathons and triathlons over three decades and have demonstrated the most incredible perseverance in the face of extreme challenges with Rick, a quadriplegic sufferer of cerebral palsy, who has to communicate letter by letter through a computer, and his Dad pushing him in a running chair. You can see a glimpse of their incredible story in the weblink below or perhaps order Rick’s book:
Next week I shall be out of school on Wednesday and Thursday on an inspection. I’m looking forward to learning something new on my two days away.
I hope that this weekend, wherever you are, you can give yourself the space and time to enjoy the company of your family, let your mind free itself of worry and have some good, wellbeing-inducing fun!