Here at Harris Church of England Academy, we consider our students’ wellbeing to be as important as their academic studies in the progression of their school journey. At Harris, we see ourselves as a family and that caring ethos runs through all that we do. Our school motto, ‘While we have time let us do good to all’ (Galatians 6:10) is embedded in our teaching and nurturing of our students.
We have a fantastic Pastoral team made up of caring and approachable members of staff across our House & Form Tutor system who will be on hand to support all students through the potentially turbulent teenage years. Within this team we have a School Chaplain; four Heads of House; two Pastoral Assistants, and a team of Form Tutors working tirelessly to support Harris students throughout their time with us covering academic, emotional & mental support; friendship issues and the challenges of teenage life.
We offer Pastoral Mentoring Programmes specific to the students’ needs which cover a wide range of support such as bereavement, anxiety, low self-esteem, and building resilience.
We also have a fantastic team of school prefects from Year 11 who offer peer mentoring across all year groups to provide academic support, paired reading, emotional help, and using sport, music and art to increase focus.
Mental health has gained national prominence over recent years; it has always been prominent at Harris and we are proud to have all staff members within the Pastoral and Senior Leadership teams qualified as Mental Health First Aiders. We have a Nurture & Wellbeing Hub within school which is designed to support any students who may be going through an emotional challenge and are struggling to focus on the school day.
We also have an extensive PHSEE programme which offers teaching and guidance through Physical Health Social & Emotional Education with Sexual & Relationships Education and a highly regarded careers advice service.
We believe that extra-curricular enrichment plays a beneficial part in maintaining positive wellbeing allowing students new experiences and the opportunity to challenge themselves, learn to work as a team, and to develop a sense of responsibility. There are many different clubs and societies at lunchtime and after school covering sport, music, drama, friendship, team building, and healthy living. These clubs provide the opportunity to partake in school sports fixtures, music and drama events; support groups for friendship and for students living with long term medical conditions. Our most popular groups include Changemakers, Christian Union, Musical Theatre, which are enhanced by various enriching school trips over each year.
Delivering our motto, we also ‘do good to all’ by contributing to the community. Each House has a partnered charity with which the students do amazing work in fundraising for very worthy causes, developing their self-esteem and confidence. The charity activities and events all take place in the Spring Term. It creates a sense of fun and unity across the whole school whilst raising awareness and a sense of responsibility of those around us.
For students in Year 10, we offer a work experience week during the summer term where students gain confidence and valuable experience from the workplace which also increases their focus moving towards GCSE exams. Careers advice towards Post 16 options is delivered through various careers fairs and events and a well structured Careers Programme.
With Year 11 students, we offer exam pressure support and revision strategies, delivered in class and through “Drive for Results” designed to help increase organisation skills and focus. We also offer yoga as a stress-reliever to complement the consistent teacher support. These programmes are aimed at decreasing anxiety levels and boosting emotional wellbeing during probably the most challenging time with their school career.
The list of school wellbeing programmes, events, and clubs is ever growing and includes:
· Mental Health First Aiders
· Peer mentoring – Year 11 Prefects
· Pastoral Mentoring Programmes
· Support Groups – Living with Long Term Medical Conditions
· Friendship Group with the School Chaplain at lunchtime
· Partnership with external agencies – Bereavement, Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Resilience
· School Trips – all year groups – national & international
· Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE)
· Christian Union
· Changemakers – healthy lifestyle choices
· Exam Pressure and Yoga for Years 10 & 11
· Drive For Results Day for Year 11
· Talented & Gifted Programme
· Connections Drama Society
· Musical Theatre Society
· Kick Boxing for confidence and self-esteem
· Work Experience for Year 10
· Careers Advice – Post 16 & Workplace
· PHSEE Programme – Physical Health Social Emotional Education with Sexual Relationships Education
· First Aid Support for Long Term Medical Conditions
· World Women’s Day
· Female Lead Society
· Nurture & Wellbeing Hub
· Brooke School Partnership
· Whole school family ethos