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Life at Pennthorpe

Pastoral Care – Pupil Wellbeing

Be Well @ Pennthorpe

Although a small school of about 300 pupils, our Be Well @ Pennthorpe campaign is having a big impact!

The wellbeing curriculum at Pennthorpe has really helped my daughter grow in confidence and understand herself better. Parent

We launched the ‘Be Well @ Pennthorpe’ campaign in February 2020 with a wellbeing week that promoted key initiatives that would become part of our regular offering moving forward. The campaign is multi-dimensional: it targets pupils, staff and parents.  It is also proactive and reactive in design; its dual purpose is to give people the tools and experiential outlets to manage their own wellbeing as well as access to support mechanisms.

The RISE programme has helped me understand how important it is to look after my mental health and wellbeing.  I’d never really thought much about it before. Year 7 pupil

Here’s an impact overview of the campaign since its 2019 launch:

  • 100 – the % of pupils explicitly taught our bespoke wellbeing curriculum (‘Shoots’, ‘Roots’ or ‘RISE’)
  • 84 – the % of staff who feel that there is someone at school who cares about their welfare (according to our ‘Welfare Survey’)
  • 94 – the % of Prep school pupils whose happiness is above average (as rated by our ‘Happiness Tracker’)
  • 220 – the average number of weekly views of our ‘Pennthorpe Pulse’
  • 4 – the number of staff who accessed our school counsellor
  • 15 – the average number of parents who attend each ‘Tea and Talk’
  • 100 – the % of staff who took part in the ‘Angels and Mortals’ scheme
  • 82 – the % of staff who have benefited from a massage provided by the school
  • 20 – the average number of pupils to attend each ‘Hot Choc and Talk’ session with a Student Wellbeing Ambassador
  • 88 – the % of staff who feel that Pennthorpe is a happy place to work (according to our ‘Welfare Survey’)
  • 15 – the number of pupils who have accessed one of our school counsellors
  • 93 – the % of staff who enjoy coming to work at Pennthorpe (according to our ‘Welfare Survey’)
  • 96 – the % of staff who feel they have good friends and trusted colleagues at Pennthorpe (according to our ‘Welfare Survey’)

The Be Well @ Pennthorpe programme supports my child hugely with their wellbeing.  They know who they can talk to if they have a problem and they are being taught how to look after their own wellbeing, which is great and something I never got at school!  It’s great that they know it is ok not be ok. Wellbeing and happiness really are priorities at the school. Parent

Adaptations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We were determined that COVID-19 would not prevent us from delivering a full and robust mental health and wellbeing offering to our School Community.

We quickly sought to both replicate and enhance our Be Well @ Pennthorpe offering online so we are now able to facilitate excellent provision during periods of remote schooling.

In the lockdown periods of the school, our wellbeing provision has included:

  • Offering all children, across the school a weekly online 1:1 with a pastoral specialist whilst remote learning
  • Tea and Talks for parents offered online via Microsoft Teams
  • Remote counselling sessions for pupils and staff who required them
  • Online weekly wellbeing sessions for all pupils from EYFS-Year 8
  • Daily virtual emotional temperature checks for all pupils to allow for rapid intervention
  • Online Pennthorpe Pulse to support parents with their own and their family’s wellbeing
  • Online ‘Social Space’ where pupils could connect with friends in a safe environment
  • Weekly ‘Fun Fridays’ to connect the school community and inject positivity and joy into families. Examples of these included: wacky glasses Friday, Moustache Friday and glam Friday.
  • Wellbeing Wednesdays – afternoon lessons were cancelled to allow for non-screen based wellbeing activities to take place
  • Online yoga and mindfulness sessions for pupils
  • Online staff social space for connecting during breaks and lunches. This included a virtual staff wellbeing board, which sign posted staff to mental health and wellbeing support mechanisms that were available should they require them.

I suffer really badly from anxiety and negative thinking.  Working with Mrs Vernon (school counsellor) has given me some strategies I can use to help me manage it. Year 8 pupil

Bi-Annual Wellbeing Week

In 2020 we hosted our first Wellbeing Week at Pennthorpe, which was an amazing success.

During the week we had several ‘Tea and Talk’ sessions for parents, and an evening talk from a visiting integrative psychotherapist Caroline Southerden. Following these sessions, we were inundated with requests for the materials to be shared. In light of this, we have put together a series of brochures that cover the key messages and themes from all of the talks that took place.

Looking after our own mental health and wellbeing, as well as that of the children in our care, has never been more crucial. We believe the brochures below provide parents with some useful information and food thought as they navigate the ups and downs of being a parent.

Read more about the ongoing work we are doing in our Prep and Pre-Prep schools.

The Tea and Talks are fabulous.  It’s great to be able to learn about ways we can help our children stay happy and positive.  It’s also good to talk to other parents about things as you don’t feel so alone. Parent

Be Well @ Pennthorpe on YouTube!

Our regular ‘Pennthorpe Pulse’ soundbites, that are designed to support parents and staff with managing their own and their family’s wellbeing, can be viewed on our Wellbeing Playlist on YouTube.

I love the Pennthorpe Pulse.  It’s great advice and I tune in every week for my wellbeing fix. Teacher

Pennthorpe Wellbeing Resources

A selection of our Wellbeing resources, including our Wellbeing Week schedule, and various pamphlets on key wellbeing topics, can be downloaded below.

I always know there is someone at school I can talk to if I have a problem.

Year 4 pupil

  • Title Open File
  • Be Well @ Pennthorpe Overview
  • The Pennthorpe Wellbeing Week 2020 schedule
  • "Raising Mentally Healthy children" - A talk by Integrative Psychotherapist Caroline Southerden
  • “Parenting the Modern Teen” by Mrs Tusler, aimed to help with understanding, connecting and communicating with your teen or tween in a disconnected, distracted and digital world.
  • “Flourishing Families” by Mrs Waller, looking at the benefits of positive psychology and how it can be applied to the family context to help children flourish.
  • “Mind The Gap” by Mrs Evans, exploring ‘top tips’ on how to reduce that gap effectively between you and your increasingly independent child.
  • “Let’s Talk About It” by Mrs Vernon, focusing on opening the way to meaningful conversations with your child.
  • “Health, Happiness and Emotional Wellbeing in your child’s early years” by Mrs Maclean looking at how we support children with transitions through life and help them to gain an understanding of their feelings and emotions through everyday challenges.
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