Wellbeing and Mental Health
Our wellbeing vision is:
To create an environment which actively promotes positive social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and wellness of students and staff.
Wellbeing Award for Schools
At Invicta Grammar School, we aim to ensure that we care for our students in the best possible way we can. The essence of our school motto ‘Nurturing aspirations, Inspiring success’ cannot be achieved without considering the wellbeing and safety of our students, staff and stakeholders. As part of our commitment to this, we were very pleased to secure the new Wellbeing Award for Schools in December 2019, which recognises a school’s efforts to promote and protect positive emotional wellbeing and mental health education and support.
We are proud of the pastoral support we provide our students and we know from our staff that Invicta Grammar School is a good place to work. However, we are not a school to simply be satisfied with our achievements; every effort is made to develop further, which is why we pursued the award. The award has helped us to self-review and develop the support services available to all our students and staff and we plan to do this moving forward.
The Wellbeing Award required us to action plan to consciously recognise what we currently do and to make use of additional opportunities to support and promote mental health and wellbeing. We have secured the award and will use the experience to continue our developments in the future.
What are we already doing at Invicta to look after our students?
Mental health and wellbeing is a key part of our school development plan in order to improve student and staff wellbeing.
Students at Invicta Grammar School are supported through a range of initiatives detailed below:
Student Voice is actively encouraged and developed through every individual interaction across the school. More formally, the Student Voice Representatives and Prefects in each year group meet every six weeks and the Student Voice Prefects meet with the Headteacher once per term to share feedback.
The Student Support Centre is available to students across Years 7 – 11 to access support and guidance when they require this. Sixth Form students have access to the Sixth Form Office.
PSHEE lessons provide an opportunity for students to engage in dialogue about common mental health needs and develop appropriate decision making and other life skills to help them with self-management and to increase awareness of support services available.
Coaching is available through relevant trained staff. Alternatively, a range of Mentoring support services are available in the form of peer mentoring, subject mentoring or pastoral mentoring on a one-to-one basis.
Activ8 aims to promote the positive benefits of physical activity in relation to mental health. We provide PE lessons across all key stages. Engagement in Clubs and Societies is encouraged to support wellbeing through interaction with others and learning new skills.
Safeguarding and Online Safety is paramount to ensure students’ and staff safety on a day to day basis. Safeguarding is overseen by a team of Designated Safeguarding Officers plus students are supported through pastoral staff teams and counselling links.
Tutor Time and Assemblies are used to share important messages regarding wellbeing, extend learning and give time for discussion. External services and events are also promoted through visiting speakers delivering assemblies.
Me & You Initiatives are ongoing all year round using the Student Bulletin and Looking After Yourselves and Others Notice Board to promote new initiatives both in and outside of school. Student Wellbeing Ambassadors are in place through the Prefect structure to act as peer mentors.
The school promotes a range of Counselling Links. A school counsellor is resident within the school on a weekly basis and students are seen on referral. The school has a strong link with Therapy Partners, a local counselling service, and students and families are supported on referral. The school also utilises the services of CAMHS, Early Help and the School Nursing service where appropriate for students.
The Learning Mentor supports students, upon referral via the Head of Year, to develop their learning skills and manage their academic studies in order to enable them to develop a positive school/life balance. Students are guided in developing skills to enable them to self-manage their learning independently.
The Reflection Room provides a comfortable and supportive space giving students time and space to reflect on their issues during the school day under the supervision of pastoral staff.
Pastoral Staff Teams are available throughout the school day to support students wherever necessary. Each year group has a senior member of staff overseeing the work of a Head of Year and team of Tutors. Students can access support through Tutor Time or simply by approaching relevant staff in the Student Support Centre and Sixth Form Office as necessary.
How parents/carers can help
Early intervention is key to us all being successful in supporting young people showing signs of poor emotional or mental wellbeing.
Warning signs of an issue might include:
- Increased isolation and being socially withdrawn
- Changes in mood, eating or sleeping patterns
- Physical signs of harm and talking about self-harm or suicide – look out for changes in how they dress
- Secretive behaviour
- Use of drugs and alcohol
- A dip in academic progress or increased lateness or absence from school
- Expressing feelings of failure and self-doubt
In times of need, we would encourage parents/carers to:
- Spend time listening and try to be understanding of the child’s needs
- Make sure the child knows they can talk to you anytime about anything
- Encourage family time and positive social interaction with trusted family friends
- Show the child affection and give them space to be peaceful
- Seek advice from professionals and do not be afraid to ask for help
There are some excellent support materials and guidance available on line for parents/carers. A few we would recommend are as follows:
|Action for Children||www.actionforchildren.org.uk/support-for-parents/children-s-mental-health/|
|Early Help Services||MaidstoneEarlyHelp@kent.gov.uk|
|School Health Team||www.kentcht.nhs.uk/service/school-health/|
Should you notice a change in the behaviour of your own child then please liaise with us at school so we can work together to support them as best we can.