WELLBEING

As professionals within the educational sector we all strive to improve our game. It is not uncommon to find our teaching staff, as well as administrative and support staff, venturing into roles within pastoral care. They may take up these incredibly important roles alongside their primary role in a climate where pastoral support has become an ever-increasing growth area. In my youth, this role would have been tackled by the school nurse, but now many schools have full-time teams managing the demands of modern day schooling.

GCSE and A Level students are escaping the stress during exam season armed with felt tips, pencils and crayons thanks to a new initiative by Alder Grange School in Lancashire

E-safety charity Childnet have launched Trust Me, a new, free resource designed to support Primary and Secondary school teachers in exploring critical thinking online. Developed in partnership with the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) Safeguarding Board to address the emerging area of online extremism and propaganda, the practical resource aims to provoke discussion among students so as to challenge young people to think critically about what they see online.

Pupils are stressed. The Chief Medical Officer’s Report of 2012 found that:

  • Self-harm rates have increased sharply over the past decade.
  • Peak onset of mental ill health is 8 to 15 years.
  • 10% of children have a mental health issue.

The rise in numbers of children and young people suffering from mental health conditions has risen sharply in the last few years. One of the reasons for this is that mental health is more widely and openly talked about, but also that there is also greater recognition and diagnosis.

Teenage years are full of enough stress and challenge without young people having to worry about being accepted for something they have no control over; their sexuality and identity. LGBTPAQ - whether you are a parent, student or teacher you may recognise some of these letters, and others may be leaving you wondering what they mean. Below, I have tried to 'sum up' as best I can the definitions as I have experienced and understand them. Please do comment and contribute to this article if you feel you have a clearer or more focused definition.

New survey results released by WWF-UK have revealed that 85% of parents of Primary school age children are willing to change their family diet to help protect the environment. However, only 13% of parents are currently taking steps to improve their impact, with a lack of information on the subject holding many of them back. This new survey has encouraged the organisation to launch a new Plant2Plate campaign for 2016.

As far back as 2008, an Ofsted report concluded that: “The first-hand experiences of learning outside the classroom can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhance their understanding. It can also contribute significantly to pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.” This report evaluated the impact of learning outside the classroom in 27 schools and colleges across England. It went on to say that “Learning outside the classroom was most successful when it was an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities.”

Sarah* was born with a congenital limb deficiency, meaning that her right arm was shortened slightly and she had all but two of her fingers missing on her right hand. Her parents loved her and wanted the best for her, and she was fortunate to have been born at a time where she could go to a mainstream Primary school with no problems... no problems other then being bullied and having no positive role models with disabilities like hers. With her self-confidence low and doubt about her future and what she could achieve, Sarah and her mum were scared about what the next few years would bring. Then one day her primary school bought in a visiting speaker.

Kodo Education have released a free anti-radicalisation checklist for schools. The resource, available via www.e-safetysupport.com, aims to help teachers with this hot potato under the new 'Prevent duty' obligations faced by schools.

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