Our school community based Hub, led by the students for the students.
Returning to the ‘new normal’ following lockdown was not without its own challenges. Our students experienced a varied sense of disconnection not only from friends and family but also from school and learning and their communities. They had navigated their way through lockdown, often feeling isolated from the world around them but also disorientated by the ever changing health and government guidance.
As a school we felt their voices needed to validated and given a platform to direct us as to the support THEY felt was necessary to move forward. We listened carefully and the HIVE Hub was created by the students, with the support of our Head Teacher Mr Norgrove, providing a valued space and a financial budget for the students to manage independently.
The HIVE is of course Bee themed to reflect the efforts of a working community, working together for the benefit of a whole and never leaving anyone to fend for themselves. Our HIVE worker Bees volunteer their social times to support and guide other students throughout the challenges of teenage years with the aim of paying it forward and encouraging others to be part of that community.
The Hub also houses our Peer Mentors and serves as a central meeting point.
Pop along during Tutor, Break or Lunch to speak to one of our HIVE workers to see what we can offer. From the smallest of worries to the biggest problems, we can help to get you the right support either from the HIVE or from Pastoral Support. No question is silly, we are here to help. “The Hive provides a vital support network in school for all students. The Hive is a safe space for students, with a place for everyone. The Hive has the ability to promote a voice within students and allow us to encourage positive mental attitudes amongst one another” – Harry & Ellie (Y12 Hive Volunteers & Peer Mentors)
At Abbeyfield the mental wellbeing of our students is crucial and we recognise that students need support at different levels now more than ever.
This year a group of Key stage 4 and 5 students have taken part in a Peer Mentoring Training Programme (Kidscape) and are now working with younger students to support them with a range of issues that they may want to talk about like; friendships; worrying about doing well; homework; feeling isolated; worrying about how they look; confidence. The peer mentors will work with younger students for 6-8 sessions. If more serious issues are shared, the peer mentors are trained to refer mentees on to more appropriate support.
Interested in Peer Mentor Training or accessing a Peer Mentor?
Mrs Wildman firstname.lastname@example.org
KS4 & 5 Pastoral Lead
In the toughest of times, kindness gives us strength.
For some of our students, days of celebration and anniversaries can be challenging, particularly Mother’s/Father’s Day, birthdays and school holidays. With this in mind the Rememberall Tree serves as a reminder of friends and family who have passed. A space created to remember and a place to sit and reflect.
Students and staff are invited to write messages or favourite memories on coloured leaves to place on the tree. The tree will continue to grow from our collective thoughts and memories yet remain a constant within our school community.
The leaves are available from the HIVE for you to take away and decorate in your own time and to then place on the tree when you are ready.
Abbeyfield LGBTQIA+ HUB
At Abbeyfield we run LGBTQIA+ support and information sessions every other week on a Thursday break time. This was facilitated due to the growing number of LGBTQIA+ students wanting to have the opportunity to meet and support each other in the school community
This is a meaningful space where students can get together and just be themselves, have discussions and organise events to promote within school. It is place to make friends, celebrate diversity, learn from each other, and discuss topical issues in a safe and welcoming environment. It can also help students to develop confidence and leadership skills as members can raise awareness of issues that are important to them and advocate for equality in their environments.
Any students are welcome and we have a number of upper school LGBTQIA+ ambassadors who support the group and help to raise awareness and coordinate activities.
For further information please speak to Miss Walby email@example.com
At Abbeyfield we have been creating a sensory space in the grounds which can be used as a tranquil area for students and staff to enjoy the outdoors. In spring 2022 we started to build an area where we could plant flowers, vegetables and a water garden. We wanted to have somewhere for students where they could have some quiet time but also find a spot where we could be inspired to do our art work, photography and written work.
Various students, across the year groups, have visited the garden and sowed seeds, planted out flowers and vegetables, weeded and watered and cultivated an ever growing garden. The long hot summer saw us enjoy the fruits of our labours as we picked strawberries, fresh peas, tomatoes, peppers, gherkins and herbs.
We are being as eco-friendly as possible by recycling any green waste in a compost bin and we have bought a Wormery to recycle some of our food waste at Abbeyfield using the resulting compost on the garden. After school clubs are now getting involved and with everyone’s help the area will grow and grow.
Students involved have remarked on how much they have enjoyed the opportunity to be in the outdoors and several have gone away thinking about careers in agriculture and market gardening. SEN students have enjoyed the outdoor space and have welcomed the chance for reflection time when they are finding the school day difficult.
We will continue to grow the garden and expand across the curriculum involving many more students and we are, at the present time, further planning for the expansion of the garden and looking forward to what we can grow next.
Mrs Guttridge & Mrs Davies – Learning Support
Youth Sports Trust – Abbeyfield School is spearheading the Sports Ambassador Programme in Wiltshire.
The school is now LEAD school in Wiltshire for leading, coaching and volunteering.
It is the only school in Wiltshire with the title!
The school will be working with Youth Sport Trust, promoting leadership to other schools in Wiltshire.
Abbeyfield School will take a partnership approach with local schools and organisations to develop inclusive pathways for young people to progress as leaders, coaches, volunteers and officials. (LCV).
These roles offer exciting opportunities and the chance to be part of Abbeyfield School PE community, and Sixth Form leadership team. Responsibilities including running badminton sessions and lunch time basketball sessions, supporting our Sports Community by running and organising primary school events, and even launching community events for the wider community from Preschool upwards.
The Sports Ambassadors are seen as the face of our Sports Community and will attend Sixth Form meetings. This role will give you the chance to plan and run events yourself, this is great for the local community and building your skill set. To help support this every person on the programme will undergo safeguarding and first aid training, you receive qualifications that will help you with life after school. The great thing about the leadership role is you don’t have to be SPORTY to be a Sports Ambassador. Instead, you need to demonstrate an ability to lead others, alongside the desire and commitment to make a difference.
Abbeyfield School Sports Ambassadors work with Youth Sport Trust, WE ARE THE ONLY SCHOOL IN WILTSHIRE THAT CAN OFFER THIS! Our Sports Ambassador programme is open to all students who wish to be part of a leadership team and which has been recognised by Youth Sports Trust as outstanding. Making Abbeyfield School the Leadership, Coaching and Volunteering School (LCV) lead school for Wiltshire (the only school) working with Youth Sport Trust on all things Leadership. The Sports Ambassador programme offers exciting leadership opportunities, we offer the chance to be part of Abbeyfield School PE community and work with 18 local primary schools. You will not only gain confidence and experience in all leadership aspects, but also be part of a team. With this role, you will have the responsibility to help at break time badminton session, run basketball sessions during lunchtime and support our Sports Community by supporting primary school events. The Sports Ambassadors are seen as the face of our Sports Community and will attend Sixth Form meetings. This role will give you the chance to plan and run events yourself, this is great for the local community and building your skill set. You don’t have to be SPORTY to be a Sports Ambassador, you need to have a desire to support others and want to be part of something bigger. This will gain you important leadership skills!!
For further information please call in to see Mrs Pierce in the Sports Leadership Office or email her firstname.lastname@example.org
The Student Council is a key part of Abbeyfield School. It involves passionate students from across the school representing their peers by meeting to discuss opinions and new ideas for the school. Being part of the Student Council allows you to have a meaningful voice to drive change and implement new and diverse ideas. As a team, we meet twice a term which allows us to know every individual as well as make effective decisions for the benefit of our school experience. To apply for the Student Council, please email email@example.com with one reason why you think you would be a suitable candidate.
Abbeyfield School Active in Mind Programme
Active in Mind is an Athlete Mentor and student-led intervention, designed around the importance of looking after the body, mindset and environment to improve mental health and wellbeing issues present schools.
The project will include a minimum of 15 young people (Nurture group) who will take part in a ‘6 week’ intervention, planned and delivered by 5 Young Mental Health Champions. Schools involved in the programme will be required to have a lead member of staff to give pastoral support to all students involved and support the young mental health champions with their delivery over 6 weeks. Outcomes of the programme include increased student awareness of mental health issues, improved physical activity levels and a developed skillset to improving coping strategies associated with mental health.
What is ‘Active in Mind’:
Active in Mind is a project run by Youth Sports Trust that trains a group of young people to be mental health mentors who are then able to support and work with a particular nurture group. (The nurture group may comprise of students who struggle at school academically, physically or mentally.) The project focuses on mental health and how this can be improved for the students through physical activity as well as having that safe and supportive group to help their well-being and creating an environment where they feel comfortable to talk and share thoughts and feelings amongst each other when needed.
What the mentors do and what the nurture group do:
The mentors work with the nurture group over a number of weeks to support with and improve the nurture groups mental health and overall awareness around health and well-being. The mentors plan+implement physical activity to help support and develop the mental health and well-being of the nurture group students. The mentors decide on a code of conduct that they will implement for the group. They will also gain feedback from the nurture group on the types of activities that they may find beneficial to participate in throughout the programme. The nurture group will meet up with the mentors every week over a set number of weeks where they will take part in a form of physical activity as well as having support to complete activities around health, exercise, hydration and aspects of their overall physical and mental health. They will have the opportunity to talk to their mentors and other nurture group members if they would like during the sessions. This is why it is important to create a close environment within the group.
Why is this format useful:
Having the mentor group allows the nurture group to have those students to look up to and look+go to for support when needed. It allows an environment to be created where both groups can benefit and allows both the nurture and mentor group to learn and develop a range of skills.
What makes YST different in its approach:
Youth Sports Trust puts an enthesis on not only the benefit for the nurture group but also for the mentors and what they can learn and take away from the experience. They guide both groups through the programme which offers a clear structure and pathway for both groups but in particular, helps the mentors in their planning of their sessions etc. They don’t just focus on mental health but the impact of other factors such as, exercise, nutrition, hydration and sleep on their overall physical and mental health. The organisation comes back to the school/institution and helps with any needs of the mentors and checks in on how it is going for both groups which shows that they are willing to help and ensure there are continuous benefits for all involved in their programme.
What did you get from being a mentor:
- Satisfaction to know that I have helped some young people
- It was good to know that I was helping young people learn about health and knowing that they now understand more about a healthy lifestyle.
- Developed my leadership skills and confidence levels
- I’m happy to know that I’ve contributed to the nurture groups knowledge and understanding about their mental and physical health.
- Learning about the project and more about your mental health was interesting to me and made me more aware of ways to help your mental and physical health.
- It was good to know that I’ve helped young people learn about the importance of their physical and mental health and just the small ways they can help themselves daily. (For example, the factors discussed on the mind map like hydration, sleep and exercise) It is good to know that I taught at least 1 thing to some of the nurture students. For example, that some now know about the number of hours of sleep they should be getting, how much water they should be drinking a day and how they can just add that bit more exercise into their daily lives like walking to school.
Did the athlete mentor inspire you:
The athlete mentor overall inspired me. I believe in motivation, drive, enthusiasm and determination and the athlete mentor demonstrated these in his journey and proved their importance in wanting to succeed. It shows that you could just continue at the level you are but, if you are determined and motivated you can achieve more. He proves that with these factors, things are possible. For me, I struggle with some things but sport is what I love and love doing and I believe if you have enough drive and motivation, it can have great benefits. If you do something you love, take and pursue it. I don’t think you need anything special to achieve what you want in life as long as you have the motivation and passion then you can achieve what you want. I think the athlete mentor achieved some of those factors throughout his journey.
If you would like to know more contact Jessica Pierce Lead Youth Sport Trust firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Active in Mind – Youth Sport Trust to read more