What does the new Relationships Education (RE), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory Guidance say about Mental Wellbeing for Secondary Schools?
Teaching about mental wellbeing is recognised as central to RSE and HE. After all, relationships and health have a direct impact on mental wellbeing!
Children and young people are increasingly experiencing challenges and are at risk of feeling lonely. The new subject content should enable them to recognise when they or others have a problem and know where they can go for support.
RSE and Mental Wellbeing
The aim of RSE is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. What makes a good friend? Colleague? Family member?
Pupils should understand the benefits of healthy relationships to their mental wellbeing and self-respect. And of course, that unhealthy relationships can have a lasting, negative impact on mental wellbeing.
Health Education and Mental Wellbeing
It is important that pupils understand that good physical health contributes to good mental wellbeing, and vice versa.
Teaching should enable pupils to understand how their bodies are changing, how they are feeling and why. This will help to further develop the language that they use to talk about their bodies, health and emotions.
Resilience and Awareness
It’s important that the pupils learn strategies for self-control and regulation. This will enable them to become confident in their ability to achieve well and persevere (even when they encounter setbacks.)
To help reduce stigma attached to poor mental health, pupils should understand why terms associated with mental health difficulties (eg ‘Mental’ or ‘Psycho’) should not be used as insults.
Pupils should also be taught facts about serious health conditions, drugs, alcohol and effective interventions. And of course, how to judge when they, or someone they know, needs support and where they can seek help if they have concerns.
Schools should give pupils tips and tools they can use to protect and support their own health and wellbeing. Pupils should be supported to recognise why they feel lonely and that self-focused or isolating lifestyle choices can lead to unhappiness and being disconnected from society.
For a full breakdown of what pupils should know about physical health and mental wellbeing by the end of secondary school click here.
How can Loudmouth help?
Here at Loudmouth, we love talking about mental wellbeing. In fact, we have a full programme for it!
The ‘Talking Heads’ drama follows 14 year old Tye through his journey with his mental health, and explores what role his best friend Ava has when it comes to support. The drama ends with the pair working on their mental wellbeing together, using the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ tool.
This tool (which we explore further in the follow up workshops) fits perfectly with the guidance. It shows young people the benefits of:
Physical activity and time spent outdoors
Sufficient sleep and good nutrition
Hobbies, interests and participation in their own communities
Taking opportunities to consider the needs of others and practising service to others
The ‘Talking Heads’ programme gives young people a fun and engaging way to explore a sensitive subject, whilst learning tools and practices that are useful not only for their own mental wellbeing, but for those around them.
Loudmouth also provides access to over 100 lesson plans and interactive resources to use on a range of PSHE topics to support your curriculum. Schools will also receive updates on PSHE with regular ideas and advice on learning objectives.
We can also support with staff training and consultancy on PSHE.
Here’s some other stuff we found that might also be useful!
The DfE have said that their guidance should be read in conjunction with the Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools 2018 report.
Young Minds is a brilliant resource, not only for young people, but for staff as well! You can sign up to their 360° Schools Community to get free tips, advice and teaching resources.
We’ve noticed more and more schools incorporating ten minutes of yoga or meditation into PE, or even having full lessons on drop down days. What a great way to get the young practising their learning!
And why not put these rather fabulous posters up in your school?
Poor mental health and wellbeing may particularly affect LGBT children. Stonewall run courses which can support schools in working with LGBT youth.
Still want more information? Well you’re in luck! Loudmouth still have lots of information that we are excited to share with you, concerning RE, RSE and Health Education. Just head to our website to find out more.
Make sure you check out our information on the Roadmap to Statutory RSE, created by the Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.
That’s all from us… for now! Watch this space for more information on the new statutory guidance. And if you have any questions about how Loudmouth can support you, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0121 446 4880.