Foundation News

26 January

Wellbeing needs to be the heart of school COVID strategies

During this period of disconnectedness schools are having to rapidly amplify their current pupil wellbeing practices ensuring a whole-school community commitment.

In light of the disconnected world we currently live in and the challenges that children face today here at King’s Worcester we are stepping our whole-school approach to pupil wellbeing with the help of Clinical Psychologist, Dr Kate Mason who specialises in supporting Children and Young People. The new focus  #KingsConnected is designed to ensure that all pupils and staff remain well and still part of the King’s Family, albeit virtually.

In September 2020, Dr Kate Mason, one of Worcestershire’s leading Clinical Psychologists, joined the team at King’s Worcester. Kate’s appointment was to not only provide additional support for pupils on a one-to-one basis but also to promote positive mental health and wellbeing across the foundation of schools.

Kate is the driving force behind King’s new pupil Weekly Newsletter ‘Monday Mindset’ which is designed to provide pupils with strategies and ideas for nurturing a positive mindset. The weekly newsletter includes quotes, tips, exercises, topical news content and books for additional self-help reading.

In addition, Kate is recording a fortnightly Podcast called ‘Psyched!’ aired on Fridays via The King’s Voice, the school’s radio station. Psyched is a play on words about being excited and looking forward and also a having a strong focus on Psycho-education. The first in the Wellbeing series, is focused on the concept of happiness and how we find happiness in our day-to-day life. Future podcasts will include tips on coping with anxiety and managing your mood, nutrition, sleep, exercise and mindfulness, along with weekly self-care challenges designed to encourage pupils to take a lead on their wellbeing

Dr Kate, as the pupils know her, added, “The aim of this is to work alongside staff to encourage us all to take responsibility for our wellbeing and to take time out regularly to focus on our emotional and mental health. Even a few minutes can have a significant impact on our day. Kate’s passion is to reduce stigma associated with mental health and to encourage people to view it with the same respect and importance as we would our physical health. We need to be mindful of all pupils and ensure that we continue to keep the well well as well as support those who might be going through a rough patch.”

Dr Kate Mason      Monday Mindset

Gareth Doodes, Headmaster at King’s praised the support which Kate has given so far. “Kate’s additional support for pupils has been timely and compliments the superb daily support our Heads of Houses and Form Tutors are giving virtually to pupils. We need to keep spirits high and ensure that pupils and staff focus on themselves. Pupil and teaching staff self-care is important, but even more so at present, and we all need to approach this without guilt. As it is equally as important as education.”

King's Psyched Podcast