The school is fully committed to supporting the well-being of its students, staff and parents. In order to encourage a supportive well-being culture, we have a wide ranging and comprehensive mental health provision in place. This includes the following:
Trained counsellors offer short term counselling which may focus on anxiety and exam stress, as well as long term counselling for students who present with more complex mental health needs.
Trained mentors help students with less complex mental health needs, providing them with additional support in school for those who may be struggling with low self-esteem, family issues or high levels of anxiety. Mentoring may also provide behaviour strategies for those students who are struggling to meet the expected standard of behaviour.
In addition to this mentoring, our Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year are there to offer guidance and support to any students in their year group who may need support with getting through the day, if they’re going through a crisis or having friendship issues. Our Heads of Year also work closely with parents and families to prioritise the mental health of the young person. We have a behaviour specialist who works closely with those students finding it particularly difficult to self-regulate their feelings for reasons that are often outside their control.
The school has a system of buddying in place between students in the sixth form and younger students from Years 7 and 8. Sixth form buddies are trained to work with vulnerable students and can support them with a range of issues, particularly with the transition of primary to secondary school. This support may also include academic help and support with friendship building.
The SEND department is a place students can go and receive additional support with confidence building and social skills. Students can have access to the sensory room which is a space they can use to help alleviate anxiety and stress in a calming environment.
We have a comprehensive programme delivered to each year group to support positive mental health and well-being. This includes assemblies, drop down days and parent workshops. We work with organisations such as JAMI (mental health charity), Streetwise (enhancing personal safety and personal development of students to support their physical and emotional well-being), JWA (Jewish Women’s Aid -educating our students around domestic violence awareness and abuse) and Papyrus (a UK charity for the prevention of young suicide) as well as other local professionals.
Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health and/or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. If you have any concerns in regards to safeguarding, please e-mail and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
In delivering safeguarding duties we will:
- provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child;
- identify concerns early and prevent concerns from escalating;
- establish and maintain a culture where children feel respected, secure and are encouraged to talk and are listened to when they have a worry or concern;
- establish and maintain an environment where school staff and volunteers feel well informed about safeguarding and child protection and are listened to when they have concerns about the safety and well-being of a child;
- ensure children know that there are adults in school whom they can approach if worried and that these adults will take action to deal with what worries them;
- ensure that children who have unmet needs are supported appropriately. This could include a referral to early help services or specialist services if they are a child in need or have been/are at risk of being abused/neglected;
- where there is a safeguarding concern, take the child’s wishes and feelings into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide and ensure that there are systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback;
- when concerned about the welfare of a child, always act in the best interests of the child;
- work with parents to build an understanding of the school’s responsibilities for the welfare of all children, including the need for referrals to other agencies in some situations;
- Include opportunities across the curriculum, including within IT for children to be taught about safeguarding and develop the skills they need to recognise danger, protect themselves from risks and stay safe from abuse; maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned;
- ensure that staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school’s safeguarding procedures and are familiar with the appropriate whistleblowing procedures;
- maintain a culture of continuous improvement with regard to safeguarding and child protection arrangements.>