After several years working towards the process, Langley Preparatory School have followed in the Senior School’s footsteps and have been officially recognised with the WAS Wellbeing Award for Schools. The process involved stakeholders within all facets of the community, feeding back to the leadership team, who then ensured that improvements and progression were made to the Wellbeing provision within the School.
Praise from Optimus Education stated that:
“Langley Preparatory School is an outstanding school in terms of Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH). The School obviously sees EWMH as central to its work and has done for several years. They have used the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) process to constructively evaluate what is working well and identify areas to develop and improve even further.”
Our Head of Prep, Mike Crossley proudly expressed “The School are delighted that the high level of wellbeing provision and care has been recognised. We continue to increase the number of staff who are specifically trained as Mental Health First Aiders across both the Prep and the Senior School, and the report from Optimus makes excellent reading.”
The Wellbeing Award has given Langley Preparatory School the opportunity to focus and build upon the good practice we already embraced within our community and enabled us to build successfully on the foundations we had in place. The process allowed us to openly and honestly address the needs of all of our stakeholders in terms of their emotional wellbeing and mental health needs. From the very beginning, the process empowered us to strategically identify the strengths our community are able to offer and identify key areas of focus, thus giving us an opportunity to make notable progressive change.
We have a strong team of Mental Health First Aiders, a dedicated Governing Body and a committed staff body, without whom this entire process could not have happened and with whom we are only stronger. Our pupils are open to change, adaptable and receptive to discussing their wellbeing and accessing support, when it is needed. Our parents know when to ask for additional help and actively support the School in its strive to proactively encourage positive wellbeing. As a community we pride ourselves on our inclusivity, kindness and our wellbeing provision. We are delighted to have been officially recognised for this award and would like to thank Optimus Education and their staff for their continual support throughout the process.
Quote from the Optimus Education assessor:
“Congratulations on achieving the Wellbeing Award for Schools, which is well deserved. I attached my brief report, which cannot hope to capture all the amazing work going on in your school, but I hope reflects the essence of the positive emotional wellbeing and mental health (EWMH) culture of Langley Preparatory School.”
Summary of the report details:
Langley Preparatory School is an outstanding school in terms of Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH). The School obviously sees EWMH as central to its work and has done for several years. They have used the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) process to constructively evaluate what is working well and identify areas to develop and improve even further.
The evidence provided for the verification was clear and accessible and reflected the excellent work being done at this school in terms of EWMH. It was clear that staff, students and families all value the school’s focus on the EWMH of the whole community.
SLT, the change team, all the staff and indeed the students, governors and parents I spoke to, demonstrate an impressive understanding of the EWMH needs of all their peers, colleagues and families. Everyone clearly understands the importance of EWMH and are passionate about everyone feeling safe, listened to, welcome and supported within the school. There is evidence throughout the school and in the portfolio that EWMH is about the whole person and community, enabling empowerment and supporting resilience.
The vision statement describes fully what the school believes in and it is evident that this is put into action every day. EWMH is at the heart of the academic curriculum and it permeates everything they do at Langley Preparatory School. This vision is communicated clearly to all stakeholders of the school.
EWMH is led from the top at Langley Preparatory School and supported by staff, parents and governors (including specialist governor input from a clinical psychiatrist). It is strategic and inclusive.
Langley Preparatory School is a welcoming and friendly place to visit and this view is supported by the accounts I heard from staff, governors, parents and pupils. It was described it as a wonderful and psychologically safe place to work and learn.
The school demonstrated a detailed understanding of the risk factors relating to EWMH and have a strategic, planned response in place. They have a clear, strong and practical MH statement, with key roles and responsibilities outlined, which is linked to the school policies. EWMH is not an ‘add on’ at this school, it is part of school life and learning and everyone’s responsibility.
Staff, parents and pupils all praised the school and the ways in which it supports positive EWMH of everyone and has systems in place when individuals need help with their EWMH. The whole school community is regularly consulted on their views and are encouraged to share them and also seek help when required. Parents particularly praised the partnership they felt with staff when critical situations arose in children’s’ lives. There is a real sense of trust from the parents regarding the staff caring for their children in the most difficult times; times of crisis such as bereavement and life threatening illness for example.
The students are well informed about EWMH and actively involved with all areas of school life. They have clearly been involved in the development of the schools EWMH strategy and feel a strong sense of ownership towards the school and its community. Pupils talked about the pupil mentoring scheme with enthusiasm and how both the mentors and mentees benefit.
Staff are very positive about the school and supportive of each other. They appreciate the range of support they receive with regard to their own EWMH by SLT and their colleagues, for example: a reduction in strategic meetings, the Employee Assistance Programme, reduced reporting, staff social events and enhanced CPD , to name but a few.
There is a broad CPD programme for staff, offering a range of useful and crucial training in terms of EWMH. Several of the staff have undertaken Mental Health First Aid Training and The Head of Prep School has trained as a Mental Health First Aid Trainer, to enable to whole staff to eventually undertake this training .
There is evidence of joint working and successfully engaging with the wider community and local schools, both within the state and independent sectors.
Read more about the School’s wellbeing approach.