As a school we have been recognised for all of the work we do to support student and staff mental health and have been awarded with a Gold award from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. This is something to really celebrate and a real team effort involving all staff, students and support from parents/carers.
Supporting student and staff wellbeing and encouraging positive mental health are top priorities for our school community. We all have mental health, and it is important that we look after it. This page provides information, support and guidance for students, parents/carers and staff for looking after wellbeing and promoting a positive mental health.
Our approach is centred on promoting a safe and supportive learning environment alongside appropriate and specialist care for emotional development of all children. Wellbeing is a whole school focus and underpins everything we do. We want our students to be happy, healthy, confident and curious individuals, both in and outside of the classroom.
We have a skilled team of staff with vast experience of working with students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, including a full time counsellor. We have recently embarked on the Thrive programme to further embed this into our way of working.
Information and resources for parents/carers
Please see our 'Pastoral Support Team' leaflet for more information about our pastoral support team and please get in touch if you would like to speak to a member of the team.
Students are encouraged to learn more about mental health and self-care, developing their resilience for the future. From Year 9, students are introduced to wellbeing through the Personal Development Curriculum, assemblies, LEV and the tutorial programme, covering topics from fight/flight to social media. We also take part in awareness raising activities for mental health charities, celebrating positive wellbeing throughout the school year. We frequently send out further advice through student emails and regularly update our Twitter.
All students have access to wellbeing and mindfulness materials via their Year team, and we regularly promote local and online services including Kooth. Our school library is stocked with relevant and relatable, age-appropriate literature, both fiction and non-fiction. Information is available via the download below.
Information and resources for students
To find out more about some of our wellbeing initiatives, please access the information via the download buttons below.
We know that lots of you already have positive coping strategies in place and now may be a good time to revisit these or try something new. If you do feel the need to talk to someone, please speak to those around you who may be able to help, including family and friends.
We have put together some resources and ideas to try at home to generally help maintain a positive level of wellbeing or manage more difficult days.
One resource which is particularly useful has been provided by the NHS (Every Mind matters) and is available for students and parents via this link: EVERY MIND MATTERS
Self-care is really important in managing your wellbeing and mental health. This will mean different things to different people.
Please see the following website which has lots of excellent resources from challenging negative thoughts to goal setting, letting off steam to relaxation techniques.
There are always staff available, including a specialist pastoral support team, to talk to if you have concerns. Please email your Head of Year in the first instance if you would like to explore this further.
You may also want to try Kooth.com which is a free, online counselling service.
If you feel your mental health is really suffering, please make an appointment with your GP.
If you are in crisis, please phone 111 or Samaritans (free) on 116 123.
Other useful helplines:
Acorns Project helps those who are worried about relationships and abuse. Text 07712 862 858, Telephone 0191 349 8366, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website on https://www.acornsproject.org.uk/
NSPCC – Child Protection Helpline provides advice to adults and children about child protection concerns. You can phone them on 0808 800 5000 or visit their website at https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
Mental Health Apps:
To look after your mental health it would be worth visiting the websites below which may be of use to you. Some have excellent apps that will help you with mindfulness, relaxation and coping with stress.
Stop, Breathe, Think www.stopbreathethink.com
The vast majority of you live in happy, caring homes. However, if there is ever a time when you don’t feel safe at home or if you know someone else who is not safe at home then you need to know that you can contact people who can help.
It’s important that you tell someone if you are worried about yourself or a friend. Please contact Front Door if you have concerns about a child.
North Tyneside Front Door
0345 2000 109 - Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5.00p, Friday8.30am – 4.30pm.
Out of hours - 0191 200 6800
If you have an immediate concern and feel that a child is at risk of significant harm or danger please contact the police on 999.
We will continue to send out further resources and advice via student email.
Further support is available from the downloads below:
For students who require bereavement support outside of school, we recommend the websites below:
As part of our commitment to promoting positive mental health, we have dedicated a whole week to this in the form of ‘wellbeing week’. This week gave students and staff an opportunity to reflect on how they look after their mental health as well as try something new and develop new interests. The video below was shared with students in assembly to demonstrate ideas on how members of staff promote a positive approach to their wellbeing.
The main messages for students for the week were a reminder of what mental health is, the importance of basic self-care strategies, boosting wellbeing through kindness and signposting support available in and out of school.
As we have been unable to run this event since 2019, it really has been an extravaganza. Here is a flavour and some highlights of the week:
Each year group ran a personalised wellbeing challenge to suit the needs and priorities of the year group ranging from wellbeing bingo to wellbeing pledges in relation to exams. In 6th Form there were wellbeing trips at the end of each day including to Hotpotz ceramics, Hotpod Yoga, CrossFit, ice skating and bowling.
There has been a whole school assembly, Thought for the Week and year group tutorials reinforcing some of the main messages, again personalised to each year group.
In addition to the usual extracurricular activities we offer in school, we have also added a wide range of wellbeing workshops for students to attend. Some of these workshops were based on ideas and feedback from the student council and around 200 students signed up. These sessions included a visit from the welfare dog Poppy-Jingles, Lego therapy, Mindful pebble painting, Macrame, Knit and Natter, Cooking, Yoga, Bath Bomb Making and exam stress busting. We also ran drop in sessions led by 6th Form students showing lower school students how to use mental health support apps.
It was important that staff also took some time out for their wellbeing and so we were thrilled to be able to run staff wellbeing workshops again. These took place for all staff during the Tuesday staff training session. As in previous years we were keen to link with local businesses, so it has been great that so many were able to work with us. The sessions for staff included:
Fudge making with The Whitley Bay Fudge Company
Ceramics with Hotpotz
Yoga at Hotpod Yoga
Retro games at The Retro Bay Café
Massage with NE Sports Massage
Pilates with Pilates at the Coast
Dance trampolining with Boogie Bounce
We are also lucky enough to have talented, willing staff who wanted to run a workshop such as campfire cooking, Ooni oven pizza making, photography, planting at the allotment and Macrame.
We emailed out daily flyers to staff to encourage self-care. Flyers ranged from ‘feel good’ reads to recipes and podcasts, all with the aim of encouraging staff to take some time out and try something new.
The week has been a great success. There has been a real buzz around the school and early feedback from students and staff has been extremely positive.
I really enjoyed the range of activities you could get involved in and gave me the opportunity to do something that I haven't done before and wouldn't try if I hadn't been given the opportunity.
It was really good to hear about an eco-friendly shop in Whitley Bay.
Really, really fun! Nice atmosphere and well thought out.
I enjoyed it and it was simple and mindful.
I thought it was a great idea, very fun and unexpected. Never thought I would find myself in a hotpod so thanks very much for the experience.
It was nice to break up the week with a new activity.
Loved it and had a great time, would do again.
It was great just hanging out chatting and getting to know colleagues feels like we haven't done that for ages with Covid!
Macrame is something I have never done before and will certainly do more of! So far removed from my day job! Steph was fab and lovely to see staff that sometimes I don't have much contact with.
Boogie Bounce was engaging and fun! The instructors were knowledgeable and provided lots of options. Thank you!
It was fantastic. Andy did a great job at explaining and making the activity fun. I made the best pizza of my life!
I don’t usually do anything like Pilates but by the end of the session I felt both physically and mentally great. Mobility training like this made me feel about 10 years younger. Thank you!
Fantastic experience - fun, interactive and something new to try - I am actually going to use the recipe over half term with my goddaughter.
I very much enjoyed the fudge making session, the session leader was very approachable and provided clear instructions that were easy to follow and resulted in some delicious fudge. I had not tried making fudge before and due the workshop I feel confident in attempting it again.
Pictures of Wellbeing Week:
Our teaching and support staff feel confident in supporting wellbeing in the classroom with extensive staff training around child development, basic neuroscience and the latest government guidelines. Some pastoral staff have received mental health first aid training trough MHFA. All staff have also been trained in house using the ALGEE action plan around mental health first aid.
Staff wellbeing is at the heart of our ethos with regular staff training, events, staff working group, challenges and initiatives all with the aim of promoting positive wellbeing for all staff.
For any staff who would like to access support with their wellbeing further information is available below.