Poor mental health undermines educational attainment. Surveys suggest that disproportionately large numbers of pupils with conduct and emotional disorders fall behind in their overall educational attainment, missing school and/or being excluded.
One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Statement:
The mental health and wellbeing of all members of Pool Academy (including staff, students and parents) is fundamental to our core values of ‘Aspiration, Belonging and Respect’.
To ensure that through the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing, young people are helped to understand and express their feelings, build their confidence and emotional resilience and therefore their capacity to learn.
To increase the awareness and understanding and reduce stigma amongst students, staff and parents/carers of issues involving the mental health and wellbeing of young people and to provide support at an early stage to any student who is or appears to be suffering from mental health issues.
Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbing:
The culture at Pool Academy promotes students’ positive mental health and wellbeing and avoids stigma by:
Having a whole-school approach to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing within an ethos of high expectations and constant support.
Having a committed staff community that sets a whole school culture of positive mental health and wellbeing, support and values that everyone understands.
Having a robust regime of continuing professional development (CPD) for staff.
Working closely with students, parents and carers.
Whole school promotion of kindness and building individual resilience and tenacity in all areas of the curriculum through the Skills Framework.
Empowering students to take responsibility for supporting everyone within our community.
Mental health and wellbeing is a very varied and complex area and there are no quick fix solutions. Maintaining every day, regular routines wherever possible, such as, attending school and lessons whilst working towards managing mental health is key. School offers a range of services to help students develop positive mental health and wellbeing and support those experiencing mental health issues. These are:
The pastoral team, lead and support positive mental health and wellbeing across school.
Year Teams are well placed to spot changes in behaviour that might indicate a problem and offer support and guidance. Many things can cause a change in mental health including traumatic events (e.g. loss or separation, life changes, abuse, domestic violence or bullying).
PSHE curriculum includes mental health topics in order to raise awareness and understanding and provide strategies for developing positive emotional health and wellbeing and managing mental health.
PSHE has the flexibility to focus on developing children’s resilience, confidence and ability to learn.
Constructive links with outside support and specialist agencies (e.g. school nurse, CAP, CAMHS) to provide interventions for those with mental health problems.
Our prefects and student leadership team meet regularly to listen to students’ views and are empowered to lead initiatives to support our whole community.
Our KS3 Citizenship programme encourages all students to carry out actions that would improve the experience for themselves and others. This programme leads very effectively into students joining our Duke of Edinburgh or Cadets programmes.
Any member of staff, student, parents/carers concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of a student should speak to the Year Team about their concerns. They will monitor and support them, and refer to outside agencies, if appropriate, for further intervention.
Advice for Parents and Carers:
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have created a booklet aimed to support parents and carers to talk to their child about mental health:
We take staff happiness, mental health and wellbeing seriously, always remembering:
• We all have a mental health
• We all need someone to talk to
• We all need a bit of fun
• We all need to feel part of a community
• We all need to feel valued and successful
• We all have the right to a work-life balance
Informal staff feedback is encouraged at all times and staff working groups meet following any formal feedback to discuss how as an organisation we can encourage staff happiness, mental health and wellbeing.