Excelling in Mental Health
Well done to the Student Support Team and Teachers who have achieved the Excelling Accreditation from Edupod. Edupod is a project from Innovating Minds focusing on creating a mentally healthy environment in school for students and staff. This is the third and final award which demonstrates St Philip’s commitment to positive mental health.
The Student Support team, Sean Henn and teacher Lisa Falconer, have developed a programme that uses the outdoors in a conscious way to develop Well Being called Ecological Transactional Analysis (Eco-TA). Students are selected from each year group at the beginning of each half term, starting with Year 11 and working down through the secondary year groups and have dedicated Wild Time which is a student-led experience in local green spaces and the school’s outdoor classroom. There has been some link up with the Forest School teacher who works with the Primary children but this programme is designed to enable students to find their own way.
Sean Henn, Student Support worker said: “At the beginning of each programme, the pupils are encouraged to play and explore in the natural environments we have close to the school. As the weeks go by we model a mindful approach to spending time outdoors and finish with a reflective session around our campfire in the forest school area in school. We have seen some abstract, high level expressive language from young people and they are able to articulate what happens to them when they are in the outdoors and why they feel this is good for them.”
The second strand developed for this part of the award was by PSHE teacher Shulay Matthews who has been offering the Healing Together programme to individual students. This programme has been developed by Innovating Minds as a trauma based approach, originally developed for young people who have experienced domestic abuse, however the programme has since been adapted for young people who are experiencing ongoing stress and anxiety.
“Students learn how the body reacts to different feelings as well as how the body and brain can work together to feel more relaxed. Students explore strategies to help their body and brain feel calmer, which in turn can make it easier for them to deal with everyday life.” explains Shulay.
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