Student Wellbeing at Highsted
At Highsted, we use our Connected Curriculum to enable students to explore how to manage the demands of balancing both daily demands and needs. About 60% of school students nationally report getting very tense when they study. Just over 60% of girls and 40% of boys say they feel very anxious about doing tests at school, even when they are well prepared.
What is wellbeing?
Wellbeing is the experience of health and happiness. It includes mental and physical health, physical and emotional safety, and a feeling of belonging, sense of purpose, achievement and success.
Wellbeing is a broad concept and covers a range of psychological and physical abilities. Five major types of wellbeing are said to be:
- Emotional wellbeing – the ability to be resilient, manage one’s emotions and generate emotions that lead to good feelings
- Physical wellbeing – the ability to improve the functioning of one’s body through healthy eating and good exercise habits
- Social wellbeing – the ability to communicate, develop meaningful relationships with others and create one’s own emotional support network
- Workplace wellbeing – the ability to pursue one’s own interests, beliefs and values in order to gain meaning and happiness in life and professional enrichment
- Societal wellbeing – the ability to participate in an active community or culture.
Overall wellbeing depends on all these types of functioning to an extent.
All staff are responsible for the wellbeing of students attending Highsted Grammar school. We encourage students to have ‘open’ conversations with us when they are concerned about their social emotional mental health and wellbeing.
Students may wish to share their concerns with the following adults in school:
- Form Tutor
- A Peer Mentor
- Head of Year
- Head of Key Stage
- Learning Mentor
- SEND Manager
- Subject Teachers
- The Safeguarding Team
Form Tutors play an active role in encouraging students to both recognise their successes and learns from mistakes. Our aim for students, through programmes such as ‘Girls on Board’, is that they are active participants in their relationships and decisions in their lives. We want our students to be confident citizens who can articulate their needs.
Students complete termly Resilience Based Conversations in Form Time to identify need and promote dialogue with their form tutor. From these conversations, Heads of Year are able to identify the most appropriate support available.
Anti-Bullying Ambassador training is a resource designed by young people from Kent Youth Voice for other young people. The training gives young people an understanding of different types of bullying behaviour, its effects, strategies to support others and a pledge to commit to. Anti-Bullying Ambassador training has been evidenced as having a positive impact on the emotional health and wellbeing of young people. We are very proud of our 64 Anti- Bullying Ambassadors who completed the full training in October 2022.
Further to our engagement with Headstart, we are pleased to have continued our Peer Mentoring programme with students. Currently, Sixth Form students are encouraged to step forward to support the younger years with both academic and emotional concerns. We are pleased to confirm that we will also be working with Youth Resilience in Term 4 to train students in Y8-10 as Peer Mentors, who will be able to work with students in Safe Spaces across the school.
Kent Counselling for Schools
KCS are a team of registered therapists providing mental health and wellbeing support services for over 20 years within educational settings. We are pleased to welcome KCS into school throughout the week to work with young people in bespoke personalised one-to-one support. If you would like more information, please contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year.
Children's Mental Health Week at Highsted
In conjunction with Place2Be, Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 will take place from 6 to 12 February 2023. This year’s theme is Let’s Connect.
Let’s Connect is about making meaningful connections. People thrive in communities, and this connection is vital for our wellbeing. When we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing.
For Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, we’re encouraging our community to connect with others in healthy, rewarding and meaningful ways.
Student Leadership Council
Beginning 6 February, the School Council have planned for a week full of lunchtime activities to commemorate Children’s Mental Health Week. The week's theme is Let’s Connect, focusing on the importance of connecting with people by having a strong support network and keeping positive and healthy relationships. Also, by removing the stigma about talking about how you feel. Some of the activities include: sharing positive affirmations; an open mic; and raising awareness about LGBTQ+ and ASD communities. As a collective, the Student Council care deeply about empowering fellow students and uplifting voices.
External Support Links
HeadScape has been designed for young people, by other young people to give them a trusted website to use for information, to check how they feel and even take a test to find out if they need help with their emotions.
HeadScape is a 'one stop' source of self-help about a range of mental health issues and conditions for young people to browse at leisure. Although designed for young people in Bexley, it provides a wealth of resources to explore the types of services available.
Uniquely, HeadScape offers young people the opportunity to independently undertake a mental health screening questionnaire, which when completed, provides individually tailored advice and information.
We are incredibly proud of our Year 13 Mental Health Ambassadors who have worked tirelessly with Ellie’s Angels to promote positive dialogue about Mental Health and remove the stigma that has still exists in society. They have been at the centre of launching the BetterU app with the school community to an overwhelming positive response from students.
Mind and Body
Mind and Body in Kent supports children and young adults who are self-harming, at risk of self-harming or struggling with their mental wellbeing. They help people find positive ways to manage difficult thoughts and feelings, working with small groups in school and in the community.
Through a range of trauma-informed services, Sateda provide direct access to support, advocacy and advice for women and children who’ve experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse. They strive to offer a journey of support which increases choices for women – enabling them to take back control, break free and live a life without fear. As a school, we have been privileged to invite Sateda into school to deliver workshops to students on Healthy Relationships and been able to raise funds for the charity through our Sixth Form Societies. In addition, we are able to refer students for one-to-one support in times of need.
The Be You Project
Through the Be You Project, Porchlight offer a range of support services for LGBTQ+ young people. One-to-one support sessions are available with our experienced LGBTQ+ youth support workers. They may take place at a youth centre, online or in school. Young people are referred by a member of school staff or other professional.
Kent School Health Referral
The school work closely with School Health to access support for our young people. The team works with schools, parents and carers as well as other professionals like health visitors or community paediatricians to prevent ill health in children, families and the wider community, support safeguarding of children and young people and address any health needs to make sure every child reaches their potential. There are lots of ways to get in touch with the School Health Team: phone 0300 123 5205 and select option two.
Parents/carers can complete an online referral form. You will receive a confirmation email that your referral has been submitted. If you don't get an email within a few minutes, check your junk folder in case it has gone there or call 0300 123 5205 and select option two to speak to a member of the team.
Young people, aged 11 to 19, can text our ChatHealth to have direct access to a nurse (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) on 07520 618850. This service is confidential and anonymous.
Moodspark is a dedicated website for young people to explore emotional resilience and mental health. It is designed by young people for young people. Children and young people can take the quiz and find out how you they’re doing. They can find lots of helpful information, videos and playlists to help them feel your best.
Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous support and online counselling for young people in Kent. Young people can access self-care tips and advice, daily journals, articles and more. Fully trained counsellors are available 365 days a year.
Kent Resilience Hub
A wide range of services are also accessible through the Kent Resilience Hub. If you would like more information about accessing these services, please see a member of staff at school.
Parents and Carers
As a parent or carer there will be many times during your child’s life when you will observe your child’s resilience being tested. This could be friendship difficulties, managing change, or dealing with loss. You may find yourself looking for tips and ideas to support your child to feel better. There are a number of ways to help your child become more resilient, including how to better manage the ups and downs that life can bring.
The first step to begin making a difference to your child is to understand what resilience is and how you and your child can improve and maintain it. There are six areas of a young person’s life that fit together to help them become more resilient and these areas make them more or less able to bounce back when they have a tough time. Please follow the link above to explore the ways in which you can support your child.