3 - School ethos and environment
NICE guidance recommends that schools create an ethos that supports positive behaviour for learning and successful relationships. School should provide an emotionally secure and safe environment that prevents any form of bullying or violence. At Clare Mount Specialist Sports College we foster an ethos that promotes mutual respect, learning and successful relationships among young people and we endeavour to create a culture in school that promotes diversity. The physical and social environment is a fundamental part of this. At Clare Mount Specialist Sports College we aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment which encourages pupils’ sense of self-worth and self-efficacy, which ensures inclusiveness where all concerns are taken seriously and there exists a general promotion of positive behaviour. Pupils spend a high percentage of their week in school and therefore it stands to reason that they are highly influenced by their surroundings, the effect of which can be profound on their mental health and emotional well-being. This then also directly affects attainment.
One of the key areas of promoting positive well-being is to promote a culture where positive teacher/pupil relationships and pupil/pupil relationships are evident. This is critical in making our students comfortable enough to be able to learn and encourages them to avoid risk-taking behaviour. Having a sense of belonging in the school environment and having good teacher/pupil relationships contributes to students’ overall feelings about school. We recognise that school ‘belonging’ is higher in schools where pupils feel safe and where there are lower levels of bullying: This also has a direct impact on attainment.
3.2 Key areas
- An ambition exists within Clare Mount Specialist Sports College to create a clear and tangible climate of “connectedness”, a feeling of being accepted, respected and bonded to the school environment.
- The senior leadership team provide clear leadership in creating and managing the physical and social environment as this strongly influences staff and pupils’ emotional health and mental well-being.
- The designated lead for mental health (MHL) is part of the senior leadership team and promotes collaborative working on issues surrounding mental health and emotional well-being. Clare Mount Specialist Sports College is the lead school for Inclusion for The Youth Sport Trust in Merseyside, a member and founder of the Healthy Futures Network (a collaborative between schools in the north west, the University of Chester and the NHS) and is working towards achieving the Carnegie School of Education Mental Health in Schools Award in 2020
- The School Improvement and Development Plan refers to emotional health and mental well-being including a good work/life balance for staff.
- On an annual or ongoing basis, dedicated staff training, signposting information (staff and students), PSHE and targeted mental health campaigns (including tackling stigma and discrimination) are promoted throughout the school. Resources are available in school for staff and pupils to be able to access advice and support.
- A programme of social and emotional learning is delivered across the whole school through PSHE, assemblies, form time, COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) and Life-Skills.
- The school was recently (January 2019) awarded the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) following the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at Bronze level. Our ambition is to achieve the Silver level of this award in 2020
- The school embraces Restorative Justice practices in order to support student and staff well-being.
3.3 Links with the Ofsted Inspection Framework
Steps are continually taken to ensure that the school follows the guidance of OFSTED in matters related to SEMH. Our policy, vision and everyday actions are influenced by the following:
Ofsted Inspection framework: key judgement
Links to pupil health and wellbeing
Behaviour and safety of pupils in school
Pupils sense of belonging to school is a key determinant of their well-being and is higher in schools where children feel safe and have lower levels of bullying. These are also more likely to be high achievers.