Wellbeing at Laleham Gap School
Laleham Gap is a Unicef Rights Respecting School for children with ASD and Communication and Interaction difficulties.
As specialist professionals, we understand that good wellbeing is vital to the happiness and success of our community members both inside and outside of school. We firmly believe that poor wellbeing prevents people from reaching their full potential, but good wellbeing can enable them to thrive.
At Laleham Gap, we share the view from the Department for Education that:
“Taking a coordinated and evidence-informed approach to mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges leads to improved pupil and student emotional health and wellbeing. This can help with their learning.”
In response, Laleham Gap have established a dedicated Wellbeing Team, trained multiple Mental Health First Aiders and provide a wide range of emotional and resilience-based strategies embedded into our day to day practice that helps to support, protect and develop good wellbeing. More recently, we have put an emphasis on Learning Outside of the Classroom, begun to develop the Thrive Approach in our school and are now working to establish The Balanced System within our practice.
What is Good Wellbeing?
Simply put, good wellbeing is about having the ability to effectively look after ourselves and each other socially and emotionally so that we feel positive, fit and healthy – physically and mentally.
We know that when our wellbeing declines, we can find that our resilience and self-esteem are greatly reduced and our ability to succeed in any activity crumbles. It is therefore vital that our school can identify and understand the protective factors and the risk factors that can reinforce or erode our wellbeing respectively.
What Wellbeing Research Tells Us
Over the last decade, research from internationally recognised organisations demonstrates that wellbeing has been in decline and has become a crucial factor in determining a child’s happiness and their success in life and at school.
Multiple high-profile reports have emphasised serious concerns that poor wellbeing can have a significant negative impact on children and adults within our community.
Unicef - ‘The State of the World’s Children – 2021’ tells us:
“In nearly every part of the world, be it rich or poor countries, mental health conditions – and the lack of caring responses – cause significant suffering for children and young people and are a top cause of death, disease and disability, especially for older adolescents.”
Research undertaken for the Children’s Society ‘Good Childhood Report 2022’ also states:
- UK children’s happiness with their lives continues to decline.
- More children are unhappy with their appearance than with family, friends, school and schoolwork. Girls are more likely to feel this way than boys.
- Happiness with school and schoolwork declines significantly with age, and was significantly lower among children in lower income households.
- Over half of parents and carers feel that the pandemic has had a negative impact on the education of their children.
- 85% of parents and carers are concerned about the impact of the cost of living crisis on their household/family over the next 12 months, which will only get worse as this crisis unfolds.
- 1 in 8 children were unhappy with school
- 1 in 9 children have low well-being
Further reports from the Children’s Society indicate that as many as 1 in 6 children are likely to have a mental health condition, with 52% of 17 to 23 year olds experiencing a decline in their mental health in the last five years. Similarly, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families states that over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14, having serious implications for school aged children.
Due to increasingly long waiting lists in order to access public health services, the Children’s Society reports that 70% of children who experience mental health problems do not get the help they need early enough. In addition, The National Autistic Society has stated that over half of autistic people have a co-morbid anxiety disorder at some point in their lives and 9 out of 10 autistic people reported that their mental health got worse during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Commitment to Wellbeing
At Laleham Gap School, we take wellbeing very seriously and have made a commitment to improve wellbeing by providing a nurturing environment and a dynamic needs-met curriculum that helps each and every person to succeed.
The wellbeing work we carry out plays a crucial role in helping our children to Learn, Grow and Succeed. Universal, targeted and specialist work, embedded within our day-to-day practice at school provides essential support to members of our community to take part in things they enjoy, form strong social networks, celebrate diversity, build resilience, and develop the ability to recognise and discuss our own emotions. All of these strategies are commonplace in our school and have a significant positive impact on our learning community.
To find out more about our commitment to wellbeing, please explore the following links: