Chandlings Prep School near Oxford has been awarded a National Wellbeing Award for Schools by Optimus Education in partnership with the National Bureau of Children (NBC). The award recognises the work and commitment the school has done in developing positive mental health and emotional wellbeing within the fabric of the school community.
Chandlings pastoral care has always been of the highest level but the school has recognised that emotional mental health and wellbeing is paramount and so it has brought in initiatives such as its Wellbeing Knight with its six areas of focus (My Body, My Heart, My Learning, My World, My Reflections, My Relationships), an after school mindfulness club and yoga clubs for both staff and pupils, a Kindness Board and wellbeing surveys organised by the School Council. There is a friendship hut in the playground where children can go to make friendship bracelets with other children and they have also introduced a wide variety of parent and staff talks on key topics such as risk and resilience, online safety and inspiring confidence in young people. A team of Staff Wellbeing Ambassadors also drive positive wellbeing across the whole school community.
The inspector drew attention to the following in her report:
“Commitment to wellbeing is strong and it is implemented with meticulous thought and focused strategy.”
“Pupils speak of staff with great warmth and affection. Pupils tell me that Chandlings is a happy school.”
“Parents said that staff know the children well and they respond to them as individuals. They really think about what is best for that child.”
Emily Brawn, Head of Girls and leader of Wellbeing at the school said, “We want to create a whole school feeling where we can talk about problems openly and our mission is to continue to promote resilience and positive wellbeing for all our pupils and staff.”
Ms Christine Cook, Head of Chandlings said, “Wellbeing is integral to the school and we will continue to promote positive mental health so that our children leave us as confident and happy individuals ready to take on any challenges. This award has been a really positive process and has ensured that we have embedded an ethos where mental health and emotional wellbeing is regarded as the responsibility of all.”
Optimus Education added, “The whole-school award has a focus on ‘impact and outcomes’ for pupils and staff, so schools can demonstrate specific and wider impacts of wellbeing policies and interventions. To date (May 2019) 116 schools have achieved the award with more than 800 schools currently in the process.”