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Wellbeing Room at Beacon Academy

A new facility to support students’ wellbeing thanks to an idea proposed by a group of prefects.

Members of the school’s Student Senior Leadership Team, which comprises the Head and Deputy Head Students, Senior Prefects and Prefects, proposed the idea of creating a dedicated quiet space where students could relax and talk with a Mental Health First Aider.

Following a year of careful planning and budgeting led by Mental Health First Aider and Cover Supervisor, Ms Austin, the Wellbeing Room is now open for students to use.

Year 11 students Izzy and Katie

Beacon Academy is recognised by Ofsted for its outstanding student support and the great value placed on the positive aspects of physical, mental and social health through every element of school life, both within the curriculum and through extra-curricular sports and activities.

In addition to benefitting from nine Designated Safeguarding Leads, students at Beacon are supported by a total of twelve fully trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) across both the lower school and Sixth Form sites. The staff are equipped with the skills they need to support students’ wellbeing, enabling them to notice signs of mental ill health, and empowering them to break down barriers and listen in a non-judgmental way in order to then signpost the support needed for recovery.

Headteacher, Anna Robinson, commented:

Every student at Beacon Academy is encouraged to be involved in student voice in any way they can but in particular through our Academy’s Student Council and Student Senior Leadership Team. Our students can put forward ideas and suggestions that are then discussed at the highest level within the school, including our Senior Leadership and Senior Business Team and Trustee Board meetings. I am so proud of Izzie and Katie who have worked so well alongside Ms Austin to make their dream in to a reality. We are all so impressed with their passion to put well-being at the front and centre of our day to day lives at Beacon that we are extending this facility to another area of our Beeches site, our Sixth Form and we are looking to see what we can do with our staff rooms as well. I really hope that our student body will be able to make great use out of this facility and use it for what it is intended – as a space to slow down, talk and listen. This is such a stunning example of our student voice in action.

Left to Right: Mr Keith Slattery (Deputy Headteacher), Lorna Simm (Parent Trustee), Year 11 student Katie, Ms Gail Austin (MHFA and Cover Supervisor), Year 11 student Izzy, Miss Ashleigh McCormack (Assistant Head of Year 7) and Ms Anna Robinson (Headteacher).

Beacon Academy Parent Trustee, Lorna Simm, added;

School can be tough for anyone, but when you experience mental health challenges it can be even harder. Research shows that one in five adolescents experience mental health difficulties in any given year. This generation are six times more likely to have a long standing mental health problem than their parents’ generation.

Trustees are proud of the large number of resources supporting students with their wellbeing at Beacon, but sometimes the pressure of being in school can simply be overwhelming. If students need a safe place to rest and recuperate, the Wellbeing Room can be a place to breathe, relax or talk. Students at Beacon know that their wellbeing is incredibly important and they are being taught to be pro-active in recognising how to self-care for themselves and others. Trustees hope that during their time at Beacon, students start a life-long journey of self-care and good mental health.

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