Two Oldham secondary schools receive national mental health recognition

Date published: 10 May 2021

It’s mental health awareness week (May 10-16) and two Oldham secondary schools have been praised after receiving national recognition for their mental health support for pupils.

The Radclyffe School and Waterhead Academy have received a kite mark award for their efforts, commitment and planning they have been doing around the Bounce Forward ‘Healthy Minds curriculum’

Healthy Minds is based on a research project that was trialled in UK schools over five years and is the only evidence-based complete health and relationships curriculum for school years aged 7-11.

It equips students with the life skills they need to thrive in and beyond school.

The programme of study includes lessons that develop resilience competencies; self-awareness, compassion, flexible and realistic thinking, self-regulation, human connection, hope and optimism.

The lesson learning outcomes focus on topics such as resilient relationships, decision making, navigating social media, the science of mental illness, and goal setting for the future.

Richard Lynch, Oldham Council’s Director for Education, Skills and Early Years, said: “We congratulate both Waterhead Academy and The Radclyffe School for earning this national recognition for the great work they are doing towards positive mental health outcomes for young people.

“During mental health awareness week we would urge all people, and particularly those with responsibilities for young people, to consider both their own and other people’s mental health and to seek help if they feel like they need support in what has been a very challenging year.”

Andrew Meehan, Staff and Student Wellbeing and Mental Health Lead and Assistant Headteacher at the Radclyffe School, said: “We believe wellbeing lies at the heart of our students going on to succeed both in school and in the community.

"All students have individual needs and thus us valuing the importance of embedding the Healthy Minds curriculum into our school day allowing students to develop their emotional resilience and self-efficiency.

“The Healthy Minds kite mark award has allowed us to ensure that a high-quality curriculum is in place to engage learners and enable them to thrive."

Feedback from Radclyffe students includes: “The resilience lessons have helped me to understand how I feel when events take place, and because I understand them, I am able to control my emotions more and be more mature in situations."

Mr Neil Wilson, Assistant Principal for Personal Development at Waterhead Academy, added: “The opportunity to work collaboratively and to share good practice with colleagues throughout fellow Oldham schools and colleges to embed the implementation of the borough wide ‘Healthy Minds’ Curriculum has been invaluable.

“Furthermore, the expert training and support received from Bounce Forward facilitators along with Natalie Williams, Mental Health in Education Manager for Oldham Council, has been integral to our Academy implementing a comprehensive Healthy Minds Curriculum and achieving the nationally recognised Bounce Forward Kite Mark status.”

Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics who spearheaded Healthy Minds, said: “Young people need to develop healthy minds and schools should make it a top priority.

"Bounce Forward’s Healthy Minds is the most outstanding wellbeing curriculum in the world.

"I am proud of the schools committed to this worthwhile investment in their students."

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