As you may be aware, last week was ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ and the theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Express Yourself’. Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts or ideas, through creativity. It is about finding a way to show who you are and how you see the world, which can help you feel good about yourself.
It is more important than ever to promote positive approaches to our wellbeing and ensure that children and families know where and how to seek mental health support. To raise the profile of mental health and wellbeing amongst our students it was a focus in tutor times, the Values lesson and a whole academy assembly last week. The Values session and assembly are available to students through the Google Classroom, as these were of course, delivered remotely.
These sessions presented opportunities to introduce your child to our new Wellbeing Team at The Halley Academy. Ms Beswick is leading a newly established wellbeing team which will ensure our provision supports the wellbeing of all members of our community. We are proud of the support and guidance offered to students and families at the academy and with the introduction of our new model, we know we can go from strength to strength. As part of the strategy to secure the very best wellbeing provision for your child, we are undertaking the accreditation for the nationally recognised Wellbeing Award. We will be seeking parent/carer and student feedback on wellbeing during the next module.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the things we have in place to support the wellbeing of our students:
- The small school model enables students and yourselves to have key members of staff to support you. This human scale approach to education means that we get to know our students and their families well.
- The Values curriculum addresses many aspects of mental health and wellbeing, including our relationship and sex education.
- The Global Citizenship curriculum in years 7 and 8 complements the Values curriculum.
- The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at key stage 3 and the The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) at 6th form ensure our students have a reflective and holistic approach to learning.
- The academy has an experienced full time counsellor, who offers both one to one counselling and small group therapy sessions.
- The academy has a tier 2 CAMHS link worker.
- Weekly student bulletin; “In the Loop” giving students wellbeing tips and giving the opportunity to get involved. This includes a weekly gratitude journal, a celebration of the things our students are grateful for.
- We are committed to the online safety of students and are a National Online Safety certified school.
- The programme of Continued Professional Development of staff incorporates learning on safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing.
- We have a highly experienced safeguarding team which works closely with other agencies to support and promote the welfare and wellbeing of all of our students.
- Support for students with additional needs through our skilled Inclusion Team.
- Links to dedicated Leigh Academies Trust Educational Psychologists, offering assessment, support and signposting to services for students and families.
- Student leadership opportunities to develop independence, resilience and communication skills.
- Student voice opportunities to develop students’ sense of identity and place within the academy.
- A full enrichment programme, including sports and caring for our bees and hens.
- A Stonewall Champion school, where the celebration of diversity and inclusivity is at the core of all we do.
As parents and carers, you play an important role in helping look after your child’s mental health. By talking openly about mental health from a young age, children can learn to better understand their emotions, break down stigma, and feel safe enough to reach out for help when it’s needed. Talking about mental health and expressing our feelings can be difficult, no matter our age. Our remote learning guide highlights some of the resources available to you. You may also find this external resource helpful (Young Minds).
Importantly, your child’s mental health and wellbeing is a top priority not only during children’s mental health and wellbeing week, but all year around. At The Halley Academy respect, resilience, integrity and collaboration matter. In our caring community we want everyone to feel safe, valued and empowered.
If you have any concerns that you would like to discuss, then please contact your child’s small school or a member of the safeguarding team. All contact details can be found by following the remote learning guide above.
Head of Easley School
Designated Safeguarding Lead