"A day in the life"
Support and Wellbeing at Castle Hill
“Hi, I’m Lily and I go to Castle Hill High School.
I know that my emotional wellbeing and mental health is cared for by the staff at school, here is a typical day for me.”
8.30am – Arrive at school for breakfast club. Staff always greet me and ask me how I am.
I order my breakfast and get to sit with my friends and chat.
8.40am – School Day officially starts and I go out onto the yard for ‘Bell and Before’.
I see a member of the Pupil Support team who are always on duty –
they ask me how I am and always notice if I am looking sad or worried.
Mrs Johnston (Family liaison) and other members of the Pupil Support team are always around,
I have to walk past them to get to the yard, they always offer a ‘check in’ and talk or ask about
things I have done at the weekend, or night before.
Its always nice that they remember things I have told them! When I go to the yard there are several staff on duty who greet me with a big smile. I know I can talk to them if I need to.
8.50am – Form time. I go to my form room and am greeted by my form tutor and form teaching assistant.
They are always happy to see me and ask me how I am feeling. We spend time doing the register and always do a Zones of Regulation Wellbeing Check in which helps me to reflect on how I am feeling. It is interesting to hear how my friends are feeling too.
Form time – Sensory Circuits. I sometimes go to Sensory Circuits in the hall, run by Pupil Support and overseen by Occupational Therapists. This is a chance to take part in some activities that help me regulate on the days I feel I need this (sometimes my form tutor suggests that I go). The activities I can choose from really help energise or calm me, based on how I feel and what I need that day.
9.00am – Assembly. We all go to the hall and a member of staff delivers a topical assembly. Rewards are given out which is exciting and we are reminded about the half termly, 5 ways to Wellbeing focus.
9.15am – 10.45am – Lessons. My teachers and teaching assistants are approachable and will help me with my work but they are kind and listen if I have any worries. Sometimes I need to use my ‘Time out’ card which allows me to have 5 minutes outside the classroom for space and privacy, using my personalised key-chain sensory activities if I want to. If I need longer, I can go to Pupil Support and spend time in the Wellbeing Lodge or talking to a member of the Pupil Support team. When I am feeling ready, I will return to my lesson.
10.45am – 11am – Break time. There are different spaces for me to use at break time. There is also a tuck shop that is managed by our sixth form students. I can use my reward credits to buy a snack or drink.
Outside yard – a choice of joining in a football match, playing archery, basketball, using the outdoor equipment or chatting with my friends. There are always several staff on duty plus a member of SLT and Pupil Support.
Common room – a choice of playing board games, using a computer, playing pool or chatting with my friends. There are always staff on duty to talk to if I have any issues.
Library – this is a quiet space if you want to sit and read or relax.
Sports Hall - Wall-ee – this is an opportunity for pupils to join Mr Adie from our Pupil Support team in a football based game with lots of other pupils from different year groups.
Pupil Support/Wellbeing Room – This is always open for me to able to access if I find break-time too much, I need to chat about something specific or even just for a chat with the staff in there, they are always welcoming.
11am – 12.30pm – Lessons. My teachers encourage movement breaks if necessary. In some of my lessons the teachers practice mindfulness techniques which I like to do. In some classrooms, teachers play relaxing background music, white noise and some have aromatherapy diffusers.
12.30pm – 12.45pm - Lunch time – we go to the canteen and there are always lots of staff on duty who are helping everyone but will also sit with us while we are eating and chat to us. SLT and Pupil Support are always available during this time too.
12.45pm – 1pm - Lunch play time – similar to break time – there are a choice of places that I can go to. Staff are always available, including SLT and Pupil Support. At lunch time our Year 11 pupils act as ‘Buddies’ and support pupils in the Hub or on the KS3 yard.
Wellbeing Wednesday Drop in – Mrs Mullen and Mrs Smith invite pupils to join the drop in to practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques and discuss any issues in a safe space.
1pm – 1.15pm - Lunch form time – I go to my form room and am greeted by my form tutor and form teaching assistant for the second time. We complete a Zones of Regulation Wellbeing Check in and can discuss any issues that might have occurred during the day.
We have a timetable for our form times:
Monday – We watch Newsround and discuss topical issues as a class group.
Tuesday – Social skills – group games or whole class games.
Wednesday – Wellbeing Wednesday – Half termly topics are delivered by our form tutor which focus on a range of issues including Healthy Relationships, Racism, Politics and many more PSHE and Citizenship related topics.
Thursday – Credit counting and reward discussion – an opportunity to count all of the credits that I have earned and choose to bank them or keep them to spend at the tuck shop or breakfast club.
Friday – Form time activity/Quiz – an opportunity to come together as a form group and have fun.
1.15pm – 2.45pm – Lessons. More opportunities to engage with my teaching and support staff.
I have one Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lesson a week where we learn about a range of issues and the lessons are predominantly discussion based. Topics include, Drugs, Healthy Lifestyles, Celebrating Diversity, Careers, Relationships and Sex Education.
I have one Religious Education (RE) lesson a week where we learn about lots of different religions and cultures.
I have one Library lesson a week and some weeks we have Steve the Dog along, who we can all take turns reading to. Its really exciting when he is there and everyone looks forward to this.
I also have Social/Life skills lesson every week. We do lot of different activities and games to help our social and emotional skills, this also helps with our wellbeing. Sometimes we even head out of school and go shopping, actually getting to spend money!
Internal Support - Interventions
If I am struggling with something in school my teachers can make referrals for me to have additional support. I can also ask for help if I need to.
For example, I have a Wellbeing intervention on a Monday afternoon with Miss Stonier from the Pupil Support team. We discuss my anxiety and other issues that might be affecting me and work out strategies that will help to support me. Sometimes Stevie the Therapy dog is in school and he comes with me for a walk and we can do some agility work or tricks together, sometimes I just sit and read with him!
Our whole Pupil Support team offer a range of different interventions for a variety of different reasons including friendship issues, anger management, self-esteem, workshops and emotional regulation, to supporting understanding of racism, homophobia and support with mental health.
Staff can make referrals for me to have support from agencies linked to our school including Speech and Language therapists (SaLT), Occupational Therapist (OT), Sensory Support Service (SSS).
Referrals to outside agencies who visit the school, can also be made to offer support including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Support team (CAMHS), Sex and Relationships Education team (SRE), Drug and Alcohol team (MOSAIC), Youth Offending Service) YOS.
On a Thursday our school nurse is in and she offers a ‘Drop in’ service. I can go and talk to her about any issues and she will listen and give me advice.
2.45pm – School officially ends. Some days I go straight home afterschool. Like in the mornings, there are always staff, including pupil support and SLT on duty at the end of each day. They always say goodbye, wave and generally check that all is well.
2.45pm – 3.45pm – Afterschool clubs and Tutoring. Some days I go to an afterschool club, we have lots of options to choose from including Sign & Sign, Spanish, Music, Social Club, Dance club, football and homework club. One day a week I also go to a tutoring session with a staff member from school, who really helps me feel more confident about my work.