Enhancing internal wellbeing programme with external expertise
Teachers at Ysgol Caer Elen were recognising an increasing set of challenges their students were facing with their mental wellbeing around the pressures of social media and the cost-of-living crisis. They saw a particular rise post-Covid and with the return to full-time school and wanted to offer additional support to their students to help cope with these ongoing and added pressures.
They wanted to use an external facilitator because, in their experience, their students have been more receptive to discussions around wellbeing when the person delivering is not a known teacher and can offer a different perspective and expertise.
6-week State of Mind wellbeing programme delivered to Years 8 and 9
Platfform Wellbeing delivered our 6-week State of Mind wellbeing programme which comprises a set of weekly modules that can be selected from our suite of training subjects based on the needs and age group of the students concerned.
The State of Mind course material has been co-produced for young people by young people, ensuring relevance and accessibility. By putting young people at the core of the training, we recognise the value of their perspective, knowledge and experience and ensure the best level of participation and engagement from students.
Ysgol Caer Elen’s Year 8 and 9 students received our State of Mind training which covered the following modules using a combination of presentation and practical group/individual exercises:
- Mindful activities
- Keeping active
- Nurturing friendships
- Healthy living
- Positive thoughts
- Reaching out
- Helping others
- Being organised
- Healthy sleeping habits
- Setting realistic and achievable goals
Increased engagement and understanding around emotional health and wellbeing
The activity-based material was used to both educate and encourage students to find their pathways to better wellbeing. During the 6 weeks, the students were encouraged to connect and share their experiences in a safe space. The groups listened and worked together to find ways of identifying and overcoming any challenges they might be experiencing.
Often bringing in an external trainer allows students to be more open to sharing and participating as Ysgol Caer Elen’s Deputy Headteacher, Gareth Owens explains,
“Sometimes the impact of an external facilitator has a huge impact on the pupils – they really buy into it. They enjoy and they listen to people who have different expertise from outside”
“It gives students the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective that they wouldn’t necessarily get from their peers or the teachers in the school”.
of young people felt that the support they received has helped their overall wellbeing.
said that they had a better understanding of mental health.
of young people showed an improved WEMWBS (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) score.
and above attendance of 6 sessions
Gareth Davies, Health & Wellbeing Leader
“The SOM [course] has given the pupils confidence to look for different avenues of help, and different ideas they can share with family members and friends. The SOM course has opened up their opportunities and given them a clear path forward”.
Gareth Owens, Deputy Headteacher
“Without doubt we would recommend the SOM course to every school because we’ve utilised it a substantial amount in the past few years as part of our curriculum offering here.
The feedback we’ve had from the sessions has been really positive. The pupils enjoy working with external people who bring in different expertise and viewpoints.
It’s something we want to implement year on year in school as part of our wellbeing offering and actually develop even further”.
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