Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mrs Kirsty Taylor
Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead at Penrice Academy

No one is immune to suffering from mental health issues at any point in life. This is why we offer an immense amount of support on offer here at Penrice Academy.

But before we share further information on this webpage, if you are student struggling with your mental health and are searching for help, please head to the school’s Student Family Centre for immediate support. Alternatively, if it is out of school hours, please complete our ‘Are You OK?’ online form and we will help you on the very next school day.

Gold-Standard Care: National Whole School Wellbeing Award

Promoting positive mental health and supporting vulnerable children and young people is at the heart of our work. The quality of the provision throughout the school is excellent. This has been acknowledged by our recent National Whole School Wellbeing gold award (2023).

National Whole School Wellbeing Award – Coach/Assessor Review

Coach/Assessor Name: Marius Frank
Date: September 2023

It has been clear from the outset that Penrice Academy places great store on the centrality of wellbeing to the success of the children in their care, and the wellbeing of the staffing body as whole.

Led by Kirsty Taylor (who’s job title of Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead encapsulates the school’s commitment), the school has been on a transformational journey for over four years. Penrice is a Trauma Informed Accredited school and has embedded PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy, a schema created by Dan Hughes to promote a sense of safety and belonging with traumatised children) and the PRRRs (Protect, Relate, Regulate and Reflect, fundamentals of trauma-informed practice) in its ethos effectively. This was witnessed first-hand during a visit this year.

But the community is not resting on its laurels: it is very aware that the wellbeing of their young people and their staff is of the highest importance, and see RAW as a further development of the journey.

The Needs Analysis process identified evidence-based strengths across the board: a focus on growing ‘core strength’ through metacognitive practice and a ‘character curriculum’; a focus on de-stigmatising mental health issues (creating a culture where it is OK to ask for help, a commitment that extends to the family); an awareness that diversity needs to be celebrated, particularly in a mainly white British community; a Diana Award for anti-bullying initiatives; a commitment to continuing to develop staff awareness about the impact of childhood trauma and its manifestation in child behaviours.

An outstanding school is always seeking to improve still further, and a clear pathway has been illuminated through RAW (Raising Attainment with Wellbeing). By embracing the power of Emotion Coaching, staff will move from a way of ‘doing’ towards a way of ‘being’: Penrice will thrive!”

Available Mental Health Support

Every student is taught in a compassionate classroom and our staff have fully embedded a range of strategies to ensure the wellbeing of our young people is of paramount importance. Every year group also participates in focused wellbeing registrations through the academic year focusing on Wellbeing and experiencing a range of activities designed to develop skills such as mindfulness, resilience and self-care.

Some of our wellbeing interventions include:

  • One-to-one support
  • One-to-one mentoring
  • Group work
  • Gender support
  • Behaviour Management
  • Attendance Support
  • Social and Emotional Support
  • Young Carers
  • Emotional First Aid/ Mental Health Support
  • CAF/FGC Advocates Signposting to Outside Agencies
  • School Counsellor
  • School Support Pets

We have a team of TIS accredited practitioners who can support individuals and also work with small groups using their specialised training to enable our young people to develop appropriate strategies to support their wellbeing. The ‘Us Plus’ staff team also share their knowledge within departments to enable staff to employ up to date and relevant support strategies in their classrooms. Our ‘Us Plus’ student team are also trained to promote positive mental health and support their peer group through the Penrice journey.

Us Plus Student Mentors

Our support strategies are bespoke to each individual child and situation. Our aim is to ensure every student who faces challenges that negatively impact on their ability to thrive has access to an Emotionally Available Adult who will help them develop the necessary skills to overcome the challenges and achieve their best possible outcomes.

For more information about mental health support at Penrice, please contact: Mrs Kirsty Taylor

Where Next?

Medical and First Aid

Young Carers

Pastoral Care