Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”
At Holmewood House, we firmly believe that the wellbeing of every member of our community, be they pupil or staff, should underpin every aspect of the school. Equipping our pupils with the tools they need to negotiate life now and into the future is a priority for us here at Holmewood House.
Wellbeing is not something that can be taught – it must be experienced that is why we empower our pupils and staff to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. In September 2018 Nicky Stewart was appointed as our Wellbeing Lead to enable us to further develop our wellbeing strategies for staff and pupils. At every opportunity of school life we highlight how maintaining our physical, emotional and mental well health is essential to positive wellbeing.
Here at Holmewood we have embraced the 5 ways to Wellbeing initiative. Research has shown that if we attend to the 5 actions we can improve our personal wellbeing. Using the 5 ways to wellbeing framework we offer the following initiatives for staff and pupils:
Opportunities to socialise with our peers; a staff book club; pupil reading scheme; staff self-development sessions; pupil activities; Pets as Therapy Dogs in school; pupil/staff drop-in sessions; supervision sessions; counselling; a wellbeing network with local schools all sharing good practice in supporting our young people with their mental health and wellbeing – TWSWN
2. Be Active:
A full sports programme for pupils. Weekly sessions of yoga, swimming and circuit training for staff.
3. Take Notice:
Curriculum to support and develop a sense of emotional awareness for pupils. Themed assemblies for World Mental Health Day; World Kindness Day; Empathy Day and many more. Wellbeing Wednesday – email reminders for staff to focus on how they attend to their own wellbeing sending tips on subjects such as: sleep; mindfulness; connecting with nature; getting outside; focusing on the positives.
4. Keep Learning:
Pupil activities. Monthly staff CPD sessions. We have also given every member of staff the opportunity to train as a Youth Mental Health First Aider.
As a school community, we support many charitable endeavours throughout the year. We have our own MHFA England Youth Mental Health Instructor so we offer free places to local state-maintained schools to attend any courses we run from the school site.
In September 2019 our Wellbeing programme will extend to offering further supports such as:
• Pupil Wellbeing Ambassadors
• Parent courses in Youth Mental Health First Aid
• Wellbeing café drop-in sessions
• Mindfulness for all
• Wellbeing walks
• Wellbeing Lunch Club in the Learning Hub