Secondary school stories

Secondary school stories

Relationship and Sexual Health 1

Relationship and Sexual Health 2

Emotional Health & Well-being

Substance Misuse - Alcohol

Substance Misuse - Tobacco

Relationship and sexual health 1

We are an average size secondary school with an age range of 11-18. The majority of pupils are from a White British background in a fairly deprived area of the county. We have a large proportion of pupils eligible for FSM and an average amount of SEN pupils.

What needs did we identify?

We decided to focus on this area after finding a number of pupils were withdrawing from SRE lessons for various reasons. Qualitative feedback from the school nurse identified that pupils wanted to know what types of health services they could access and where they are. Local authority data also revealed the levels of sexually transmitted infections amongst under 18s was high for the area and we wanted to ensure pupils were accessing appropriate information in lessons around this issue.

What outcomes did we focus on?

  • To increase the number of pupils accessing SRE lessons and know about how to prevent STIs and pregnancy
  • To increase the number of pupils who report they know what types of health services there are and where to find them
  • To increase the number of pupils who report they are receiving relevant, age appropriate and helpful RSE

What activities/ interventions did we put in place?

We looked at the SRE curriculum in place and decided to focus our teaching on including lessons around reducing sexual behaviours that lead to unintended pregnancy or HIV/STIs. We also focused on activities to resist social pressures and targeted specific pupils who we knew were sexually active.

We invited a theatre group in who did an interesting and informative assembly with clear messages about abstaining from sex, information about risks of sex and ways to avoid intercourse. For the older year groups they presented information around using contraception and how to protect against pregnancy and STIs.

In the SRE lessons pupils practised healthy communication skills in a relationship, negotiation and refusal skills. Teaching methods and materials were adapted to meet the needs of the groups being taught.

We developed a School Council working party on the new SRE curriculum. They conducted surveys finding out what pupils wanted to learn about in lesson and how lessons could be improved/made more interesting. We did baseline assessments to access pupil's gaps in knowledge.

What did we achieve, and how did we know?

We did a review of the changed SRE curriculum with teachers and community partners, taking into account pupil evaluations and found pupils were reporting they found SRE lessons informative and useful.

Discussions with the school nurse reported pupils were more knowledgeable about where to access help and the sexual health services available.

Questionnairesfrom parents showed they supported the focus of our teaching.

What will we do next?

We aim to continue to tailor our SRE curriculum to the needs of the pupils in our school. We will continue to signpost sexual health services available and school nurse drop in sessions.

Senior leader quote:

'We are proud of the outcomes we have achieved. Pupils are better informed in their Relationships and Sex Education lessons and engage fully. There is greater support from parents and the School Council is actively involved in evaluating feedback from pupils to inform teachers. We hope the new curriculum we have put into place will ensure pupils continue to know the full risks for examples of unintended pregnancies and STIs.

Relationships and sexual health 2

We are a larger than the average-sized secondary school with an age range of 11-18. The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium is below average as is the number of SEN students. We have a small minority of EAL pupils with the majority of pupils from a White British background. A small number of students in Key Stage 4 have access to part-time work-related courses at xxx College.

What needs did we identify?

From auditing staff and questioning pupils we identified that the sexual health awareness of students was not as consistent as we wished. We wanted to improve both staff and student perception.

What outcomes did we focus on?

  • Increase the knowledge of staff delivering the sexual health programme
  • Increase the % of pupils reporting that that the school offers a sufficient sex education programme
  • Increase the % of pupils using the drop in service and the local health centre

What activities/ interventions did we put in place?

In the last 18 months we changed the delivery of sexual health. We now have specialists teaching the subjects and the school nurse assists with contraception lessons for those without red box training.

Specialist assemblies on Chlamydia were delivered to students aged between 14 and 18. This increased awareness and also highlighted the role of xxx Health Centre and the ease of access to this service.

The training procedure for staff teaching in this area is more structured and monitored by auditing.

We signposted opportunities for students to access experts in sexual health and also had experts visit to deliver assemblies. There was also an opportunity for 16-18 year olds to take chlamydia tests on site.

What did we achieve, and how did we know?

We audited staff both before and after training and there was a significant positive increase in how staff felt about delivering the sexual health part of the personal development programme.

There has been an increase in pupils using the drop in service at xxx Health Centre. There was also an increase in those young people requesting condoms, chlamydia testing and pregnancy testing.

The views of young people have considerably improved. 18 months ago, students recognised there were some areas for development in the delivery of sexual health in PSHE lessons. After student interviews these opinions are more positive towards the subject and the subject content.

What will we do next?

We will endeavour to improve the sexual health awareness in the college. The practices that have been put into place have been successful and will continue to be part of xxx's Healthy Schools procedures.

Senior leader quote:

'We are pleased with the support provided from the specialists and school nurse. Staff feel more confident now in delivering lessons in PSHE around sexual health. The training procedure for staff teaching in this area is better structured. It is also beneficial to know students are more aware of the services of the xxx Health Centre.'

Emotional health and wellbeing

We are a mixed comprehensive 11-16 high school and community college. The intake comes mainly from three feeder primary schools with children occasionally being admitted from out of catchment. Almost all pupils are from White British backgrounds but we have an increasing number of pupils from minority ethnic groups. The socio-economic background is broadly average.

We currently have 613 pupils on role of which:

SEN – 16%

FSM – 8%

BME – 5%

What needs did we identify?

We appointed an Anti-Bullying Co-Ordinator who needed to identify the needs and attitudes of all pupils via a whole school survey. This survey included questions such as:

Have you been bullied in the last twelve months?

Does the school deal with bullying effectively?

What would you like to see in place to tackle bullying at this school?

From this, a plan was created that incorporated the wider school community, in order to create a sense of belonging and pride. We also identified the need to consider the following:

Pupil and parental awareness of what actually constitutes bullying.

Re-writing the school's anti-bullying policy in line with national strategies and individual pupil needs.

Working closely with parents, pupils, governors and all staff to effectively combat bullying.

What outcomes did we focus on?

  • An improved PSHE curriculum that had specific anti-bullying strategies for all year groups.
  • Parents, pupils, staff and governors working together towards a sense of collective responsibility.
  • Producing a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that focused on the multiple layers of bullying

What activities/interventions did we put in place?

We developed new PSHE schemes of work and implemented a new Anti-Bullying policy.

We held regular Anti-Bullying assemblies led by staff and students and a parent forum that focused on Anti-Bullying interventions and strategies. Weekly staff briefings that informed all staff about issues and patterns relating to Anti-Bullying.

We introduced a text service and e-mail address for easier and safer reporting of bullying incidents.

We appointed a named Anti-Bullying governor, who worked with students, analysed data, and liaised fully with the Anti-Bullying Co-Ordinator.

What did we achieve, and how did we know?

We fulfilled the criteria to achieve the Leicestershire "Beyond Bullying" Award and achieved the outcomes that we set out to achieve.

In the first twelve months, bullying incidents had reduced by 80%, with racist incidents reduced by 73%. There was improved understanding and participation of staff, parents and students with regards to Anti-Bullying.

Also a greater sense of collective responsibility across the school community and we raised the standards of the PSHE curriculum.

What will we do next?

We hope to develop the work that we have started by maintaining the positive ethos across the school community.

We seek to further improve by obtaining a national award concerning cyber bullying and e-safety.

Work with peer mentors and school prefects to ensure a student-centred approach to Anti-Bullying initiatives.

Seek to talk to primary schools about our Anti-Bullying message, in order to establish a strong code of conduct even before the students begin life at our school.

Senior leader quote:

'I am very proud that the whole school community has shown a dedicated commitment to Anti-Bullying. We are constantly striving for our school to improve, and having a school which is safe for all children is fundamentally important to us. The hard work shown by the Anti-Bullying Co-Ordinator, the named governor, as well as pupils and parents has seen a commitment to our Anti-Bullying provision. We do not tolerate any kind of bullying, and all children have the confidence to tell someone if they feel they are being bullied.'

Substance misuse โ€“ Alcohol

We are a smaller than the average–sized secondary school located in xxx, Leicestershire who recently converted to become an academy. A few of our students are taught jointly in alternative provision away from the academy site at xxx.

Our age range is 11-14 and the current intake includes approximately 20% of students with SEN and 13% of students are eligible for FSM. The great majority of our students are of White British heritage and very few speak English as an additional language.

What needs did we identify?

We were aware that drinking alcohol is not a huge problem amongst current students in our school. However we were concerned about current perceptions and how the older, and particularly female, students in the school could influence these perceptions further. We wanted to confirm our impressions that the number of students drinking alcohol is low and improve the perceptions the students have of how many other students are drinking.

What outcomes did we focus on?

To reduce the proportion of students who think "about half", "most" or "all" of their peers have drunk in the last six months.

To reduce the number of students who say they drink alcohol regularly.

To particularly focus on improving the alcohol behaviour in Y9 girls.

To increase the number of Young People who report when surveyed that the alcohol social norms campaign has had an impact on their behaviour.

What activities/ interventions did we put in place?

We carried out a social norms survey with nearly 400 students to get a baseline survey which included identification of how many students in the school drank.

Year 9 pupils used the findings from the survey to incorporate its messages through designing slogans, messages, posters and having Facebook and Twitter inputs.

Posters were displayed in key locations around the school, including where students line up for classes. Three alcohol awareness assemblies were carried out to spread the campaign and raise awareness.

We implemented a series of lessons to educate the consequences of peer pressure on alcohol behaviour and supported staff to deliver the current, local, alcohol social norms advice.

What did we achieve, and how did we know?

The project had a positive effect on the students in the school which is most evident in conversations with students both in Science / PSHE lessons and in conversations at break and dinner time.

The key results of the whole school survey showed that those that saw the posters have healthier perceptions of peer drinking than the adjusted baseline in years 8&9.

Those that saw the posters have a lower approval of drinking and a lower intention to drink. Overall, those pupils who say they have seen the posters have, in most cases and in most years, healthier attitudes, perceptions and behaviours than an age adjusted baseline.

What will we do next?

We are aiming to use the findings from the survey in the alcohol related units of work next year to continue the normative approach. We will be attending a meeting with the other teachers involved in the project this year to share experiences and start planning for next year.

We are continuing with the project next year by building on the experience of this year but focusing on developing and delivering an intervention that ensures that normative messages reach more students, more often and in more ways.

Senior leader quote:

"Our Y9 students steered this project with enthusiasm and creativity. Every student was surprised by the actual normal situation rather than their own perceptions. Students responded well to the messages, as did staff. The target group of Y9 girls was well led by some peer leaders in the group driving this project. The impact was most positive with this target group."

Substance misuse โ€“ Tobacco

We are a mixed comprehensive 11-16 high school and community college. The intake comes mainly from five feeder primary schools with children occasionally being admitted from out of catchment. We have close relationships with all schools in the xxx Partnership.

Almost all pupils are from White British backgrounds but we have an increasing number of pupils from minority ethnic groups. The socio-economic background is broadly average.

We currently have 513 pupils on role of which:

SEN – 16%

FSM – 8%

BME – 5%

What needs did we identify?

We acknowledged a small number of students who were under pressure to smoke for a number of reasons. We wanted to affirm our impressions of a low number of pupils smoking compared to the national average and then establish a relevant and up-to-date programme of smoking prevention and cessation that would maintain this low level.

With new students arriving each year at an impressionable young age we felt it was important to provide a current and up to date smoking prevention programme. We also identified that peer pressure plays a big part in our students that do smoke and so wanted to establish support for students who did feel pressured into smoking.

What outcomes did we focus on?

Decrease the numbers of young people who smoke in school and at home.

Increase the awareness of smoking education and support to parents and the wider community.

Identify Young People who would benefit from attending a Stop Smoking Group within school

What activities/ interventions did we put in place?

We participated in the Tobacco Trap project - school based smoking prevention and stop smoking project. Through the support of the professionals running the project we provided the following activities/interventions.

The school re-wrote its whole school Smoke Free Policy by involving a wide range of interested parties within the school and wider community.

Innovative assemblies to all years were carried out by the Smoke Screen Team whose approach to smoking showed pupils how tobacco manufacturers recruit new smokers and some detailed facts on smoking.

The PSHE Drug-Smoking unit of work was re-written developing new approaches to the teaching of this aspect of the curriculum stressing that the norm is not to smoke using the Toxic tobacco truth lesson plans.

Pupils got involved in a 'Cut Films' competition where a group of pupils worked for a day with specialists to make a two-minute short film, with the objective to persuade their friends and community not to smoke. Our film won the Leicestershire Cut Film award for the best use of music.

Support was given to the school by the NHS to set up Stop Smoking Support where 1-1-1 sessions could be held with a specialist nurse. All staff including teaching, support and office staff also received Brief Intervention training.

A small group of pupils were trained to be peer educators within the school and are identified within the school and are identifiable in displays about smoking and its consequences.

What did we achieve, and how did we know?

We carried out a follow up survey to the baseline survey carried out at the beginning of the project. Key results from the survey showed the number of pupils who strongly disapproved of smoking rose and the number of pupils who were ambivalent to smoking dropped.

All students who attended the Smokescreen assembly thoroughly enjoyed it and were very keen to take part in the follow up. They felt the messages were delivered clearly and concisely. They did not focus on health issues which are considered boring and 'irrelevant' and provided a fresh take to stopping smoking.

Around the school the smoke free message is clear and identified pupils who smoke have been supported both by internal and external support mechanisms.

What will we do next?

We will continue to advertise and signpost stop smoking services. We want to expand our smoking prevention group work to include shisha and educate pupils about e-cigarettes.

We will be carrying out a yearly survey and put appropriate strategies in place.

We will continue to use the Toxic tobacco truths resources and look at rolling the programme into other year groups.

Senior leader quote:

'Over the last academic year all members of the school have supported the programme in a positive and effective manner. Staff, students, parents and carers and Governors are fully engaged in this initiative and participation in the smoking cessation drive. This includes the impact and risk taking events, national non-smoking day and the Smokescreen. The impact has been far reaching and extremely beneficial.'

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