At Portland Place School (PPS), we’re passionate about fostering resilience and positivity.
We are commitment to supporting students and staff wellbeing in an integrated, school-wide approach, structured around Seligman’s PERMA model (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment); this multi-faceted method permeates all aspects of the school.
Although, we can highlight specific projects that support our approach.
Coaching & Mentoring with The Other Subject
Throughout lockdown we have integrated coaching and mentoring into the curriculum, timetabling weekly sessions. ‘The Other Subject’ programme structures these sessions. Its aims to help adolescents thrive physically,
mentally, emotionally and academically. Tools and techniques are blended with neuroscience, cognitive behavioural science, positive psychology, mindfulness and resilience-based methodologies to make a truly integrative and impactful programs.
The school has two counsellors to support students and staff. Students can request sessions, or staff can make a referral to help support a student’s needs.
Our Growth Mindset project was launched with Bradley Bush (InnerDrive psychologist and Growth Mindset expert). Encouraging all students to stretch themselves, meet challenges head on and take risks. A home and school partnership is essential to reinforce strategies, so the launch included a parents information evening.
Our teachers embrace the power of “Yet” in the classroom, prompting students to look for “Plan B” when they experience a setback. A survey among Year 6 & 7 showed that 100% of students were able to apply a Growth
Small by design
Class sizes are deliberately small. This creates an environment that sees the individual within our collective community. We understand the individual child, support them, and unlock their potential. Pastoral care is proactive rather than reactive. Staff are focussed on using positive psychology to support students, helping them find their own ‘flourishing’.
The Good Schools Guide is testament to that approach describing us as ‘a purposeful and friendly working atmosphere… with staff going the extra mile to understand each child.’
Our staff led Enrichment initiative gives students a weekly opportunity to participate in skills and activities beyond academia. Develop personal growth and accomplishment. Students select activities (e.g. horse-riding, carpentry,
Bollywood dancing). The programme aims to boost self-esteem, connecting with others, a sense of accomplishment.
Training our staff to support mental health and wellbeing is a lynch pin of our success. A number of staff are studying an 18 month course of ‘Practitioner Coach Diploma in Adolescent and Adult Coaching’ partnered with SWA and IAPC&M accredited. A dedicated PPS wellbeing trainer has provided the pastoral team with training. The culture is to upskill staff with techniques to help inform the students own tool kit and wellbeing strategies.
Leading author and academic Belen del Amo Peres de Lara (How to Thrive by Building Resilience) was one if the speakers to presented to PPS staff.
Wellbeing is a huge focus of our PHSCE curriculum, delivered by form tutors twice a week. These sessions cover a spectrum of wellbeing topics, from body image to the importance of sleep to coping with stress. PPS also have an active Student Voice club that organised different activities such as for Anti-Bullying Day events, inspiring quotes in the dining hall, our kindness tree – where students hang small acts of kindness.
We also support national events such as ‘Inside Out Day’ for Children’s Mental Health Week. Using a series of assemblies to raise awareness about mental health and students wearing a tee-shirt inside out to show how looking okay on the outside may not reflect how we feel inside. The school has run a series of mini workshops on ‘Life Lessons’ specifically focussed on overcoming overwhelm and developing resilience.
External Speakers & Citizenship
External speakers talk to both parents and children on internet safety, citizenship and the challenges for children growing up in a global city.
Engaging them with modern living and how to build resilience.