Rossendale Free Press

School taking steps to improve wellbeing

- FREE PRESS REPORTER freepressn­ @RossFreePr­ess

AHIGH school has adopted a two-year strategy to place staff and students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing at the forefront of every school day.

Haslingden High School is using the NHS Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing and has already begun work on the first step – Connect with other people.

Headteache­r Russell Clarke, who took over in September, said: “There has never been a more important time to focus on wellbeing, both for students and staff.

“Each term we are using one of the NHS steps as our focus, we had a dedicated wellbeing session and we encouraged staff to use their CPD (Continuous Profession­al Developmen­t) time to do something other than work. I ran up Musbury Tor, we had staff pick up their children from school, something they are normally not able to do, others went for a brew and a chat.

“This term we have well over 20 wellbeing initiative­s in place to ensure that it forms part of the school experience for all.

“In education, with all the pressures, you could fill every minute of every day, but we have to be strong enough in our approach to leadership to recognise that we are not going to do be able to do everything and that we must also make and take time to look after ourselves. Schools have been hard hit by Covid, but I am proud of the way our staff and students have handled it.

“I want to thank students for the way they have tackled the obstacles of the last 18 months and it has been inspiring to see how they have approached this first half-term. I also want to thank parents for their overwhelmi­ng support.”

The school held a series of assemblies on student wellbeing and mental health and staff members were encouraged to wear a yellow item of clothing to promote the charity’s Hello Yellow day.

There has been a larger than usual uptake in PE after school clubs, and being physically active is another of the wellbeing steps.

Feel Good Friday is the school’s weekly event to acknowledg­e staff and students’ achievemen­ts, along with star of the week, where students are presented with a badge by the headteache­r.

A wellbeing school badge been created to promote the NHS five steps, new displays have been added to the walls to foster discussion and conversati­on and staff have been asked what skills they can offer to help others.

As ever, the response from the school staff has been overwhelmi­ngly positive and serves as a perfect reminder of the dedication and commitment they show on a daily basis to support our students.

Over subsequent terms the school will focus on the four other NHS steps: Be physically active; Learn new skills; Give to others; Pay attention to the present moment – mindfulnes­s.

Mr Clarke added: “We

want to create a culture where we are always looking for the positives and where we think about being kind and showing kindness towards one another, firmly placing wellbeing at the heart of our school.”

 ?? ?? ●●Haslingden High School’ Modern Foreign Languages staff join in Hello Yellow Day, from left Holly Madden, Sian Nixon, Rob Kirk, Laura Connor and Megan Dearden
●●Haslingden High School’ Modern Foreign Languages staff join in Hello Yellow Day, from left Holly Madden, Sian Nixon, Rob Kirk, Laura Connor and Megan Dearden

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