During the Summer holidays in 2021, the school completed a project to create a Wellbeing Centre in the middle of the school.
The Wellbeing Centre, which took two months to complete, connects all the relevant areas of the school for enhancing the students’ wellbeing: learning support, the counsellor, the chaplain, the nurses, and a dedicated wellbeing room.
The space has been designed to be a quiet, safe space in the heart of the school, where any student can go, whenever they need to get away from the hustle and bustle of school life, or seek support for something affecting them outside of school.
The Head of Wellbeing at King Edward’s, Chris Jackson, says ‘The wellbeing room itself is truly one of a kind, with carefully considered décor and furniture it provides a sanctuary of peace and calm to help all pupils find some balance and perspective in the frenetic world of a modern day academically focused secondary school.’
Complete with comfortable seating, bean bags and private pods, the space has been designed to facilitate mindfulness sessions, peer support, curriculum support and alone time. The space provides students with a one stop shop to seek physical, emotional health and wellbeing services, whenever they are required.
‘The room is staffed by year heads and other pastoral leaders, as well as a selection of trained Sixth Form mentors who are able to meet pupils on both a timetabled and impromptu basis where they can lend support and a listening ear.’
Our students, have always benefited from a strong pastoral service, where we support students academically, physically, and mentally. However, with the impact of Lockdown and COVID-19 on our community, we wanted to provide a space for all our students to come to when they are in need.
‘It is a sad reality that nationally the rate of children’s mental health issues has risen over the past years and if a child at KES ever finds themselves in some form of crisis the wellbeing centre is their first port of call. However, it is extremely important to note that the centre is for the benefit of the whole school and outside of lesson time we will welcome small groups of pupils who want to make the most of the relaxed and supportive atmosphere within.’
‘The opening of the wellbeing centre represents a huge leap forward for the pastoral care of our pupils here at KES. As well as potentially being the leading resource of its kind in the country, it is a clear and powerful statement that reflects the school’s desire to place wellbeing at the centre of our ethos and vision. The centre comprises the wellbeing room, the SEN area, nurses, chaplain, and counsellor and, as such, it enables the vast variety of issues affecting a modern-day pupils’ wellbeing to be addressed. As time progresses, we plan to utilise the space to help deliver specific and targeted teaching of knowledge, understanding and strategies to improve pupil wellbeing. There is no magic bullet for improving the wellbeing of pupils, and the opening of our centre will not instantly reduce the rates of mental health issues affecting our pupils. However, if we can succeed in removing some of the stigma that surrounds mental health and work towards our vision that puts wellbeing as the cornerstone of academic and pastoral success then I genuinely believe we will achieve our aim to help every child flourish both now and later in life.’