Initiatives that provide supportive environments
- With sleep as a theme this year the CEO of the Childrens Sleep Charity undertook a sleep audit in June 2019 . Both boarding and academic staff have had sleep training in August 2019, and have rolled out ‘Sleep Inductions’ through their Huddles. Some Huddles have ‘sleep stations’ in their hub common rooms and body-clock alarms have been sourced to aid sleep.
- Other Huddles have ‘Compliments Jars’ where students can pick a compliment.
- Boarding Staff and some College Staff have been trained in Papyrus Suicide First Aid, and four members of staff have been trained in the ASIST programme. This has helped with cases of students presenting with suicidal ideation, and has informed our response to those cases.
- 60 members of staff and 35 student mentors and Student Council members have been trained in Mental Health First Aid as well as 10 of our parent body. Our Vice Principal is an accredited MHFA trainer.
- Our student mentoring system is well developed, with around 40 students involved in supporting others. There is an in-depth training programme including Counselling ski.
- 20 members of staff have been trained by Graydin in School coaching skills, with 20 additional staff being trained in August 2020. This is embedding a coaching culture throughout the school, extending to students and parent in the coming year.
- We have a Performance and Wellbeing Practitioner who comes into College one day per week to support students through coaching, in addition to our full and part time Counsellors.
- In boarding we have developed a new model of Holistic Pastoral Care, which is intended to encompass and capture all the areas of a boarder’s life we feel we should know about in order to provide support and joined up thinking for boarders. This is delivered through our Huddle Systems and weekly one on one Room Visits.
Activities that promote healthy choices for physical activity and diet, and enhance self-esteem. reducing harming behaviours
- Our new DLD Health Charter follows the Action for Happiness charity’s ‘Great Dream’ framework, encompassing the following areas: Giving, Relating, Exercise, Awareness, Trying Out, Direction, Resilience, Emotions, Acceptance and Meaning. Specific to DLD, we have added modules on diet, sleep and lifestyle. Each area has a set of suggested activities for which students can submit evidence of their participation in order to achieve and obtain ‘badges’. The Health Charter takes the form of an online course, which is delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment. This has been trialled and delivered this year through our Lower School. A Lower School leader board encourages participation and is designed to incentivise students to engage with each of the modules. This is rolled out through Personal Tutor time, and some areas are self-directed.
- DLD College is committed to the Carnegie Centre for Excellence Mental Health in Schools and is working towards the Gold award by May 2020.
Strengthen the school community
- Our unique ‘Huddle’ structures in boarding provide a sense of community within our large, 15 floor boarding house. Inter-Huddle competitions help to strengthen the bonds.
- Boarders are involved in working with the local community on charitable projects such as volunteering with Oasis on a local urban farm or in the local food bank.