October 10, 2023
Strong wellbeing support for Lionheart staff and studentsAt the Lionheart Educational Trust, we believe in nurturing and developing the whole child, meaning that we promote holistic development and place strong focus on students’ wellbeing.
Ensuring our young people are happy both inside and outside of the classroom, invariably results in stronger academic performances.
A range of support is on offer to students at our schools and, on World Mental Health Day, what better time to showcase our approach in a couple of Lionheart’s Leicestershire schools?
Navigating the journey through primary, secondary and sixth form school years can sometimes be challenging, therefore it is important to us that we ensure our students receive the best support possible and make sure that there is always somebody on hand to listen
Trudy Sharpe, who works in the Student Support Centre at Beauchamp City Sixth Form in Leicester City Centre, notes that it is important students reach out and seek support should they need it, to enable them to complete their studies as best they can.
“We encourage students to approach us to ask for help; this can be done in person or by e-mail.
“Often, we will arrange to meet students for a number of weeks or months, which allows them to feel more confident about sharing their concerns and allows us to suggest strategies and assess how these are working,” she continues.
“Listening is a big part of the support we offer - simply talking through whatever is on their mind can help. We try to focus on positive wellbeing and the steps that they can take to help themselves; we encourage students to take responsibility for their own wellbeing.”
With A-level students striving for their very best in order to secure desired future pathways, Beauchamp City’s Student Support Team provide study skills and advice on how to appropriately plan time to reduce anxiety. Students are also taught various breathing techniques and are given information about sleep routines, healthy diets and regular exercise, elements that contribute to positive mental health and, subsequently, help them to reach their academic potential.
Staff who work in the Student Support Centre also undertake appropriate training to augment their skills and, subsequently, enhance their ability to support students.
“Last year, I completed the Mental Health First Aid course and I would recommend this training to anyone who would like to know more about how to support others - this could be family, friends, colleagues or even strangers that appear in need of help,” Trudy said.
The wellbeing of our employees is equally important, with initiatives introduced across our schools.
Last academic year, the Wellbeing Team at Humphrey Perkins School, in Barrow upon Soar, were recognised in our Trust-wide employee awards for the amazing work they do to keep staff morale high.
Given the busy nature of working in education, it is admirable that these employees take the time to brighten up colleagues’ days. So often it is the small gestures that have the biggest impact and put smiles on faces.
The Humphrey Perkins Wellbeing Team frequently bring in little ‘treats’ to thank staff for their hard work; arranging for biscuits to be delivered at Parents Evenings and after Open Evenings.
Additionally, they have, and continue to, arrange staff initiatives to promote a sense of togetherness and camaraderie. They arranged a sweepstake for the 2022 World Cup, organised the annual staff Secret Santa and even invited a cheeky elf into the school to spread some well-deserved festive cheer.
Furthermore, they introduced the Humphrey Perkins Wellbeing baton, which is handed to a new department each month to praise them for their efforts in promoting wellbeing; for example, the Maths team won the baton for organising deluxe hot chocolates for all staff!
If that wasn’t enough, they have also brought in the weekly ‘I Heard a Whisper’ Award. Throughout the week, staff submit examples of how their colleagues have gone the extra mile in their respective roles. These individuals then receive a postcard which details why they have been selected, accompanied by a Wispa chocolate bar.
Della Bartram, Associate Principal at Humphrey Perkins, notes that the Wellbeing Team “epitomise kindness and care and never forget the importance of staff.”
“They ensure that wellbeing is threaded through our practice and is not solely tokenistic,” she says.
Throughout our Trust, the mental wellbeing of both staff and students is among our top priorities. We ensure our young people are happy and healthy, as this will allow them to fulfil their academic potential. We also promote an inclusive workplace where everybody’s voice is heard and staff are recognised for their achievement and effort, therefore supporting our employees.