The welfare of the Breckenbrough community is always at the forefront of what we do, though the challenges faced since March has placed an added significance and focus on the well-being of all of us.
Throughout this period, all our students and their families have been supported by a core team; those key members of staff who have the in-depth knowledge, expertise and relationship to be instrumental in meeting need. The high standards of home contact, including video calls, has been maintained to ensure consistency and stability during uncertain times. Our weekly on-line assemblies also remain an important aspect of each week when we can come together, celebrate and reflect as a community.
We have introduced well-being sessions with our Sixth Formers on Wednesday afternoons, which have been well attended by the student body. We have been astounded by how open the students have been in sharing their challenges and difficulties. We know from experience how challenging it can be for young males to open up about their issues and how they are feeling and the students themselves have shared how beneficial these sessions have been.
For the past few years, the school has worked in consultancy with a nutritionist, who has been pivotal in improving the dietary intake of our cohort. With awareness of the link between diet and well-being, we have extended our offer to include nutritional support and guidance for staff as well as students during these difficult times.
As a staff team, fortnightly yoga sessions have been introduced with all welcome to attend either in the hall or via an online stream. This has proven to be deliver a therapeutic conclusion to what has often been a stressful week.
We are currently in the process of looking to set up a ‘thank you’ style box where staff can pass on their gratitude or praise for a colleague. In our experience, these small gestures can have a big impact on someone’s self-esteem and overall well-being.
We have signposted the availability of Headspace as an online resource and both staff and students have commented positively on its effectiveness.
Throughout this situation, we have been genuinely humbled by our student’s ability to adapt to what is now dubbed ‘the new normal’ and look forward to sharing further positive developments as the year progresses. The support from one colleague to another has demonstrated yet again what a special place Breckenbrough School is.