HeadStart Hull Mark of Excellence Award!

On Friday 19th November, the Boulevard Academy received the HeadStart Mark of Excellence Award for demonstrating that they recognise ‘the importance of supporting children/young people’s emotional health and well-being and has taken the practical steps required to provide this in their own setting.’

Miss McDonough, PSHE Lead, began working with HeadStart Hull over 4 years ago, asking what more could be done to support students with their wellbeing and mental health. Boulevard Academy students were independently chosen by HeadStart to be on the Young Evaluators panel, where they received training on wellbeing, were able to review the current wellbeing provision and put forward their ideas to further improve what was on offer. HeadStart reported back to the Academy with the students’ criteria.

The Academy took the report and implemented many student suggested changes across the school, including a thorough development of PSHE lessons to include Mindfulness sessions at the start of each lesson, putting a greater focus on celebrating LGBTQ+ outside of PRIDE month, creating a dedicated Wellbeing Hub in a central area of the Academy, increasing the Wellbeing Team and ensuring students are aware of who to contact, launching the wellbeing app EduKit that has resources as well as features to contact the Wellbeing Team for those not comfortable approaching the Hub. Self-referral Wellbeing post boxes can now be found around the school also. The Wellbeing Team have increased the number of Drop-In sessions, 1-1 support sessions and the frequency and number of external providers coming into the Academy, such as Barnardos, Lifeskills and Advotalk!

Jill Brookes from HeadStart attended the ceremony along with the Young Evaluators, Year 7s and Mr Stevens, Assistant Vice Principal, and noted that the incredible provision now being offered at the Boulevard Academy is down to “your school and your leadership wanting to make a difference. The fact that this has been achieved during the pandemic is a credit to the staff involved. It has been a brilliant experience working with the Boulevard Academy and seeing it grow.”

Mrs Bentley, the Academy’s Wellbeing Co-ordinator, shared how proud the school was to receive the award and explained that “we are still on a journey, and we will continue to grow and develop with the assistance of HeadStart and our fantastic Young Evaluators!”

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