OUR OBJECTIVE is to promote positive mental health as well as we possibly can. We strongly believe that pupils need to be resilient and mentally healthy in order to achieve their best.
 

The mental health and wellbeing of pupils during the COVID-19 crisis has been our top priority in recent months – as has the strategy for supporting them as school life returns to normal. Much has been written about children’s experience of ‘loss’ during this period (loss of routine and structure, loss of freedom, loss of opportunity and social life) and we are committed to providing the best possible support for the ‘recovery’ period that must follow.

There are a number of permanent provisions at Wilson’s to help pupils with their mental wellbeing.

  • The school nurse (Sara Yan) runs a weekly drop-in to support pupils who are worried about their mental or physical health.
  • The school counsellor (Monika Mizzi) is available to help pupils who are experiencing a variety of wellbeing issues, including bereavement. As well as face-face sessions, she is also able to offer telephone or e-mail sessions.
  • The Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner works with pupils across all Key Stages who are experiencing low mood and/or anxiety using guided self-help techniques.
The Discover programme continues to run successfully in Key Stage 5, to provide psychological support for pupils who are experiencing difficulties with stress, anxiety or low mood.

The Pupil Wellbeing Lead runs drop-in sessions once a week for any pupil who has questions, queries or worries about their own wellbeing, or who are worried about a friend.

The Wellbeing Prefect, a new addition to the Year 13 Prefect team this year, promotes positive mental health by speaking to the younger pupils about wellbeing and helps to guide the pastoral team on important factors affecting young people.
 
It is form tutors on the front line who are best placed to spot changes in behaviour that might indicate that a pupil has a problem and they will bring issues promptly to the attention of the Head of Year or Pupil Support Manager. Parents should contact their son’s Head of Year or the Pupil Wellbeing Lead if they ever want to discuss mental health or any other wellbeing issue.
 
Several members of staff have received formal training in Mental Health First Aid, including Angela Woods, our Primary First Aider.

Mental health is a topic that is often discussed in PSHE and form time activities as well as addressed in School and Year Assemblies. Pupils are encouraged to talk about their feelings, reassured that ‘it is OK not to feel OK’ and reminded regularly about the support that is available to them. Every pupil in Year 7 hears this message in their very first week of term at Wilson’s.

Although the COVID-19 situation did affect some of our plans over the last year, we shall be overseeing the following developments in the Summer Term 2021:
  • A number of Key Stage 5 students will be undertaking Mental Health First Aid training
  • There will be staff training focusing on bereavement and self-harm.
  • Our new social worker (from the SWIS Project) will continue to embed herself in school, working with several pupils in all Key Stages and their families to support them with their mental wellbeing.
  • We continue to work on arrangements for the postponed Mental Health Conference, which would have been held this term.
Any member of the school community who feels that we could do more to support the boys and promote positive mental health is welcome to share their ideas, either as part of the QIA process or informally via a chat with a member of school staff.

Wilson’s School

A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is:

  • committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
  • a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no. 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW
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