A SECONDARY school in Winchester has been shortlisted for a top award for its work on pupil wellbeing and mental health.

St Swithun’s is up for the TES Pupil Mental Health Initiative of the Year award.

The school has developed and implemented an outstanding bespoke wellbeing curriculum called Positive Education based on the principle of positive psychology.

Deputy head pastoral Graham Yates said the Positive Education programme is about “feeling good, doing good and functioning well”.

He said: “We believe that by giving our students an understanding of positive psychology and coaching them in key principles, we can equip them to embrace challenge, be flexible to change and seek opportunities that enable them to sustain wellbeing despite life’s inevitable setbacks and adversities.

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"The model is underpinned by a focus on character strengths as well as on six domains of wellbeing. These are explicitly taught to help pupils use cognitive and emotional tools which have been scientifically proven to improve their mood and help guard against mental ill health."

Headmistress Jane Gandee said: “This programme also offers a five-week taught programme of Positive Education to parents.

"The main emphasis in the Positive Education model is to live it, learn it and embed it, and with this in mind we wanted to make sure that the cognitive and emotional tools taught to pupils did not stop at the school gates. Integrating them into home life enables the whole-school approach to be truly embedded. We were keen to create an innovative and proactive approach to supporting pupil wellbeing and have been delighted with the success of the programme.”

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The TES Schools Awards winners will be announced on June 17 at a gala ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Park Hotel.

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