A key factor in promoting positive mental health amongst all young people is about developing their resilience.
In the DFE 2016 publication for Mental health and behaviour in schools, it outlines what schools can do to support a young person whose behaviour - whether it is disruptive, withdrawn, anxious, depressed or otherwise - may be related to an unmet mental health need.
It goes on to say that the interventions offered by the school can be the turning point in promoting the resilience of their pupils.
Having a ‘sense of connectedness’ or belonging to a school is a recognized protective factor for mental health.
At the start of the year I wrote this pledge..
Later on in the year I went on to write this..
The first session was a weekend intervention called LOVE BREAD
Yes that’s right – students who find it difficult to come to school were asked to give up 6 hours of their weekend to come to school and …make bread.
As bizarre as it sounds it worked.
A total of 14 students, who have very erratic attendance, arrived at school to learn all about the science of making their own bread and then they got to bake their own pizzas, focaccias and take a ‘mother' sourdough starter home to feed and nurture.
The inimitable celebrity chef Mark Lloyd had this to say:
The students responded with this:
The teachers, who gave up their weekend, shared this:
Students participating were awarded this:
The survey revealed this:
The evidence back in the classroom provided from the LOVE BREAD weekend intervention was enough to convince us to carry on with our series of pop up school clubs.
Blogs to come are about these 6 session early MH support interventions
The Chef's Challenge
Students cooked a different 2 course meal each week, set up by Mark Lloyd, and then sat down to eat & chat celebrating each others efforts in cooking their supper.
The Bicycle Challenge
Old bicycles have been donated and under the guidance of 2 enthusiastic bike engineer teachers, from the DT department, they are being taught how to remove worn bits and re-assemble with new parts so they can cycle away with it.
The Bushcraft Challenge
Students get to explore Survival Bush craft skills: fire lighting, tracking, shelter building, Nature art, campfire cooking, outdoor trust games , 1 to1 sessions, personal development exercises and Mindfulness in nature
I cant wait to share my blogs for these pop up clubs as the evidence is mounting that these interventions are a positive turning point in promoting their sense of personal value, the value of school in their lives and overall 'sense of connectedness.'