Emotional and Mental Wellbeing in Schools Mark

We are proud to announce that St Mary’s CE High School has been awarded the Emotional and Mental Wellbeing in SchoolMark, achieving ‘Advanced Practice’ in their whole school approach to supporting students, staff and their families.

Designed as a self-review tool which guides schools through a process of reflecting on current practice and identifying both strengths, and areas for improvement, the Schools Mark replaces the Healthy Young Minds in Herts Kitemark Accreditation which St Mary’s previously held.

Aligned to the eight principles proposed by the Department for Education’s guidance for promoting and supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges, the Schools Mark was co-designed with education professionals by the Emotional Mental Wellbeing in Education Team; part of Hertfordshire’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health System,

The eight areas are: Leadership and Management; Environment and ethos; Curriculum, teaching and learning; Pupil voice; Staff development, health and wellbeing; Identifying need, impact and monitoring; Working with parents, families, and carers; Targeted support and appropriate referrals.

Here are just some of the Assessor overall positive comments:

  • St Mary’s has a clear and thorough commitment to supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of pupils and staff.
  • St Mary’s ensures that emotional and mental wellbeing has a high profile within the school across pupils and staff.
  • Personal Development is embedded across the curriculum and delivered through teaching.
  • High participation in external wellbeing activities such as Feeling Good Week, Just Talk, 5 Ways to Wellbeing and The Anna Freud and Mind charities are demonstrated.
  • The school has made effective use of external speakers to amplify the messages they teach and continually look to grow the pool of agencies they work with.
  • St Mary’s promotes an active school council with opportunities for students to become Wellbeing and Anti-bullying Ambassadors as well as 6th form mentors.
  • Students are encouraged to express their views and opinions through adhering to Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines.
  • St Mary’s High has an exemplary referral process for internal interventions, with pupils identified and supported quickly.
  • The school provides many opportunities to recognise staff needs through drop-in sessions, ‘time to talk’ session and a menopause support group with the wellbeing area being accessed by both staff and students offering a space to talk and decompress.
  • It is clearly evident that the school supports all vulnerable groups.
  • The school website has a wealth of information for parents/carers and families about emotional wellbeing and mental health support, offering information evenings, workshops and training.
  • School explained how they are responding to examples of high level, complex needs of families, and going above and beyond to ensure that students feel supported and heard.