Dean Close Prep School has recently been accredited by Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) in acknowledgment of its high quality provision to support the mental health and wellbeing of its community.

GHLL is a programme supported by Public Health England which gives schools the opportunity to showcase good practice and to help identify areas in their provision that would benefit from further development.

Mindfulness was one area in which DCPS chose to focus.  It now forms a regular part of the School’s Healthy Living Days for Years 7 & 8 which take place twice a year.  In addition, a break-time club was set up for all age groups, giving pupils the chance to be still for a few minutes and enjoy some quiet reflection or read a book.  The positive response to this initiative has been excellent.

The other area of focus involved an increase in Duty Staff and additional vigilance at break-times following an anti-bullying survey, which highlighted one area of the playground that both staff and pupils felt could be better supervised.

In order to achieve this accreditation, a PSHCE-specific School Governor was appointed to help support the team and to assist in completing an online audit of all areas of the School, ranging from its ethos – the spiritual, moral and cultural provision – to healthy eating and physical / emotional wellbeing.  It was a rigorous process and required detail on all areas of school life, including activities & clubs, sport, music, drama & dance.  Reference was also made to the Chapel services and Christian education within the School, which is both stimulating and challenging.

Head of PSHCE, Sarah Davies, said “I can honestly say it has been an absolute pleasure to be able to showcase all that we do and immensely satisfying to reflect on how much is achieved by our young people, and staff, on a daily basis across all aspects of their life, both cerebral and physical.  Good schools have always understood the strong link between mental health and achievement and this award from GHLL proves that as a school we are really focussed on mental health and wellbeing, which is so vital for our young people.”