#wellbeingdgmeet - Head's Blog

Posted on: 30/06/2017

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to participate in what is called as a ‘digi-meet’.  The event was inspired by a Deputy Principal who is the lead for PHSE in a large academy trust. She contacted a group of us who have the well-being and pastoral care of pupils high on our agendas as school leaders and #wellbeingdgmeet was created.  From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Sunday 25th June, educators and professionals posted their blogs (with a 500 word count limit!)  every half hour. The event was a huge success and the sharing of good practice and new ideas will enable us all to continue to develop our own settings. 

Below is my blog to share with you all.

One of the reasons that I was drawn to applying for the Headship at St. Helen’s College was that well-being played such an important part of their curriculum and I felt that the school’s aim and values aligned so well with my own personal and professional values. I was very fortunate to be appointed as Head and in my first year I continue to develop well-being across the school, not only for the pupils but also the staff and parents.

The previous Heads (who are also the Proprietors/Principals and happen to be the parents of Cleverlands author Lucy Crehan) were very forward thinking and recognised the need for well-being and ‘personal development’ to be a significant part of what an outstanding school should be offering pupils.

I will outline briefly what is currently offered to the children from our little 2 year olds to Year 6. Our PHSE curriculum is bespoke and we were recently commended on what we offered by the ISI inspectorate team.

P4C is embedded into the school, from stand alone lessons to themes in assemblies. Morning Dash questions help to deepen pupils’ philosophical reasoning and language skills.
All staff have undergone ‘Growth Mindset’ training and the language of the school and type of questioning and high challenge/low threat in lessons all help to nurture this. In Year 2 the children participate in a 6 week course on Growth Mindset.

The principles of Mindfulness are embedded with staff and my recent training in .b and pawsb (Mindfulness in Schools Project) has allowed me to continue to teach Year 4 and Year 6 courses which have been on the curriculum for several years. We are also offering an evening class of Mindfulness For Parents this term which has been oversubscribed – parents are so aware that what we are offering the pupils is valuable in their lives too!

We run courses in “Peer Support” and at the end of their training ‘Playground Pals’ are elected who give support in the playground at break times.

Assemblies are based on values and character traits. We have a ‘values spotters’ board and golden pillar box. Pupils post a note to me when they have spotted someone upholding the value of the week and both the spotter and the spotted are commended in a special assembly. The Character Education programme complements our assemblies and has super follow up resources.
Our co-curriulum is MASSIVE; this term over 60 clubs are on offer! These include yoga, gardening, taekwondo….too many to list!

For staff, each month I have tried to implement the ideas from healthy teacher toolkit in a practical form across all three staff rooms and lots of fun has been had! Yoga and ceramics classes for staff are being arranged for next term and sign up has been great.

On Friday I attended the Festival of Education and one of the discussion panels I attended was ‘How does student’s well-being impact attainment’…but that’s another blog!

Mrs. Drummond