Children’s Mental Health Week and making it ok not to be ok
Throughout this week we have been focussed on the mental health of our school community with lots happening for staff and students each day. Activities for staff have included badminton, walk it Wednesday, breathwork coaching, staff social and an Acts of Kindness raffle. For our students they too have had loads on to highlight the importance of looking after your mental health and being comfortable to talk about any issues they have. Since Monday they have been involved in breathwork coaching, Inner Voice activities, Games and Chat with our local care home residents, The Big Sing with our Samba Band and a special mental health and well-being assembly for each year group. We have shared the incredible impact of our Place2Be provision from the students who have benefitted. Loads have taken part in the ‘Your Voice Matters’ oracy competition in tutor time and huge numbers have entered the ‘Stop the Stigma’ creativity competition to tackle the often stigma around mental ill health. The statistics we have been able to share around the importance and benefits of simply talking have been overwhelming and a stark reminder that we are doing lots of things right at Beckfoot to support our staff, students and families. I want to thank the staff, Place2Be and of course our students for the support they have provided for this work all week. It has been humbling and a source of great pride.
Speaking of pride, those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of our Games and Chat event with local care home residents, saw, first hand, just how incredibly brilliant our Sixth Form students are. They worked really hard to prepare an event for those residents that involved a Tombola, Bingo, music, prizes, tea, coffee and lots and lots of cake. It was great fun but also a rare opportunity to talk to the most amazing and interesting people. Two were past students of Trust schools, Beckfoot and Beckfoot Thornton, and they told us stories of their school days which had our students gripped. They told of their efforts during World War Two and how they lived their lives as parents, colleagues and friends. The room was awash with history, story telling and laughter. I loved every minute of it and really want to do something similar again. I can’t thank our students enough for their generosity, warmth and care for those they met and talked with. They were amazing.
I also want to thank our Year 11 and 13 students for another exceptional week in terms of their approach to the mock exams. They have been great to work with and I hope they get the results and feedback that will build their confidence towards the real thing in the summer. They want to do well and they certainly have the right attitude in most cases. What I hope is that they will digest the information they will get back from staff and use that to propel themselves forward in their preparations for both GCSE and A-Levels in May.
Finally, thank you for your support yesterday and the dreaded snow. Our attendance was really strong and not missing days due to the weather really helps. It is so difficult to get these decisions right but from the comments received from staff, students and families I think we did the right thing to remain open. As always, if you have any feedback for me, I would be really happy to receive it.
It’s half term when we close our doors this afternoon. I hope you manage to get some rest and a break from school regardless of your plans. For our exam students it is important to get the right balance between work and rest and I know they totally understand that.
Take care and have a great week. See you on Monday 19 February!
Simon Wade, Headteacher