St Joseph's demonstrate Excellence

St Joseph's Catholic Primary school has been recognised for their work on Mental Health and wellbeing at the Place2Be's Wellbeing in Schools Awards, held at BAFTA in London this month.

Place2Be's Wellbeing in Schools Awards provides a unique opportunity to recognise the passion, determination and hard work in schools across the UK to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

Open to schools that work with or have recently trained with Place2Be, the Awards celebrate inspiring ambassadors of positive mental health. This includes children, young people and adults who go above and beyond to support mental wellbeing in their school communities.

St Joseph's were announced as the winner of the Excellence in Mental Health – Primary Award, an award which recognises the partner primary schools that show an inspiring commitment to a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health, creating positive cultures and offering support to all those who need it.

St Joseph's is a pioneering Place2Be school - the first in Oxfordshire and the first with both a School Project Manager and Mental Health Practitioner. Covid vastly impacted the school’s already vulnerable community, but it pushed the team to make deeper links, supporting families with learning, food and mental health. Through the Place2Be partnership, the school has developed a whole-school wellbeing curriculum, which has been implemented and embedded, and every member of staff did Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions – Foundation Programme training.

Children take part in young leader training and a new programme, ‘Wellbeing Watchdogs’, is about to launch, upskilling Year Six children in spotting and supporting children in need of friendship at break and lunchtimes. One parent said “I’ve been so impressed at how staff listen to concerns and plan support.”   (Place2Be’s Award Programme)

With all of the staff at St Joseph’s trained as Mental Health Champions, they take every opportunity to make children and families aware of mental health and wellbeing matters. The school has developed a mental health curriculum, engaged with the MHST service and CAMHS, and have used sport and physical activity as a mechanism to deal with emotions through 1:1 intervention.  Children are learning to understand and process their emotions through nature, outdoor activity and sport, as well as group team building and social skill sessions along with developing student voice and leadership.

To find out more about Place2Be, please visit https://www.place2be.org.uk/

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