SWCHS Pastoral Hub
From the moment you enter the tranquil space of the Hub there is an instant feeling of calm accompanied by the ambient music being played in the background. The Pastoral Hub at SWCHS has been created and nurtured by Learning Support teacher Ahoora Baranian. Students from Year groups 8-13 are referred by their Year Office to either get involved in one of the many activities on offer or just stay and use it as a safe place for support and therapy.
The Hub is a vital asset for many students at SWCHS and is a place where they can express their feelings without judgement. Ahoora has lots of plans to develop the Hub with the students’ needs and suggestions at the forefront of his mind. One of his recent ventures is to provide a breakfast club where he can cook a hot meal for any students arriving at school having not eaten anything at home. Anna Moorhouse, Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Beth Robertson, School Counsellor and Student Support Officers are often on hand to help students feel supported after a period of crisis or distress as well as help conduct work for subjects where they require a break from their timetabled day.
Student Wellbeing at SWCHS from a Year 13 Student
I was new to SWCHS, joining the Sixth Form in 2019 from a very small school in Colchester. I was attracted by the breadth of subjects on offer and facilities available to students. Before I joined the school however, I was particularly worried as I have struggled with depression and severe anxiety, so I understand the detrimental effect that this has on so many aspects of a student’s life, especially in a new school. I have however, been fully supported in Sixth Form and this year, I was delighted to be awarded the role of “Wellbeing Ambassador”. This has helped me pursue my passion for giving back to the community and helping others.
At SWCHS we are really lucky to have a facility that is open to anyone who is suffering either mentally or physically and just needs some time out, a calm, quiet place to work, or a private chat with a member of staff or dedicated counsellor: The space allows students to get on with some quiet work, read a book, play games, or chill out on the beanbags if they are having a stressful day. Cooking and gardening along with other activities are organised day-to-day, to help de-stress students.
I attend The Hub most days and have completed a Mental Health First Aid course that enables me to help other people who are struggling, while drawing on my firsthand experience. As a result, I have started some mentoring sessions with other students who attend The Hub on a regular basis. We talk through their worries and try to find solutions together; the students who I have helped have really benefitted from this; they find it really reassuring to talk to someone who they can relate to who has been through their own struggles. Poor mental health has proven to have such a negative impact on young people’s lives in modern society, particularly in the current COVID-19 world we find ourselves in. I really feel like SWCHS has shown its continued commitment to help young people by offering such an amazing facility as The Hub, which will continue to help and support me and many other students across all year groups, now and in the future.