Wellbeing @ St. Benedict’s:
“Bring a little happiness into every day.” Liv Purvis
At St. Benedict’s, we are acutely aware of the importance of positive mental health. We understand that first our pupils and staff need to feel well in body and mind, then good learning happens. For this reason, we prioritise the wellbeing of all who work in our school, whether they are teaching, learning or contributing in some other way to the smooth running of St. Benedict’s.
Wellbeing may be taught through timetabled lessons such as PSHE or through the choice of whole class reader texts. We prefer to think, though, that wellbeing is in the very culture of the school.
We are very proud of our pastoral provision, offering not just our ‘Bee Hive’ (our Nurture Hub), with its open-door policy, 1:1 and group sessions and Nurture Group, but also ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) sessions. We also have our purpose-built ‘Burrow’ from which we run therapy sessions, supporting both pupils and parents.
Whole-school pupil wellbeing is our number one priority and we timetable Wellbeing Week, an opportunity for pupils to focus on themselves and their minds and mindset. We have welcomed guests to explore such mindfulness techniques as yoga and ‘tapping’ as well looking at how to ‘share wellbeing with others’.
During Lockdown, we recognised that many of our families were finding remote learning challenging, so introduced regular Wellbeing Days, to help release the pressure that many of our learners and their parents were feeling. Parents and Carers appreciate our approach to wellbeing with 100% agreeing that the school cares about their child’s wellbeing in a survey conducted in 2021.
In terms of physical wellbeing, we like to get the best advice possible, so we have teamed up with local School Nurse, Maggie MacLinden. Maggie bases herself at St. Benedict’s once a week, so we get the advantage of Maggie’s experience and expertise and our pupils and parents get to benefit from Maggie’s advice on all things medical.
“When it comes to health and wellbeing, regular exercise is about as close to a magic potion as you can get.” Nhat Hanh
We firmly believe that exercise and fresh air are crucial components to living a healthy lifestyle, and rather than time outside being a luxury, we are determined that outdoor learning forms an integral part of our broad and balanced wider curriculum. From Forest School to gardening and from PE lessons to opportunities for creative play, we think that outside is where it’s at!
One of our current projects is our World Garden and we’ve now got six raised beds – one for each year group, one for Nurture Group and one for the staff – we can’t wait to see what can be created from a sprinkling of seeds and some hard work!