The wellbeing of our pupils is at the heart of our school. Our pupils are educated in developing a positive mindset to improve their wellbeing. A healthy diet, sleep and exercise are great factors in keeping the mind and body healthy in dealing with stress and anxiety.

Our school has been nominated by the Lancashire Headteacher Alliance to be involved in the Youth Sports Trust Active Healthy Minds programme which entails an athlete mentor, Jenna Downing, to work with our five mental wellbeing champions.

Below are some of the activities in school that contribute to the wellbeing of our pupils:

The Healthy schools Sports Initiative takes place at the University of Lancashire Sports Arena. Taking part in different sports and working as part of a team is at the core on these activities. The pupils have a chance to take part in a sports carousel, which includes: Cricket, Football, Frisbee, Team building games and Orienteering on this non-competitive Sports day. The pupils are supported in their activities by the skilled University Sports students who provide exciting active opportunities for the pupils.

The Year 7 pupils get an opportunity to take part in an overnight residential at one of the Lancashire Outdoor Education sites. Our Pupils have given an account of what they experienced at the Residential.

Tower wood is great, It was a brilliant experience. The experience gave us the belief and the courage that we can do anything.  The activities we did were: gyhll scrambling, hiking up a mountain (Gummers How) and seeing the beautiful views of the lake district and the obstacle course. The instructors were very friendly and there was a lot of safety precautions – Fatimah 12

For me, Tower wood was an amazing experience. The range of activities were amazing. Everyone there were really nice, friendly and approachable. The food was scrumptious and all the activities were fun – Zoyah 12

Tower wood can be summed up in a few words: fantastic, fun, memorable, safe, amazing, enjoyable and magnificent. Thank you to Mrs Kalang and all the teachers for taking us – Amena 12

I really enjoyed Tower wood! There were lots of fun activities to do, when I got there I was nervous but excited. It felt strange staying the night with my school friends. The first activity we did was Ghyll scrambling. I had lots of fun but I kept falling into the water,  that was my most favourite activity yet! The next day we did lots of teamwork activities, some were challenging but all were fun. We had to do an obstacle course holding a heavy tyre, if we dropped it we had to start all over again. I did the ‘Leap of Faith’ which was very nerve wracking but it was worth it! I really enjoyed the trip and would give this a rating of 5 stars!   Maariyah Dedat – year 7

Terrific Towerwood!   We took part in lots of different activities, read more to find out what we got up to:

Ghyll Scrambling-   On day 1, my group went to Stickle Ghyll where we scrambled upstream. It was a challenge as we had to climb up rocks and boulders and in some places little waterfalls. At first I was really nervous as the water was really cold but as climbed up I became more confident with the climb. Ghyll scrambling was one of my best experiences at Towerwood.

Hiking – The next day we woke up nice and early, we made our sandwiches and we wore some hiking boots and walked up towards Moor how. We climbed up and each point we stopped we were mesmerised by the scenic views of the lake and the surrounding fields. When we reached the highest point of the hill, we felt like we climbed mount Everest.

Leap of Faith – We did this activity on the last day, we helped each other by encouraging one other to climb this terrifying shaking wooden pole. We all attempted to reach the target for which we had to jump to do this. We loved it and would love to go back.

Raeesah Kazi

Each year the Year 7’s get an opportunity to visit Chill Factor’e for their end of Year trip. On this excursion they get a chance to experience an introductory ski lesson where they are taught the basic skills from balance to posture and controlling speed on the indoor ski slope. Pupils also get an opportunity to try out tubing, sledging and snow slides on the snow park and climbing on the indoor wall.

Pupils are encouraged to walk/hike as part of improving fitness. Year 8’s visit Ingleton waterfalls each year to experience a moderate level walk which would help them to understand the different ways of developing fitness. Our year 8 pupils have written below about their Ingleton experience.

On Wednesday 11th July the year 8’s were enlightened by an exclusive opportunity to witness the beauty of Ingleton waterfalls whilst walking on this trail. Walking for 4.5miles resulted in a need of perseverance and teamwork. We were surrounded by amazing scenery, beautiful waterfalls and fantastic views from the top. We thoroughly enjoyed this difficult but rewarding walk! Some of us are already looking at visiting other challenging places where we can walk and improve our fitness further. Thank you for organising this trip.

Pupils get an opportunity to participate in many activities such as Open Canoes, Archery and Rock Climbing. During the open canoes many of them can get wet because they either capsize or have an opportunity to jumpin the lake for fun! Archery is also a good experience as talented pupils can either hit the ‘bullseye’ or shoot the area as close to it as possible. In Rock climbing many pupils are able to reach the top of the wall through climbing the coloured holds. It takes a lot of teamwork and determination to finish the activities.  This outdoor activity day helps pupils develop great teamwork, resilience and self-confidence.

Twenty-one pupils each year complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. This course entails all pupils to engage in training day walks, learning how to navigate and using maps, improve on their fitness and complete projects within volunteering, physical and skills.

A brief account of what the pupils did over the expedition is as follows:

During the months of June and July we were able to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh award. This entailed two days of intense walking and a camping experience. We were assessed through many different means. We had to be able to be able to carry heavy backpacks and navigate our way through the countryside alone. We were also tested on our cooking and pitching up of the tent at the campsite.

Skills we learnt and needed:

In order to complete our routes and not get lost we needed to know how to navigate through the countryside. We were taught how to map read and use a compass. With our new skills mastered, we were ready to embark on our hikes. When walking our skills proved useful as whenever we got lost we were able to find ourselves again, however on our assessment DofE getting lost was scary as we had no teachers with us but thanks to our extensive training we successfully managed to find our routes and get back on track.

Our experience:

After many practice walks we were prepared and ready for our DofE expedition. On the first day we completed 12 miles. We followed our routes, navigated well and met the teachers at each checkpoint. Many found the walking easy, yet found carrying the backpacks difficult. However, once our skills on weight distribution were mastered there was less strain on our shoulders. Once we completed our walks, we arrived at our campsite, set up our tents and sat to eat dinner. We played games and had lots of fun. The next day, we given different routes and set off after packing our tents away and having enjoyed breakfast. Our skills came in handy once more as we navigated our way back. Once we had returned at the campsite, we boarded the coach and returned home.

Overall, we had an amazing experience, made many great memories and became much closer as friends. It was an experience of a lifetime and one we will never forget.

These workshops were delivered by Mrs Panchbhaya, Mrs Holland and Mrs Patel. Mental health problems are experienced by up to one in four of the population. The workshops and activities focused on coping with stresses of daily life, positive self-esteem and working productively. Pupils found the workshop interesting and engaging.

The tutor (Athlete Mentor): On the 5th of July 2018 we first met World Champion Inline skater and 10 X British Champion Jenna Downing.  Jenna spoke about her personal challenges in becoming a world champion skater.  It was her mother’s belief and sacrifices that got her to where she is today. Due to her continuous determination and her thirteen years of persistence she achieved her goal and finally received the title of world champion skater.  As time went on Jenna developed Multiple Sclerosis but that didn’t put her off – infact she fought harder and won more medals. Along with all these awards she graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Law.

Session 1: It was through Jennas’ motivational session and fun activities that inspired us to develop our own coping strategies and plan to work smarter before our exams. Jenna showed the important breathing techniques in stressful situations, to exercise and eat healthy and why it is so important to organise ourselves better before our exams.

Session 2: Mindfulness, stress and visualisation was looked at in detail. We understood that stress affected our peak performance levels and we learnt about how we can reduce our stress levels to perform our best. Neuro-plasticity and how we can change our brain, visualisation and mindful relaxation helped us to imagine a successful outcome especially whilst preparing for our exams.

Session 3: in this session we looked at our environmental influences and how it affects our mood, sleep and memory. Reinforcing positive habits through changing our environment would create a happy outcome.  ‘Building trust in a team’ was our task for this session. This fun task showed that by relying on teamwork we could support each other even when the going gets tough!

Session 4: As the saying goes ‘save the best for last’. In this session we looked at how being grateful helps to release endorphins and serotonin to achieve a better outcome in life. ‘Fake it till you make it’ would help us to imitate confidence and a positive mindset through realising these qualities In our lives.

Jenna brought with her a whole set of inline skates in different sizes and our final task was to use visualisation, confidence and resilience whilst coming out of our comfort zone to skate in the Sports hall. This task was challenging and fun – it was great to watch everyone taking part through putting all they have learnt into practice in a practical session.

Tips for studying – what we learnt and now want to share with our readers:

  1. Turn off distractions.
  2. Make your environment comfortable.
  3. Get some water to drink.
  4. Prepare all your study materials.
  5. Use bright post-it notes and pen.
  6. Use mind maps and diagrams.
  7. Study in chunks, taking in regular beaks.
  8. Give yourself enough time.

‘Couch to 5K’ and fitness running is carried out in this club. Pupils get a chance to improve their cardiovascular fitness through pushing themselves by covering varying running distances. Whether they are all about sprinting or long distance – this club will help to improve their techniques to help them to become confident runners.

To attain a walking PB whilst completing parts of the 21 miles of the Preston Guild Wheel walk. Many pupils are encouraged to walk for fitness (minimum of 7 miles) and supporting local charities through fundraising.

Pupils from Years 8, 9 & 10 take part in teambuilding activities at Borwick Hall. As part of supporting the health and wellbeing of young people this activity day helps the pupils to understand the mental benefits of taking part in teambuilding activities.

We recognise that the wellbeing of our pupils is of paramount importance. The wellbeing enrichment day provided an excellent opportunity to put this into practice. Opportunities were given to pupils to experience learning outside of the curriculum. A range of stimulating and unique activities were put in place to enable them to not only acquire new knowledge and understanding, but also to develop skills and habits, which help broaden horizons and strengthen character.

The activities centred around ‘The five ways to wellbeing’:

Connect, Give, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Be Active 

Teen wellbeing: finding the balance during lockdown.

With schools closed and so many limits on their usual lives at the moment, looking after your teen’s wellbeing is an extra challenge at the moment. Here are some top tips on keeping your teen happy and busy during this challenging time.

  1. Structure their days (but not too much)

Keeping a routine in place can be really reassuring for teens (and adults!), especially during an uncertain time. The key though is to strike a balance between giving them a daily structure and keeping your child calm too.

  1. Prioritise sleep and exercise

Your daughter is always important, but with more challenging circumstances than usual at the moment, protecting your teen’s regular sleep and exercise will help them manage any worries. Keeping the same bedtime and wake-up time each day will provide a solid foundation to a healthy routine. If you’ve got a garden or a nearby park, then a daily exercise trip can help split up the day too. If you’re pushed for outdoor space, there are lots of free online exercise classes, like Joe Wicks. Online yoga and meditation classes are more great ways to relax and stay calm.

  1. Try something new

With the incentive of exams in the Summer term gone, some brand new learning could help get your teen excited. Trying a new language, an area of History they haven’t been taught in school before, or areas of current events they’ve always wondered about can keep them motivated.

  1. Help them find a passion

The flexibility of home learning is a chance for your child to find what they enjoy most – or to focus in on what they already love. This could be an extended project in their favourite school subject, an ambitious creative challenge, or practical learning like (safe and supervised!) D.I.Y. Without the rapid pace of school life, your daughter could take the chance to think about their future and research some options for what they’d like to do beyond school.

  1. Teach them what you know                

If you’ve got time, taking the chance to teach your child the skills you have can be a nice way to expand their learning and give yourselves some quality one-on-one time. This could mean practical life skills like baking or cooking, sharing your hobby with them, or even giving them a closer look at what you do in your job. Similarly, setting up video chats for your child with family members who could do the same can be a really nice way to keep everyone connected and engaged.

  1. Leave time for “socialising”

While keeping busy and healthy is really important, so is staying in touch with their friends! Your teen will probably have been in touch with their friends already but leaving a reasonable amount of time in their weekly schedule for your child to video chat or message their friends will help them keep some sense of normality during this challenging time.