A survey by the Association of School and College Leaders, as well as the National Children’s Bureau indicates that school leaders are concerned about the increasing number of young people who seem to be experiencing difficulties linked to mental health and wellbeing.
Minsthorpe Community College wishes to support and enhance your child’s wellbeing as they grow and mature into young adults. The complexities of the modern world mean that young people need to be resilient and should be equipped with a range of tools that can carry them through difficult times; whether this difficulty is related to bereavement, stress, peer issues or even something that we may consider not to be a worry at all! We aim to provide your child with a range of support mechanisms to help them become more resilient and able to cope with these strains on their emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. We do not profess to be mental health experts but we endeavour to source the best support for young people within the remit of the College.
The wellbeing package at Minsthorpe Community College will consist of universal support for all our young people, targeted support which can be accessed if or when it is needed and finally specialist support which may be subject to referral and further assessment.
The wellbeing package is rooted in our pastoral system which begins with the Cross Curriculum Team Leaders along with their Assistant in the Year Office, followed by daily contact with a Performance & Achievement Mentor. It is these key staff that your child will have regular contact with and to whom they should speak to about any worries or concerns. Staff are trained to support young people and will give advice but equally will know when to request further support for the child.
This further support can be accessed in College via the Specialist Support Team, the Support for Achievement Team and the Minsthorpe Access Point (Further information about these individual teams can be found by selecting the relevant link under the parent tab on the College website). These teams complete work with students in order to strengthen and build relationships whilst exploring coping strategies that build their resilience.
We are also encouraging more of our students to become Student Ambassadors and Peer Listeners. Their role is simply to listen and to be a support. These students have completed training and know how and when to connect students with the right support at College.
Curriculum delivery at P&A Times and via SMSC lessons seeks to educate young people about the wider issues they may face. We invite key organisations such as SPECTRUM, Community Policing, and a range of projects related to promoting and raising awareness of current issues via dramatic productions. We believe that it is essential to utilise a range of methods as a means to share important information with students about staying safe physically, emotionally and mentally; including online.
The College is working hard to forge and strengthen links with external agencies in order to access bespoke specialist support for students. This includes, but is not limited to, the Future in Minds Project with CAMHS. A Trained CAMHS Mental Health Practitioner will be present within College and act as a point of contact for staff, giving them guidance and training. They will also aim to increase awareness amongst parents and young people about the differing issues and, moving forward, will be considering ways to work with families and share advice. Furthermore, universal counselling support can be accessed via KOOTH.com for all students in and out of College. Specialist face to face counselling support for individuals can take place following a referral by the College and Practitioner. The college continues to work with School Nursing who hold drop in sessions onsite.
Students can self-refer to some of these organisations and they will need to choose whether to inform parents of these self-referrals.
We continue to work with the Early Help Hub, Police, Youth Services and co-ordinate sessions in which young people explore life external to College and aim to develop understanding as to how to deal with issues. Joint working and the sharing of information with external agencies ensures that the best support is accessed for those that need it.
We are sure that, like us, you will want your child to have grit, determination and resilience to overcome the many challenges that they will face as they mature into adulthood and we hope that our developing wellbeing package will enable them to do so.
By ticking the box to opt out of the Wellbeing package (as per the letter to parents for Year 8-11 students – September 2016 or the page within the code of conduct for new starters) you are stating that you do not wish your child to access any of the targeted and specialist support provided by external agencies ***. We will continue to deliver and use our established internal support systems.
***This does not include work with external agencies which is connected to matters of Safeguarding.
Mrs J Collins
Assistant Principal Student Safety and Wellbeing