Posted in pupil wellbeing, Uncategorized

Supporting Pupils with Anxiety

Mental health in schools is a hot topic at the minute – the government has announced funding towards teacher mental health training.

We have become the first country in the world to roll out mental health first aid training to every secondary school – but is it too little too late?

Why are we suddenly fixating with mental health in schools? 1 in 10 children has a diagnosable mental health condition, equates to roughly three in every classroom! Even more shockingly, half of all cases of mental health illness takes root before the age of 14.

We know early intervention massively increases the chances of making a good recovery – but only if we become much better at spotting and dealing with problems earlier. Continue reading “Supporting Pupils with Anxiety”

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Posted in teaching, Uncategorized

Beating funding cuts: decreasing workload and boosting morale

There is so much work and preparation that goes into being a teacher – as a school leader, you see what your teachers have to offer on a daily basis – their relationships with pupils and families, their commitments toward improving their practice, and the teamwork they demonstrate with their colleagues.

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, the suicide rate of primary school teachers in England is nearly double the national average. Figures reveal that, between 2011 and 2015, the risk of suicide among primary and nursery school teachers was 42 percent higher than that of the broader population of England.

The startling figures have been published amid warnings that increasing pressures in the profession have made teaching “one of the most highly stressed occupations in the country today”, with a number of former and current teachers reporting that unmanageable workloads have impacted negatively on their mental health.

It is vital that you have a comprehensive, whole-school approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing, to ensure that staff and pupils are happy and safe. The link between low morale and poor teacher retention is well documented, and can severely impact on pupil behaviour and attainment.

You may not be able to shield staff from the uncertainty created by continual government reforms and budget restraints, but you can introduce low-cost and easy-to-implement strategies. Continue reading “Beating funding cuts: decreasing workload and boosting morale”

Posted in mental health, suicide, Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why – shocked? So were we.

Netflix’s controversial suicide drama has sparked debate following its arrival on the streaming service in March.

The debate surrounding 13 Reasons Why, and whether it deals with the subject of teen suicide tactfully, is continuing as schools in the USA are now issuing letters to parents warning them about the drama.

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The adaptation of Jay Asher’s 2007 novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, follows a group of 12 high-school pupils as they piece together a story described on a series of tapes left for them from their classmate, Hannah Baker, who has committed suicide. Continue reading “13 Reasons Why – shocked? So were we.”

Posted in sex and relationship education, Uncategorized

A Periodic Dilemma

No other area of school life relies on free samples or branded teaching resources to assist its pupils with their day-to-day lives. So why, when it comes to menstruation, have we ceded?

The Guardian reported last month that “girls from low-income families across England are struggling to afford sanitary protection, with many teachers buying tampons for their pupils or seeking help with supplies from charities and voluntary groups”.

This revelation is alarming, but consistent with the rising levels of child poverty in the country. But with our current, divisive Brexit fixation, the situation could deteriorate further. Continue reading “A Periodic Dilemma”

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

How to improve mental health in your school

Last week, in a speech at the Charity Commission, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new approach to tackling mental health.

There is no denying that the speech was a breakthrough for mental health sufferers and activists – for the first time in history, the UK has a government seemingly committed to taking mental health seriously, to breaking the stigma and silence around the subject by bringing it the forefront of public discourse.

However, scepticism has been aroused – political rhetoric is, after all, no substitute for concrete action.

We interviewed John Tomsett, headteacher at Huntington School in York and user of TheSchoolBus. Continue reading “How to improve mental health in your school”

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

Achievement vs Happiness

As a parent, what would you rate most important in your children’s educational experience? Their happiness? Or their success within the classroom and the grades written on a piece of paper?

According to a recent survey, the biggest worry for most parents is the academic achievements of their children rather than their personal wellbeing. Continue reading “Achievement vs Happiness”

Posted in SEND, Uncategorized, yoga

Yoga for autism: does it work?

Specialist yoga teacher, Michael Chissick, has been teaching yoga to children in primary mainstream and special schools for two decades.

Last month, during a Commons debate, Education Minister Edward Timpson said that children should be taught Buddhist meditation techniques and yoga in schools to help them “unplug from their online world”. He suggested that lessons taught as part of the PSHE curriculum could enable children “to enjoy good mental health and emotional wellbeing”.[1] Continue reading “Yoga for autism: does it work?”