Physical & Mental Health and Well-being
Mental Health and Well-being Intent Statement
At Melland High School we place our young people at the heart of everything we do. Students’ mental health and wellbeing has always been of paramount importance and we are passionate about making a difference to their lives. We take pride in our strong ethos, calm atmosphere and deep positive relationships across school and aim to clearly show the benefits gained from an awareness of the wellbeing of all. The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health and we understand that good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them. We want our students to grow into well-rounded, healthy adults and our aim is for to help develop protective factors which will help build resilience to problems and achieve a state of well-being.
Our purpose is reflected in our 3 core values:
• Community: We work together for a common purpose, acknowledging our diversity as strength
• Integrity: We do the right things for the right reasons
• Passion: We take responsibility, work hard and have high aspirations
Melland High School Is committed to making a difference for all our young people.
MHS Key Areas:
In order to support the mental well-being of all, we
• Promote, respect and value diversity.
• Promote resilience and support Social and Emotional learning.
• Promote physical activity.
• Promote attendance at school.
• Work closely with parents/carers and families in school and the community, ensuring excellent pastoral care.
• Listen and respond to student voice.
• Invest in staff professional development in order to support their own wellbeing and that of students.
• Use MHS curriculum drivers to support SMSC aspects of mental health and well-being.
• Work with a network of professionals to meet and support a diverse range of needs.
• Ensure safeguarding students comes above everything else we do.
MHS Key Actions:
• Include commitment to mental well-being in all plans and polices
• Include commitment to mental well-being in curriculum pathways
• Train all staff how to identify warning signs.
• Target individual support needed and make the appropriate referrals
• Provide opportunities for parents/carers to talk to school on a regular basis.
• Use targeted interventions and monitor the impact of these.
BFET Educational Psychologist Drop-in sessions for Parents and Carers of Melland Students
Did you know that parents & carers of students at Melland can request to attend a drop-in session with an educational psychologist to discuss their son or daughter and explore solutions and strategies to support them at home?
In this video, educational psychologist Adam Rumble and trainee educational psychologist Joe White describe what parent & carer drop-in sessions are and how they work at Melland. They talk about what you can expect from a drop-in session and explain why, when and how you might request one.
To find out more about what a drop-in session could offer you and your son or daughter, watch the video above.
To book a drop in session email your son or daughters form tutor, they will then contact Vice Principal Mrs Barnett who will contact you to arrange a parent & carer drop in session with our educational psychologists.
Mindfulness brings calmness to classrooms and equips pupils with skills that will improve the quality of their lives.
Karen Russell-Graham investigates
The concept of mindfulness is difficult to define, but essentially involves learning to direct your attention to your experience as it is happening, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Instead of worrying about what has happened in the past, or what might happen in the future, it trains you to respond skilfully to what is happening now – good or bad.
Starting with the breath
Jill Cinan, vice principal of Melland High School, a special school in Manchester, has taught .b to a group that included students with severe learning difficulties, ASD and ADHD, as well as children on pupil premium funding and others who were living in care or experiencing problems at home.
At first, they had trouble regulating their breathing, so she turned to emWave Pro from HeartMath, a biofeedback program that teaches breathing and self-regulation techniques. Using a finger sensor, the software tracks how your thoughts and emotions affect your heartbeat and identifies when your heart, mind and body are in coherence.
The students could measure their coherence levels, displayed on screen in a coloured chart, and then watch how these improved when they focused on their breathing. Playing the built-in games further developed awareness. ‘I am 80 per cent stressed,’ they might say, looking at a reading. Then they would play a game, practise their breathing and begin to regulate – which meant they could now access self-regulation techniques. Using a finger sensor, the software tracks how your thoughts and emotions affect your heartbeat and identifies when your heart, mind and body are in coherence.
Creating a safe space to practise
Ms Cinan differentiated the course to make it relevant to the group’s particular issues and created a culture of ‘what goes on in the room stays in the room’ to give them the confidence to express their opinions and open up about personal matters.
Sometimes she modelled emotions, worries and specific feelings they found difficult to deal with, or acted out scenes with a colleague they trusted. ‘Now when someone is struggling, I can say: “Why not stop and breathe, ground yourself in the moment?”she says.
When educational psychologists evaluated the intervention using the short version of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory, they noted a significant increase in the mean mindfulness score of the group. These findings were corroborated in interviews conducted by an impartial member of staff. Teachers also noticed an improvement in the speaking and listening component of English lessons.
Parental feedback was equally positive. At the annual review of a boy with inappropriate behaviours, one family member stated:
‘Mindfulness is so very important to have in his personal health care kit; perhaps the best thing he has ever done so far.’
‘Since he did the course, there have been no further instances of these behaviours,’ notes Ms Cinan.
The children themselves recorded their appreciation in a video.
‘I’ve been having some troubles at home and it’s helped me to get through it and to sleep much better,’ observed one.
‘It’s helped me to learn to calm down my temper… I used to shout; now I’ve learned I can communicate properly… and can talk in a group,’ remarked another.