19/20 Secondary Major Awards: Commended – Bishops Hatfield Girls School (EL)

BHGS won the second of our unplanned Commended Awards (£1,000) towards a cohesive bid for “expert external training for pupils and staff in independent learning skills, stress management workshops for pupils approaching their GCSE exams and improving access to support around wellbeing by improving our school website and establishing a lending library of books on the subject.”

Backed up by needs identified in a whole-school survey, the project would develop study skills such as conceptual learning and dynamic reading as well as majoring in wellbeing (inc. stress management) training for staff and pupils.  These essential skills would be embedded in learning through subsequent staff training, refresher workshops and seminars.  In addition, a lending library of well-being books and an extra resource area on their website would keep the benefits available for pupils, parents and staff.

Sophy Lawrence (Mental Health Lead and HOY) ensured each aspect of the bid was backed up with it’s benefits clearly explained e.g:

“There is a clear link between independent study skills and attainment as well as pupil wellbeing and making exceptional progress. This award would enable us to empower our pupils with innovative and meaningful strategies for study and revision which will lead to reduced stress around exams. This will improve pupil wellbeing and their quality of life which will lead to them being more able to achieve their potential.  This is a need that staff have identified and that our pupils themselves have raised as an area of difficulty.”

Although obviously disappointed not to have won the full award, Sophy has already decided to spend the £1,000 on aspects of the wellbeing library and website redesign.  They hope the amount will increase the number of books and pages over and above the original bid which would facilitate two excellent, long-lasting resources for the entire school community.