How Worth-it provided support and resources for success!
Many students were lacking the resilience to deal with a range of day-to-day challenges, which was negatively impacting their learning and wellbeing.
The high number of students struggling to cope with day-to-day challenges was burdening staff workload and wellbeing. Staff lacked awareness of how they could effectively support students, resulting in some unnecessary referrals to the pastoral team.
Unnecessary referrals meant the pastoral team was supporting many students with low-level emotional and behavioural challenges.
School Wellbeing Culture Evaluation and Pupil Focus Group
Lutterworth High used our evaluation service to engage student voice in deciding where to start with developing their whole school approach to resilience. Pupils were surveyed about their experience of elements of school culture important for wellbeing and resilience. This feedback was combined with a student focus group to better understand the challenges that students faced and how they wanted to be supported to develop resilience at school.
Staff Resilience Champion Training
Two pastoral team members attended an NHS funded Worth-it resilience champion training programme. The programme introduced a range of tools, strategies and resources for helping students develop resilience. The team members identified a focus on character strengths as a key evidence-based approach to developing resilience that would fit the ethos and needs of their school and students.
The pastoral team implemented a number of resilience-building tools and resources in their day-to-day support of students. They also redecorated their pastoral support room to create a safe and welcoming space for students.
Pastoral Leaders Consultancy Session
We ran a session to support the pastoral team leaders in the development of their service. The team's strengths and opportunities were assessed, and development plans created.
The team decided to prioritise the development of a whole school referral process for pupil wellbeing and mental health issues. This led to a rebranding of Pastoral Support as Student Support and a campaign to raise awareness of how and when students should access support for their mental wellbeing. A traffic light rating system was developed, along with student self-reflection tools to help students find strategies for positive coping. They also created new service documentation, including a flow chart with signposting to a range of mental health support, and resources for parents.
This session also supported the pastoral leaders to develop their own in-school targeted early intervention, which they called ‘Resilience Mentoring’. This programme enabled effective work with targeted students, using a range of Worth-it's resources.
Bespoke Twilight Training
To launch the rebranded Student Support and its focus on resilience, Worth-it provided a twilight introductory session to support whole-staff awareness and buy-in. The session introduced the key principles of resilience, strategies to develop resilience and how improving resilience can improve mental health and achievement. The ‘Character strengths’ focus was also introduced.
This session helped identify the need for staff to be provided with strategies for their own resilience and wellbeing, to help them effectively support students to develop resilience.
Staff Wellbeing Workshop
We delivered an INSET session for the whole staff team, focussed on providing staff with self-help strategies to support their own wellbeing. Character strengths were further explored, along with how focusing on their own wellbeing helps staff to better support student mental health.
Wellbeing and Resilience Profile Evaluation
Worth-it’s Wellbeing and Resilience Profile Evaluation tool was introduced into the school. This enabled greater targeting of student mental health support for those who need it most. It also helped to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Resilience Mentoring’ Intervention.
Character Strengths for Success Training
To build upon the school’s focus on developing character strengths as a route to resilience and wellbeing, all academic mentors were trained in strengths coaching skills and techniques. Practical approaches were learnt and practiced, to support students’ academic success, classroom behaviour, confidence, and mental health.
This strengths coaching approach was advanced further by the school developing and delivered their own twilight CPD as part of their disaggregated INSET training in January 2019.
Staff regularly use a range of skills and strategies to support students to become more resilient. Staff are aware of the support available to students and how to enable students to effectively access this support.
Student Support has been developed to empower students to develop resilience and self-reliance rather than dependence on pastoral support. A traffic light rating system and self-help tools for students and parents, frees staff time to focus on those requiring more in-depth support. This is supported by the academic mentors’ coaching skills.
Students are encouraged to identify and use their strengths through explicit teaching opportunities as well as through other areas of support. Character strengths have been successfully embedded into the PE curriculum and this approach is now being shared across other subjects. Behaviour management systems now focus on character strengths, encouraging students to reflect on how their strengths can be beneficial in certain situations and overplayed in others.
A wellbeing week has been initiated, in which mental wellbeing and resilience is celebrated and promoted amongst staff and students. Student Support services hold events during GCSE preparations to provide information and support on how to deal with anxiety. Student Support drop-in sessions are also held, and there are visible self-help displays around the school.
Lutterworth were judged to be outstanding in their latest Ofsted report, across achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, leadership and management, and overall effectiveness. In particular, their approach to Mental Health was referred to as 'phenomenal' and 'ground-breaking’.