At Blackheath High School we are committed to promoting not only good physical health, but mental wellbeing too. We aim to make our school environment and wider community an accepting, supportive space that encourages good mental health for all.
At the Junior School, pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their mental health from a young age, with an “ask basket” or “chatty box” to raise concerns, calm areas to take time out and regulate if feeling overwhelmed, and Happiness Calendars to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
Healthy choices like exercising, eating well, and keeping a regular sleeping pattern are promoted in PSHE (Physical, Social, Health Education) assemblies and highlighted particularly during Children’s Mental Health Week. The House Point system rewards healthy choices and learning attributes like independence and perseverance, promoting solidarity between pupils as they work together towards a mutual goal.
While mental wellbeing is important for all, in the Senior School it becomes even more imperative as the pressures of exams and growing up increase. Our PSHEE & Wellbeing Lead, Ms Tskikkinis, is dedicated to providing additional support and strategies to our students, with the assistance of an expansive range of helpers: the Pastoral Team, School Nurse, Mental Health First Aiders, Wellbeing reps, Form Tutors, and ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants).
Year 7 are supported in the often-overwhelming transition to the Senior School through The Resilience Project, a new initiative for the 23-24 academic year. Miss Smith (Head of Year 7) and Ms Tsikkinis have developed the programme to encourage students to be resilient learners; encouraging failure and challenges to be seen as positives, and empowering our young people to approach hurdles with a positive frame of mind.
PSHEE (Physical, Social, Health & Economics Education) lessons cover a wide range of topics on the spectrum of mental health and wellbeing, with additional information provided on Pastoral noticeboards displayed around the school. These encourage students to seek support, either from within the school or utilising external resources if appropriate. Other self-regulation provisions include our brand-new wellbeing centre The Nest, and calm areas for time-outs.
Additionally, Blackheath High School is a Tooled Up Education school – our staff, students and parents have access to the Tooled Up Education digital library, which is packed full of tips, activities, educational content and more. Topics range from mental health to family life, and content is curated by Dr Kathy Weston .
A life-long love of sport is encouraged throughout the school, with everyone from Nursery to Sixth Form having timetabled opportunities for exercise. This ensures that all students are keeping active and, further up in the school, taking a break from the hard work and stress associated with exams. An extensive co-curricular programme across the whole school encompasses many wellbeing clubs; from Colouring, Mindful Chess, and Yoga in the Junior School, to Board Games, Walk in the Park, and Scrapbooking Club in the Senior School.