Updated: Jun 28
Last week it was announced that 90,789 young people were referred to a mental health service in March 2022 in England.
That's the equivalent of a full Wembley stadium of children struggling in just one month. We need to do more to support our young people.
A key step that schools can take is to introduce an early intervention programme that identifies those who are struggling as early as possible and gives all students a toolkit of self care strategies.
The fantastic Physical Education team at Sprowston Community Academy have done just that by supporting their young people to embed healthy habits to transform their mental wellbeing.
This is step 6 of our 9 step RISE Up programme and is a crucial step if young people are to develop a tool kit of self care strategies that will help them manage their wellbeing now and long after they have left your school.
Sprowston Community Academy is a large coeducational secondary school located in Norwich, Norfolk. Their inspirational 2nd in PE, Jonathan Richards, talks us through how they have used the RISE Up Online Teacher Training Course to improve the healthy habits of their young people:
“At Sprowston we had an issue that is probably common with most teenagers where many were feeling pretty tired during the school day to the extent that for some students they felt it was affecting their ability to perform in lessons especially towards the end of the school day.
Some who felt they had low energy levels and were feeling tired frequently during the day thought that it might be having a negative impact on their mood and mental health.
The Physical Education Department thought that they could try to improve the situation and found an online teacher training course with editable resources on mental wellbeing in young people which was developed by Future Action.
The course was perfect for our needs as we wanted a simple and easy solution for immediate use which was already planned out with all resources supplied.
The fact the course was online at a convenient time for us meant that we did not need to worry about covering lessons and our students missing out on their usual teacher for their PE lessons.
From the resources provided we spent most time working through the lessons on sleep and the importance of sleep with our young people and found that these could be easily incorporated within our existing PE curriculum.
Each lesson had a really clear focus and the students enjoyed taking part in the lessons because ultimately they could feel the powerful feedback the course was having on their day-to-day lives by targeting small changes. The feedback from students was extremely positive.
A lovely moment when we realised the course was having an impact was when a lad in Year 11 arrived to a PE lesson on Friday morning Period 1 on time for the first time in a long time as normally he is a persistent latecomer to the lesson as he normally overslept. I thought I was seeing a ghost!!!!!!!
The course has helped many students to re-evaluate their behaviour patterns around sleep and many have tried to reduce their ‘screen time’ at night and tried to have a consistent bedtime routine.
What also tied in really well with our work in PE was that some students were also aiming to increase their activity levels and reduce sugar intake to improve their sleep.
Quantitatively, there were improvements in perceived sleep quality, total sleep and also perceived energy levels in students at Sprowston during the programme. Students have also got a much better awareness of the importance of being kind to themselves and their bodies as a result of the Future Action programme.
We had some brilliant Student Feedback from our lessons, such as:
“Thanks for helping me to feel more alert and energised for school in the mornings in the lead up to my GCSE exams. Little steps have made a big impact”. Dan, Year 11
"I started to think about how many hours of sleep I was getting and recognised I needed more'' Ruby, Year 10.
“It was so easy to pick a meaningful target to use to improve my sleep. I shared my target with the rest of my family who copied the target”. Alfie, Year 8
We also saw greater student engagement:
“My students really engaged in their lesson today. WOW” Miss Norton, Physical Education teacher.
RISE Up Online Teacher Training Course
The RISE Up programme is a course that we would wholeheartedly recommend to colleagues who are looking to introduce a sustainable early intervention mental wellbeing programme to their school.
The training is user friendly and the online resources can be used continually to aid planning of lessons. Our young people and staff have really benefitted from implementing the programme at Sprowston.
Jonathan Richards, Sprowston Community Academy"
How we can help you
If you would like to join our movement of inspirational teachers, then the RISE Up online teacher training course guides you and your colleagues on how to reduce students' anxiety, build their confidence and create a sustainable early intervention mental wellbeing programme within 90 days.
Easy to follow videos and a comprehensive set of editable resources will save you and your colleagues hours of time planning and creating resources.
Every school we work with is unique and has its own challenges and needs, so why not book a call to discuss your needs and how we could work in partnership with you? https://calendly.com/info-33513/30min