Thrive's work experience student shares first valuable insight

16th December 2019 | Blogs

Why supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of students is important and why we need it

Hello, my name is Alex, I'm a 15-year-old student from one of the local secondary schools in Torbay. I'm going to be talking about why supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of students is important and why we need it.

As a student, I believe it's very important for schools to support the social and emotional wellbeing of young people. This is because all teenagers need support. It doesn't matter how big or how small their issue is, if it can be dealt with in the right way it can teach students how to deal with tricky situations and help prepare them for life after school.

Schools that have little or no support will notice that there are many consequences for there not being a safe space for young people. For example, the attendance rate may be low, students' behaviour may be consistently disruptive, and giving them punishment for these may not be the right way of resolving the issue.

If schools had better support, students would feel safer. You don't know what that child has been though/is going through, sometimes the teachers need to step back and look at the bigger picture. If students knew there was a safe space they could go to, they'd be more likely to come into school. A lot of students rely on their beds and bedrooms because they feel safe in them, schools should bring in a space that's quiet and comfy so the young person can eventually build trust and talk to you about why they don't want to come to school. Also, behaviour would change, if someone is angry or stressed or upset, they have somewhere to go to chill out. They will tell you what's wrong and then you can help them but only if you've given them a chance to trust you. Putting them in detention or making them stay behind during their own free time will not help.

My school would benefit from a programme like Thrive because its support isn't great. There is student support and personalised learning, you can also get a time out card and sometimes a learning mentor. Although it seems my school has plenty of support, you must go to lengths to fight for it to be put in place. Your grades have to be low to get a learning mentor, you have to be really struggling to get personalised learning, to get a time out card you have to be really disruptive or have a reason, and you can only get regular student support appointments if something is really serious.

I understand that the school can't have all 1,000 students in there at a time, however, there isn't somewhere you can go if you're having a bad day or if you're angry, there is no one to talk to, and not everyone has friends they fully trust or feel comfortable talking to. It took my school a long time to put support in place for me and it was only when they realised things were bad that they did.

My school could really benefit from Thrive as it gives students a safe place to go and talk to someone that knows how to help a struggling student without feeling judged and it could help prevent negative feelings in young people.

The Thrive Approach is a specific way of working with all children and young people that helps to develop their social and emotional wellbeing. It supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable and provides a firm foundation from which to build their academic attainment.

Over to you

Reduced anxiety and behavioural incidents. Calmer classrooms filled with engaged leaners. Improved relationships with parents and carers. These are just some of the outcomes reported by settings embedding Thrive’s whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. Are you ready to join them? Click here to get started.

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