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    The Big Book of Whole School Wellbeing

    My work at Halcyon Education is centred around a whole school approach to mental wellbeing in schools. I was delighted therefore to be invited to contribute to The Big Book of Whole School Wellbeing, launched on Amazon this month. Each chapter contains expert guidance for school leaders and covers specific topics on how to lead […]


    Your first 100 days as a senior mental health lead

    According to Forbes, what you do during the first 100 days in a new job is crucial to your long-term success, whether you’re an employee or the U.S. President. You have only one chance to make a great first impression, and you want to lay the foundation for achievements down the road. So, what happens […]


    Developing a culture of trust

    In Episode 6 of our Mental Health in Schools podcast we hear from young male students about why it is important to them, that teachers take the time and make the effort to listen, especially when they are showing uncharacteristic or poor behaviour. Here is a visual idea that I use with young people when […]


    Safe from Harm

    This month’s blog delves into the importance of a positive whole school ethos around mental health and that it is our statutory duty to do so. I had planned to write about how, as a mental health lead, we can help teachers who do not ‘get it’ – mental health that is. However, what I […]


    What do we mean by ‘a whole school approach to mental health’?

    I hear the phrase ‘whole school approach to mental health’ almost weekly in conversations with organisations, schools and at conferences. It is usually in the context of the importance of this being a solution to rising mental health issues. Everyone agrees – we need a solution that isn’t just a quick fix or one-off intervention. […]


    “We thought we knew our kids, we really don’t”

    I hear this common phrase from schools quite often, usually after they have undertaken some form of whole school group mental health assessment or screening e.g. the 3 houses tool, SDQ, WEMWEBS or Boxhall profile (see link below for more information). Oftentimes these schools have really strong pastoral care and support in place, so why should they […]


    The new OFSTED Framework 2019 and the links to mental health in schools – updated October 2019

    Here is a brief guide to the new OFSTED framework and the links to mental health and well-being.  I’m going to mention the changes to the framework and talk about some of the inferences, my opinion and interpretation of the document. There are 4 judgement areas: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership […]


    Teaching ‘calm’ – skills for anxious moments

    How often do you find yourself telling pupils and children to calm down? Once a week, once a month or daily? Usually when I ask this question in training sessions the answer is several times a day.


    Relationships are more influential than intervention

    Thinking of another intervention in school to improve progress?  Then consider a whole school approach to developing relationships. It costs nothing other than time, is sustainable and something which will have a positive impact on all abilities.