Mental Health Strategy
Supporting confidence, resilience and self-esteem - a holistic approach
At Brentford, we aim to develop the confidence, resilience and high self-esteem of all of our students. Support and guidance is provided through the tutor time, assembly programme, themed 'Wellbeing Weeks' and the PSHCE programme.
As part of this, students will undertake the pupil attitude to self and school (PASS) assessment at the beginning of each academic year. Where students highlight a low score for any one of the categories, they will receive targeted intervention from their Head of Year or the Helping Undo Barriers (HUB) team. Students may be offered an intervention such as being part of a 'resilience group' (LVA) in order to develop confidence and improve their self-esteem. Students may also be referred to counselling and/or Grow Therapeutic Coaching via their Head of Year, see details below. Alternatively, students can access support through targeted support from our student from our student HUB Ambassadors, friendship groups and student leadership teams.
As a school we offer weekly (every Friday) Pet Therapy sessions with our 8 year old cockapoo, Rudi who works with a Learning Support Assistant to support students with a wide range of needs. These are planned and structured small group sessions offering an educational, fun and stress-reducing period for the students attending that helps develop skills in responsibility, empathy and nurturing. Pet Therapy promotes calming behaviours whilst increasing social skills, self-esteem and confidence. It also helps to improve academic achievement and school attendance. The hormones releases during pet therapy can lower symptoms of depression, anxiety and sadness, helping support good mental health.
Introducing a dog into a school environment is not without its risks, but these risks are managed with control measures. A thorough risk assessment has been carried out and can be viewed via our Dog Policy. Rudi has been chosen because of his calm nature and quiet breed who are known to respond well to training and to be good with students. Cockapoos are hypoallergenic (does not shed hair) and are very sociable and friendly.
LVA (loved, valued, able) Trust:
LVA is a charity that has worked with Brentford School for Girls since the Covid 19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown. They have provided and continue to deliver quality, relevant, holistic and age appropriate workshops plus 1:1 mentoring to support and empower young people in all areas and aspects of their lives by building confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
GROW Therapeutic coaching Service provides our students with 1:1 support and offers a bespoke therapeutic safe space where they can work through any issues they are facing by developing a unique, individualised package of support. The aim of GTC is to reduce levels of anxiety and distress, to empower young people to better manage their challenges and ultimately to develop their resilience and confidence.
The school counsellor works with students in a school setting on a 1:1 basis to help them reach their full potential by providing care, support and a safe space to discuss sensitive issues. The main aim of this role is to help young learners overcome any issues they face that impact their school performance and development.
The Helping Undo Barriers (HUB) Team consists of the HUB Lead and Child Protection Officer, Pastoral Manager, Wellbeing Co-ordinator, SENCO, Counsellors, and SLT representatives, overseeing both behaviour, safeguarding and wellbeing. The team meet regularly to discuss student needs and make referrals to both inside and outside agencies if required. All referrals are made through your daughters’ Head of Year.
Health and Wellbeing is a key aspect of healthy living. Students should consider making decisions that support healthier lifestyles. The Wellbeing Centre is a place to contact if your daughter has any queries regarding her own health and wellbeing. 'Wellbeing' is open every day from 8am until 4pm, including every break and lunchtime for students’ medical or health needs, as well as general first aid.
Students should not ask to leave a lesson to go to Wellbeing unless it is an emergency; they should wait until break or lunch time as it is vital that students are in lessons to ensure optimum learning.
We do ask that students do not leave lessons during the first and last 10 minutes unless they have a medical pass or toilet pass, to ensure that all students arrive and leave lessons safely.
Students should come to school with a full bottle of water and top it up throughout the day from the many water fountains in school. Students will not be allowed to come to 'Wellbeing' for a drink of water during lesson time. Students should try to drink up to 2 litres of water per day.
To ensure that medicines are administered safely, students are not allowed to self-medicate in school. If a student requires medication (antibiotics etc) then this needs to be handed to 'Wellbeing' first thing in the morning and collected at the end of the day.
If a student is sent to 'Wellbeing' for a uniform, make-up, nail varnish or acrylic nails issue, a 30 minute detention will be issued. We do ask that students ensure that they follow the uniform policy to avoid any detentions.
If a student should need to use crutches in school, we do require a letter from the hospital to ensure that their needs can be met and to ensure that they are safe around the school.
All students should come prepared with their own sanitary products. 'Wellbeing' will only provide these in an emergency, we do ask that students are prepared for their monthly menstruation.
Taking responsibility for your own health and wellbeing is key to a good mind-set and healthy body.