May is Here!

Date: 12 May 2021

May is Here!

Almost the end of another week, we are in the month of May, there are blue skies above us, lockdown is easing. We are able to meet with friends and family and no more face coverings for staff and pupils in the classroom from Monday. Things can only get better.

I hope everything is settling and becoming part of a ‘normal’ routine. We are certainly having fewer schools contacting us with notification of positive cases and closure of bubbles/classes – everything crossed it stays that way!

On another level, there is so much going on and we have so much to share with you. This week is Mental Health Awareness week, to help young people manage their mental health at home a series of short films about healthy communication hints and how to reach out for support, have been developed by BaNes, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG. The series of short films support Children and Young People’s wellbeing and mental health, they focus on parenting resource and support whilst young people are on waiting lists. These films will also be added to the Swindon Local Offer and schools online as a support resource.

This year's positive mental health theme is nature and the environment. Having access to nature is crucial for positive mental health, many of us discovered this over the last year. Here are some additional resources, you may want to share across your setting:

Next week is Walk to School Week, the aim of the week is to encourage young people to be more active. The 5-day challenge takes place from the 17th to the 21st of May and is designed to help children reach their minimum 60 minutes of exercise per day. The week-long challenge is not just about walking. Any type of exercise is encouraged, including cycling, riding a scooter or even running. Although it may not be possible for every child to walk the distance from their house to their school, parents are encouraged to park further than they normally would and encourage their child to walk the rest of the way. BBC Teach have developed a video about how young people get to school with a range of questions and facts to share. Campaigners Living Streets have a range of strategies that encourage schools to facilitate more walking in the community.

Sexual Harassment in Schools, is the latest Government national topic. A DFE guidance  has been produced to cover advice for all ages and how to minimise the risk of it occurring, what to do when it does or is alleged to have occurred. The government has asked Ofsted to undertake a review of safeguarding policies in all schools. The review will look at the extent and severity of issues and ensure schools have appropriate processes in place. They will also look at how pupils report concerns. How the concerns are taken seriously and dealt with swiftly.  The NSPCC have set up a new dedicated helpline, to support potential victims. If you are concerned about something, you can contact the dedicated NSPCC helpline Report Abuse in Education on 0800 136 663 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

To  further support you, please feel free to download the PSHE Association resources for KS3-5; ‘Something’s Not Right’ which focusses on identifying and reporting abuse and ‘Disrespect NoBody’, which focusses on teenage relationship abuse and is suitable for KS2 – KS5.
They are also offering a Twilight Session: preventing sexual harassment in schools within the role of PSHE. The free Twilight session features insights from leading Clinical Psychologist Dr Elly Hanson, and helps to unpack the various ways in which the subject can contribute to pupil safety.  Book your place

Chameleon PDE have released free activity packs (for a time limited offer), which are designed to empower teachers in delivering this ‘difficult topic’. Download the resources by creating a free account on their website or log-in if you already have an account.

I know you have heard this many times but we all know PSHE is one of the key subjects in schools to enable positive change in behaviours and attitudes. Evidence shows that well-delivered PSHE has impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. To ensure we continue to contribute to the development of positive societal attitudes, let’s ensure we deliver a strong and rich PSHE Curriculum!