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Clare Mount SpecialistSports College

Role Models and Catalysts for Change

4 - Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

4.1 Overview


NICE guidance recommends that secondary education should provide a curriculum that:

“promotes positive behaviour and successful relationships and helps to reduce disruptive behaviour and bullying.  This can be achieved by integrating social and emotional skills development within all areas of the curriculum.  Such skills to be developed are: motivation, self-awareness, problem solving, conflict management and resolution, collaborative working, how to understand and manage feelings and how to manage relationships with parents, teachers, carers and peers.”


At Clare Mount Specialist Sports College we aim to promote personal resilience and social learning through all aspects of the curriculum and we use assessment tools to ensure this has a positive impact on all pupils. Students need their education journey to include how to understand and look after their mental health in the same way they are encouraged to look after their physical health.  By shifting the focus to preventing mental health issues and building resilience we can do so much to improve the lives of so many.  Good well-being on leaving school, allied with the unlocking of potential and academic attainment, should lead to the successful development of a bright future for all our students. It is the responsibility of all staff to promote an environment where positive mental health is considered important.  This should be implicit and embedded in the whole school ethos.  However, the explicit teaching about mental health for our pupils will be delivered through a variety of means.  These include some of the following:


  • PSHE lessons at KS3
  • Life Skills Lessons at KS4 and KS5
  • Design Technology through the healthy eating part of the curriculum and how this affects mental health.
  • Work carried out by the School Support and Welfare Team
  • The COPE programme (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment), delivered to pupils to arm them with tools for dealing with their own mental health
  • Assemblies
  • Physical Education
  • The ‘My Personal Best’ employability skills programme
  • ‘Active in Mind’ programmes
  • The ongoing work of the school’s Healthy Lifestyle Champions
  • An annual ‘Wellbeing Week.’
  • Votes for Schools Debates
  • Student Council
  • School Nurse and Health Services in Schools (HSIS) sessions

Some pupils are at much higher risk of developing mental health problems due to being exposed to numerous risk factors which can include themselves, their family, their school environment and their community.  This is cumulative.  Young people who are exposed to more risks become more likely to develop poor mental health and low levels of emotional wellbeing.  To be able to promote a culture where emotional health is taken seriously, these risk/protective factors must be understood.  These are outlined by the table below.


4.2 Table of Risk Factors


Risk Factors

Protective/Resilience Factors

Young person

Genetic influences

Low IQ and learning disabilities

Specific developmental delay/neuro diversity


Physical illness

Academic failure

Low self-esteem

Communication problems

Birth complications

Poor attachment

Being female

Secure attachment experience

Outgoing temperament

Good communication skills

Planning and control


Problem solving skills

Positive attitude

Experience of success and achievement

Faith or spirituality

Capacity to reflect

Higher intelligence



Parental conflict

Family breakdown

Inconsistent discipline

Hostile and rejecting relationships

Physical, sexual or emotional abuse


Parental psychiatric illness

Parental criminality or addiction

Death and loss


In care

At least one good parent/child relationship


Clear, consistent discipline

Support for education

Supportive long-term relationship or absence of discord





Breakdown in or lack of positive friendships

Deviant peer influences

Peer pressure

Poor pupil to teacher relationships

Clear policies on behaviour and bullying

Open door policy for young people to raise problems and concerns

A whole school approach to promoting positive mental health

A sense of belonging

Positive peer influences


Socio-economic disadvantages


Disaster, accident, or other overwhelming events


Other significant life events

Wiser supportive network

Good housing

High standard of living

High morale

Opportunities for valued social roles

Range of sport and leisure activities

Good community presence

Whole school approach to mental health