The Bulmershe School is currently working towards achievement of the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS). This award was developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and focuses on changing the long-term culture of a school and embedding an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.
Evidence shows us that wellbeing is of central importance to learning and attainment, with high levels of wellbeing associated with improved academic outcomes.
Principles behind the award
There are four key principles driving the ideas and recommendations behind the award:
1. Emotional wellbeing and mental health are a continuum. Related issues can range from positive attitudes and behaviour, through to experiences of emotional distress and mental disorder.
2. Schools already experience and manage emotional issues on a daily basis; the objective is to minimise the impact of such issues and maximise the effectiveness of any responses.
3. Emotional wellbeing covers a range of dimensions, such as resilience, character building, relationships and self-esteem, etc. Understanding both developmental and mental health awareness is critical.
4. Creating a positive school culture requires a whole-school approach that is led from the top while involving all in the school community.
There are five stages in the WAS process and The Bulmershe School will be required to evidence best practice to achieve the award:
1. School self-evaluation
2. Preparation of an action plan
3. Implementation of actions and collecting evidence into a portfolio
4. Interim assessment and progress
5. Verification of achievement of the award
What are the eight objectives we are working towards?
The WAS has eight objectives which focus on areas of evaluation, development and celebration of the work of schools in promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and positive mental health. Each of these areas are broken down in to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Objective 1: The school is committed to promoting and protecting positive emotional wellbeing and mental health by achieving the Wellbeing Award for Schools.
Objective 2: The school has a clear vision and strategy for promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and mental health, which is communicated to all involved with the school.
Objective 3: The school has a positive culture that regards emotional wellbeing and mental health as the responsibility of all.
Objective 4: The school actively promotes staff emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Objective 5: The school prioritises professional learning and staff development on emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Objective 6: The school understands the different types of emotional and mental health needs across the whole-school community and has systems in place to respond appropriately.
Objective 7: The school actively seeks the ongoing participation of the whole-school community in its approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Objective 8: The school works in partnerships with other schools, agencies and available specialist services to support emotional wellbeing and mental health.
As part of the award process all stakeholders (students, parents and staff) will be asked to complete an evaluation form regarding the current provision the school provides and from the feedback received an action plan to develop our wellbeing provision will be devised. The final part of the award process is the verification visit, where a representative from NCB and the Wellbeing Award for Schools will assess the provision provided based on our evidence. If successful, we will receive the Wellbeing Award for three years.
How do we already support our students and staff wellbeing at The Bulmershe School?
We support our students and staff through a variety of ways, including:
- We have Behavioural Leads for each year group, who monitor and support students
- We have the Ivory Centre where students can come for support or time out
- We have a Staff Wellbeing Lead
- We have a Mental Health Co-ordinator who works with students and staff and is responsible for implementing the school’s mental health policy
- The Employee Assistance Programme is available to staff
- We refer students to the school nurse, CAMHS or other relevant services as required
- We have trained Mental Health First Aiders available for staff and students
More information about this award is available on the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) website.