Improving the success, behaviour, mental health and wellbeing of our students
The Department for Education (Mental health and behaviour in schools, November 2018) states that ‘Schools have a central role to play in enabling their pupils to be resilient and to support good mental health and wellbeing’. The advice from the DfE is, that in order support mental health and wellbeing they should look to prevent issues by creating a calm environment where mental health problems are less likely. This should be a whole school, consistent approach.
We have chosen to present and embed this approach by promoting a number of key character values that will be woven into the curriculum and pastoral programme. We are working towards the Route to Resilience accreditation in conjunction with Wellbeing Education.
It is about how we can help our students develop their own ‘best version of themselves’ and make the most of opportunities in school and life, now and into the future.
Wellbeing Education indicates that the key to developing character strengths is to focus on these characteristics in ourselves and in others.
The character strengths we have chosen to focus on are:
Not relying on others to do things for you. Showing that you can learn to do things for yourself.
The ability to recover from difficulties.
Believing in yourself and your abilities. Not being shy of trying.
Not giving up, even when something is difficult, or you’d rather be doing something else.
Restraining yourself from doing something that may not be appropriate at the time.
Treating each other properly. Admiring someone, and also listening to others and considering their views.
Being generous, thoughtful and friendly.
The ability to understand other people’s feelings, and find the best way to help or comfort them when they need it.
Character forms and takes shape over many years, if not a whole lifetime. It is a product of the opportunities, experiences and decisions that we make. In order to help this process we will create a culture in which students are given the chance to strengthen their character and inform their sense of self. As parents, you have a lot of power over this yourselves. Parental engagement in education is a key predictor of future achievement, as much as, if not more than the quality of teaching. It gives you a real opportunity to focus on the aspects of your child’s personality that you would like to strengthen.
This is a relatively new project for us this year. Over the coming months these character values will be introduced to the students, integrated into lesson planning and the pastoral curriculum so that there are many opportunities for our students to build the character strengths that will help them be successful and resilient.
Attend one of our Character Values events this year if you would like to know more. Also, watch this space for ideas about how you can support your child to develop their character strengths at home.