It's #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek at John O'Gaunt School - something we take seriously every week of the year, particularly when we know that mental health issues are on the rise in children and young people.
In a small school like ours, we know our students really well, and wobbles or concerns are spotted early by staff. Our dedicated Welfare and Pastoral Team are an experienced, approachable, and reassuring force of nature!
The emphasis here is very much on talking and listening, finding coping and dealing strategies and building positivity, confidence, and resilience in our young people. Students know where to go if needed and practice looking out for each other, too. Often, it's just a case of talking something over, and resetting that positive, can-do mentality.
We work closely with parents and agencies such as Time to Talk, West Berkshire Youth Hub, The Emotional Health Academy, Daisy's Dream and The Mental Health Support Team in West Berkshire. In this way, students find they can often gain strength and inspiration from a newfound resilience, which feeds back into their educational and community life and ultimately, a bright future.
These 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' are things we practice daily - and we're so lucky to be part of a supportive school community, where we are also surrounded by nature!