How can schools create a set of values to support pupil wellbeing?
School leaders undoubtedly have a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of staff and pupils at their school. This core duty requires ongoing reflection and action that puts people first …
The following common values can be used as a starting point to support wellbeing:
1. Resilience: encouraging pupils to face challenges with optimism will help them overcome potential issues
2. Respect and kindness: encouraging pupils to respect themselves and others is key for good mental health
3. Diversity: accepting and celebrating differences can help pupils to accept themselves and others
4. Friendship: helping pupils to foster connections with peers and staff helps everyone feel supported and valued
5. Appreciation: when we have gratitude and celebrate the good things, we understand the value of everyday life
6. Optimism: teaching pupils to be positive, schools can help to reduce negative emotions that can lead to depression
7. Honesty: promoting honesty lets pupils know that they can speak openly about their feelings, without judgement.
If a child is experiencing mental health issues or mental illness, they will require additional professional support. When someone is facing a setback, saying things like ‘be more resilient’ or ‘be more optimistic’ is simply unhelpful.
Why values matter
Your school values should weave through every part of the school; by the time pupils leave, these values should be embedded. Make sure the values you teach are valuable!
School values are often inherited as leaders, staff and pupils come and go. Do the school values represent your current cohort? If not, revamp your values by asking all stakeholders for their views.