News story from Holme Grange School

Wokingham school scoops pioneering mental health award

A Wokingham school has achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.

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27th October 2021 — A Wokingham school has achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Holme Grange School School were awarded a Gold standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Holme Grange provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of both pupils and staff, including mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, buddy systems and working closely with other agencies such as No.5 Young People in Reading and Arc in Wokingham.

Holme Grange School Headteacher , Mrs Claire Robinson, said: “The Award framework has allowed us to celebrate the work we do and as we completed an audit of the provision across the School, remind ourselves of how extensive our work is and how embedded it is into the life of the School. The award recognises and validates the hard work and effort of the staff team and the school community at Holme Grange.”

The school also hosts a bi-annual Parent Conference where parents and people from the local area are invited to hear from a variety of speakers on varied topics to help support the School community to better understand issues like mental health. Their next event in January 2022 will focus on personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of our planet and is entitled “Healthy Me, Healthy Planet”.

A focal point of the school’s mental health and wellbeing provision is breaking down stigmas. As part of the Pupil Leadership Team, there is a Head of Wellbeing position. When applying for this role, a Year 10 pupil spoke about their own experience of poor mental health and their desire to challenge opinions and to encourage others open up.

Mrs Robinson said: “Well-being is at the core of Holme Grange philosophy because confident, happy and secure young people will not only be effective learners, but will also go on to lead happy and successful lives in the future. We take a whole-school approach to positive mental health and work together with parents to develop a climate which we know has a beneficial effect on the physical and mental health of our school community."

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

Doctor Steve Burton, Interim Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children and engaging with the wider community including staff and parents.

“We’re truly proud to have worked with Holme Grange in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

Nationally, more than 1000 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.

“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Holme Grange and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”

Holme Grange School (Coed 3-16) is a day school in Berkshire.

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