Wellbeing matters – it is defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
If you have good mental wellbeing (https://www.mind.org.uk/) you are able to:
If you don’t feel good about yourself then you won’t be able to perform at your best level however we all have times where we just don’t feel okay and that’s allowed. What matters is to recognise in yourself and others when things are good and when they are not so good. It’s important to know how you can look after your own wellbeing and if you can, how to support others.
If you need any support just ask, as looking after yourself is the most important thing you can do.
Outdoor and Place-based Learning
Positive student wellbeing and raising aspirations is fundamental to their time with us at South Cumbria PRS. Informed by the Leuven scale of wellbeing in outdoor learning, we strive to maintain positive mental health which ultimately impacts the amount of learning the students can access.
Find out more about the Leuven scale here: Learning Journals and Leuven Scale.
For the John Muir Award – students will undertake a range of activities and projects to: care for, maintain and contribute to the environment around them. This is assessed through practical hours and a portfolio of evidence. In September 2021 the Pupil Referral Service were lucky enough to secure our project proposal in collaboration with St Paul’s C of E School, creating The Wellness Wood. Using ideas to promote confidence, resilience and communication skills we aim to have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of students, whilst being outdoors.
In December 2022, our long time supporters Morgan Sindall, gifted us a ‘Wellness Vehicle’ which allows us to take outdoor learning across a wider area, positively contributing to the social, emotional and mental needs of our students. Visiting woodlands, beaches and educational facilities across the South Lakes.
We continue to partner with national and local organisations to raise the aspirations of our students. Monthly collaborative projects with Natural England have been extremely successful and allows the students to gain valuable work experience in an environment they are comfortable in.
Working with students who had previously engaged in Outdoor Learning, allowed a great opportunity to develop existing skills and knowledge as well as broaden the environment and experiences for them. For our KS4 students, it was important to start creating links with potential employers as well as develop confidence of working with new people as we prepare them for the world of work. Conservation work on North Walney was positive and allowed students to use unfamiliar tools and equipment. Visits to Grizedale Forest and Roudsea Woods positively influenced new project ideas to plan, design and complete within the Wellness Wood/School Garden.
Students new to the subject or the centre responded positively – this allowed them to try new things as well as take safe risks with their projects. The maintenance and preparation work for the new term got underway with the clearing of shrubs and weeds in addition to the construction of new habitats and planters. Aiming to develop skills across the curriculum and in line with the Artsmark Award, we created sculptures within the Wellness Wood, which developed engagement and confidence for the students involved.
The students are now prepared for the Spring Term, having learnt and developed their skills using tools and equipment on and off site as well as learning the importance of health and safety in new environments.
Conservation work and links within the wider community continued at North Walney Nature Reserve with Natural England. New links and projects began with a local primary school, as one Year 10 student supported with garden maintenance. This was positive and allowed students to use unfamiliar tools and equipment as well as work alongside other volunteers. Visits to local Woodlands, such as: How Tun Woods and Abbotts Wood, positively influenced new project ideas within the Wellness Wood – starting to develop cross curricular skills by developing a QR Trail.
Students continued to respond positively – this allowed them to try new things as well as take safe risks with their projects. Developing skills and knowledge from DT as well as previous sessions, allowed students to begin the design, planning and construction of new habitats and planters. Extended community work experience allowed students to work alongside Morgan Sindall professionals, to design, construct and use ‘Hedgehog Houses’. This was a very positive experience for all students involved!
The Welfare Van was a fundamental tool to support the centre and not just the ‘Out & About students’ – allowing students to experience the mobile classroom to develop Media, IMedia and Science work, individually and as a class.
Students from KS3 & 4 both contributed to the school’s involvement in the St Mary’s Hospice: Battle 2 Succeed challenge. Where they launched the ‘PRU Car Wash’. More details to come in the Summer blog!
Further Support for Mental Health:
‘A little bit of help’ is a great collection of advice and support about well-being and mental health. It brings together advice, resources, courses for parents and links to other organisations all in one place and can be accessed by this link.
South Cumbria CAMHS have created and launched a Facebook page. They hope this page will be a way of engaging young people and their families through posting information and updates about the service and sharing relevant resources.
You can find their Facebook page at @southcumbriaCAMHS or https://www.facebook.com/southcumbriaCAMHS/
Please view the following articles issued by Kooth (young persons support group) which details support available over the Christmas period in relation to varying issues.