To raise awareness of Mental Health and Wellbeing month in May, all Year 8 students were involved in the YNOT Aspire ‘Know Stigma’ Citizenship day.
Students had an opportunity to promote positive attitudes and to learn about effective strategies to support mental health concerns.
The day involved workshops from:
- Brook who will be delivered workshops around body image.
- Hyndburn Leisure Trust who explored the link between physical activity and positive mental health and wellbeing.
- Accrington Stanley Community Trust focused on the importance of talking and communication with an active engaging session.
Assistant Headteacher Mrs Ali said: “The students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and felt they had greatly benefited from the wealth of experience. All the sessions were active and extremely engaging.”
The theme continued with whole school assemblies to highlight the three main charities Rhyddings is supporting. Lancashire Minds, YoungMinds and the Mental Health Foundation.
Lancashire Minds and YoungMinds offer direct advice and support for young people, parents and all members of our community. Both charities are confidential and independent from school.
Mental Health Foundation is an independent charity with effective mental health strategies for adults.
In June, all students in Years 7-10 are involved in Health and Well-being mornings, the aim is to focus on the positive impact of physical health and to explore how diet and nutrition effects the body.
Students have opportunities to discuss the characteristics of realistic positive role models from social media and reflect on self-esteem through different body images. All students will discuss issues and facts surrounding sexual health and explore local services available.
Through the varied PSHE and cross-curricular Citizenship curriculum, emotional, physical and mental health wellbeing remains a priority for all our students.
Rhyddings’ Year Leader Gary Fielding has gone the extra mile to ensure that our students continue to receive ‘outstanding care guidance and support’ by gaining his Level 4 NVQ in Advice and Guidance.
The qualification is intended for those whose job role involves providing specialist advice and guidance, improving skills in mediation, negotiation and evaluation. Gary has spent over 200 hours working towards the certificate, which was awarded by Accrington and Rossendale College assessor Trish Fish.
Trish said: “Gary was a delight to teach. His passion for his role, his empathic nature and his eagerness to learn new strategies made this an enjoyable experience.
“Working in partnership with our local schools is important to us at Accrington and Rossendale College and we always welcome ways to co-operate and support local skills.
“This Level 4 qualification shows Rhyddings’ commitment to excellent advice and guidance for their students and we are delighted to have helped them achieve this.”
Mr Fielding, who has been at Rhyddings since 2008, said: “The main focus of the qualification was to enhance my role in all aspects of pastoral support. As a school, we recognise the importance of the day to day support and professional development opportunities like these for staff make a really positive impact for our students.”
Sylvia Lancaster, mother of murdered teenager Sophie, spoke to students about the importance of celebrating differences in an emotional assembly as part of our recent Year 9 Citizenship Day.
Sophie was killed in 2007 by a group of youths because of the way that she dressed. Sylvia now heads the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and actively campaigns for tolerance, diversity and more protection for sub cultures against hate crime.
The foundation has many high profile supporters including patron Julie Hesmondhalgh, This Is England actress Vicky McClure and rock star Courtney Love who all wear the S.O.P.H.I.E. wristbands (Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere).
Students also watched the animated short film ‘Dark Angel’ based on the night that Sophie and her boyfriend were attacked in Stubbylee Park in Bacup before taking part in other workshops that tackled hate crime, LGBT awareness and religious tolerance.
Assistant Headteacher Iffat Ali said: “The students were all deeply moved by Sylvia’s story and we are extremely grateful to her for coming into school to share it with us.
“Citizenship days like this give our students the chance to look at life from various different perspectives. This is essential for their social, spiritual, moral and cultural development.”