National recognition for ‘caring’ city school as Portsmouth secondary Castle View presented with wellbeing award

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A ‘CARING’ PAULSGROVE school has won a national award recognising its commitment to mental health.

Castle View Academy was presented with a ‘Wellbeing Award for Schools’ after it created a plan for mental health provision for staff and students which was evaluated by a trained verifier.

The award was developed by the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education, and encourages schools across the country to promote wellbeing as part of their day-to-day school life.

The school will remain accredited for three years.

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Castle View Academy pupils.Castle View Academy pupils.
Castle View Academy pupils.
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Christian Down, principal, said: ‘All of us at Castle View Academy are delighted to have received this award and see our dedication to mental health and wellbeing recognised nationally.

‘We are very proud to have built a school community where respect and kindness are a key focus and both students and staff are on hand to support one another.

‘Prioritising mental health and wellbeing is essential to ensuring we can deliver high-quality teaching and learning and support our young people in reaching their full potential.’

Carl Beck from Castle View Academy. Carl Beck from Castle View Academy.
Carl Beck from Castle View Academy.

As part of its plans, the school appointed a mental health manager who has been working

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to ensure wellbeing is a key focus, particularly after the challenges of the pandemic.

Each year, the school dedicates two full days to wellbeing and holds regular year group assemblies on the importance of prioritising mental health.

Students have signed up to become Mental Health Ambassadors, with quiet rooms set up to give students a space to reflect and discuss their thoughts and feelings with one another.

At break and lunchtimes, the young people are also able to enjoy a range of activities including fussball, table tennis and basketball and they can make use of the school fields which remain open throughout the year.

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A student at the academy said: ‘In our school, we learn about how important it is to talk about our feelings and emotions.’

Another student added: ‘The school really cares about what I think and listens to what I have to say.’

As well as support for students, a Wellbeing Manifesto has been created for staff, who have regular briefings on ways they can strengthen their own mental wellbeing and the pathways of support available for students.