Earlier this year Mrs Donna Hughes (Assistant Principal Personal Development) at Ormiston South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy (SWB) attended the Mindapples’ champions course for schools. Ormiston SWB is a large secondary school with over 1100 pupils in Bilston, Wolverhampton. We caught up with Mrs Hughes to find out what she thought about the course and resources and how they are planning to introduce Mindapples to the whole school.
“The training material was engaging and gave room for thought on how as practitioners we can help make the difference needed, not only to our students, but to ourselves as well, something we too frequently forget in education.”
Mrs Hughes told us why she believes investing in mental health from an early age is so important.
“With nationwide Mental Health support and provision woefully underfunded, students and their families can wait several months for external support and referrals while mental health continues to decline. Mindapples is such a simple idea, but its power could be huge. Our ability to revisit an initiative with simple strategies that, over time, would help our mental health is something all schools should invest time in.
Here at Ormiston South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy, adopting an academy wide mental health strategy is at the core of our 2022-2023 priorities, and will continue to be as we move through the next academic year. This means a curriculum designed to provide students with a safe platform to openly discuss all issues relating to mental health and well-being, challenge myths and misconceptions to address the stigmas surrounding mental health and offer practical advice on how to best support their own mental health and self-regulate their well-being is integral to the academy’s CORE curriculum.”
At the start of their ‘What the Health’ CORE day students in Year 10 were shown a film made by Mr Lawley, Director of Year 10 who invited them (Apprentice style) to create a Mindapples campaign to launch the initiative to the whole school.
Mr Lawley shared his own Mindapples with year 10 to inspire them to think about their own. He enjoys movement after a long stressful day; going to the gym and playing football at the weekends. He also loves keeping in touch with friends and family, learning new skills and having something to look forward to like holidays. Mr Lawley also really enjoys feeling like he’s having an impact on a students lives.
Year 10 we think the results look fantastic!
Emma one of the Year 10 students said:
“Listening to other people’s Mindapples showed me just how many simple things I could do to help limit some of the anxieties that come with Year 10.”
Mrs Hughes also said:
“Mindapples allow for a user- friendly approach to continuing the dialogue about our own mental well-being and identifying simple, yet effective ways that daily approaches and affirmations can shift the way we both think and feel for the better.”
Ormiston SWB Academy is part of the Ormiston Academies Trust; one of the largest in the UK. We are proud to say over half of their 42 academies have now attended the Mindapples training for schools. We can’t wait to visit Ormiston SWB Academy soon to meet their new student mental health ambassadors and see Mindapples launched across the whole school.