Supporting Wellbeing at ECC
Dear Parents and Carers
As part of our parent and carer communication schedule, we had intended to send this email later in the term but in light of the sad news we shared with you last week, we felt it was vitally important to send it now to provide information which may help you support your child/children.
In this update we would like to share with you how we are promoting positive wellbeing for all in the College. Being mentally and physically healthy means that we feel good about ourselves, we make and keep positive relationships with others, allow ourselves to feel a full range of emotions and understand how we can manage these feelings.
Please find below information on the following:
· Lesson 42
· Wellbeing check
· Staff training & Counsellors
· The Wellbeing Award
Every Wednesday in College students have Lesson 42. They start the day with this and are taught by their tutor as they know them best. During Lesson 42 students develop their knowledge of what wellbeing is, and how they can improve their own and recognise when they or their peers may need some extra support. The curriculum plan for Lesson 42 is on the College Website so you can see which areas are covered: https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/curriculum/subjects/citizenship-pshe
Each term we ask students to complete a wellbeing check. This is just a few questions to find out how they have been feeling in the last few weeks. Tutors collect the responses and will be able to talk to students if there is anything that concerns them. The tutor will explain how they can support themselves, how the College can support them and may signpost them to other organisations who may be able to help.
Staff Training & Counsellors
Within College many staff have undertaken training so they can have useful conversations with students about how they feel. We also have College counsellors who students can see during the College day. Tutors will be able to explain to students how they can make an appointment. During last year we worked with the local Primary Care Network and Young Devon to establish a further full week of Wellbeing support run by Young Devon on site. The Pastoral staff can assist students in making a referral to them, or students can make a referral themselves. We have tried with this offer to introduce some flexibility to the times and so some sessions are available after 3pm for students who prefer that. If students want to make contact with their Pastoral teams they can always email them.
Signposting for Parents and Carers
Parents and Carers are an important part of the solution for a young person experiencing poor mental health. The pastoral staff for your child's year group will be able to share with you organisations and information that may help you access support for your child if you feel this would be useful. Our colleagues from Young Devon can also help particularly with completing forms for referrals to CAMHS. One of the best resources we often recommend is KOOTH. If you are not familiar with what they can offer, please take a look at their website https://www.kooth.com/
We are always looking for professional learning for ourselves to ensure we can support your child. We have just been offered a really exciting opportunity for families of children in Years 7-10. Please find attached further information about how to take part in a family based mental health support study called PIPA which is being organised by the University of Warwick. Please do consider this. We know how busy everyone’s lives are so you may wish to share with grandparents who are able to take part in the study too. We also have a group of students who have signed up to join our Mental Health Ambassadors, they will commence their training in January.
The Wellbeing Award
As a College, we are very committed to supporting our students with managing and having awareness of their own mental health and wellbeing. We take a whole College approach to this by ensuring our staff are also well supported and signposted if needed. We know that we can always do more to promote good mental health and wellbeing. We have therefore committed to working towards achieving The Wellbeing Award through Optimus Education. As a College we will spend 15 months gathering evidence, introducing strategies and re visiting some of our policies to ensure we meet very high standards of provision for emotional wellbeing and mental health for both students and staff. The first step in our journey will be asking all students, staff, parents and carers to complete a survey. This will be emailed home in the next few weeks. Please do take the time to complete it and support us in knowing what is going well and how we can improve further.
Finally, wellbeing is not just about having good mental health, there are many other aspects which play an important part. We are very pleased to see our after College activities resume and all the students taking part in clubs, fixtures and rehearsals following the restrictions of the pandemic. If you are not sure what is available please do look on the student bulletins on the website.
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