Mental Health

Kate Middleton, Catherine Prince of Wales, and advocate for mental health support, stated that: “A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health” and our school wholly supports this viewpoint.

Even before the devastating impact of COVID, young people faced difficulties in negotiating their teenage years amidst familial, societal, online and self-generated pressure, and this has only escalated over time. This is evidenced by a whole host of data; including Young Minds identifying that one in six 5-16 year olds have probable mental health problems.

Consequently, we work hard to help alleviate these stresses and challenges, and whilst we do not have all the answers or a magic silver bullet, we are highly active in providing and accessing extensive support. Within this, we strive to strike the balance between protecting the mental health of today, whilst also keeping an eye on the academic and developmental success which nourishes the mental health of tomorrow. This can be a difficult balance to strike.

Curriculum Support

Our curriculum is structured with mental health support in mind and related topics are covered in day-to-day lessons, as well as in focused sessions via Enrichment, PHSE and Focus Weeks. Equally, we look to provide the personalised support – whether this be connected to The Friary Framework,  SEND, Dissadvantage, etc – so that the pressures of learning do not affect well-being. We go on from this to open eyes to future pathways and individual goals and we work to secure in our students the currency and character to access them.

More broadly, our curriculum offers a wide range of experiences and opportunities that support engagement, excitement and personal growth. This could be on the sports field or in the debating chamber; on an overseas field trip or on a work placement in a care home; on the stage or amidst the warmth of firm friendships.

Equally, keeping parents in the loop, both in terms of individual intervention, but regarding the wider approach and scope we offer in terms of mental health and personal well-being support, is important to us. We very much recognise mental health and well-being as being an holistic picture of which school is only one part, and but one contributing factor, so parental engagement and openness is critical to our curriculum providing effective support.

Internal Intervention / Support

At times more targeted support is required for students facing particular mental health barriers and well-being challenges and we are well-equipped to provide fulsome support in school.

A key aspect of our offer is our HOPE Mentoring programme which provides a pedagogically supported model to mentor young people. All of our Student Support Team are trained in this approach and this intervention offers clear support and direction.

Beyond, this we all bring in regular community partners to provide further mentoring and counselling in our school day; including Co-Op Mentoring, Purple Stag Counselling, Bridge Outreach, Bridge Builders, etc.

External Intervention / Support

We also harness the expertise of wholly external support, often for bespoke interventions for individual students.

These agencies include core offers related to mental health and well-being, like CAMHS and School Nurses, but we also facilitate more targeted interventions which impact negatively whether they be linked to bereavement, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or other specific needs.

These interventions invariably include parental engagement, but are also often backed up by symbiotic packages of support, or built into specific risk assessments.

For more information about our Mental Health support, please contact Lottie Hearn, Deputy Headteacher and qualified School Mental Health Lead, via