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West Exe students visit local primary schools to teach children about mindfulness ​​​​​​​

West Exe School celebrates it’s Student Wellbeing Ambassadors this Children’s Mental Health Week

West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Trust, has been marking Children’s Mental Health Week this week.  Children’s Mental Health Week is a mental health awareness week that empowers, equips and gives a voice to all children and young people in the UK and runs this year from the 5th until the 11th of February.  Children's Mental Health Week was launched in 2015 and each year, hundreds of schools, children, parents and carers take part.  Now in its 10th year, the theme for 2024 is ‘My Voice Matters’.

Students at West Exe are supported with their mental health in a manner of ways;  the school has Student Wellbeing Ambassadors who have been trained by the NHS mental health support team and they provide ideas for events, advocate for positive student mental health and listen to students who share concerns with them.

The school also offers an elective programme on mindfulness, where coping skills are developed with students through psychoeducation, psychoeducation reduces stigma around mental health and improves overall wellbeing. 

As part of the mindfulness elective, West Exe students will be visiting local primary schools to share their healthy coping strategies with Year 6s through games, such as bingo.  The secondary students will also speak to Year 6 students about the importance of speaking openly about their feelings and emotions. 

 One student commenting on the mindfulness elective said:

 “I think it’s great that I can discuss how I’m feeling openly in a safe place where there is no judgement and I have learnt a lot about the reasons behind mental health conditions and how I can help myself in stressful situations.”

A debate on mindfulness in schools was actually held in Westminster Hall in Parliament this week, with Charlotte Nichols MP who led the debate stating that:

“Mindfulness programmes are becoming increasingly popular in schools and educational settings worldwide, with a growing quantitative evidence base emerging from research studies. Mindfulness in schools is about introducing children to skills as early as possible to support their lifelong wellbeing. It has benefits for educators, too, including stress regulation and reduction, increased self-compassion and teaching efficacy.”

The school is committed to promoting good mental health and is going to continue investing in this area, they have recently appointed a new Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead, Leanne York and she’ll be working with the Student Ambassadors to support and prioritise ideas that support good mental health and wellbeing across the community. 

Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School said:

“At West Exe School, we recognise that good mental wellbeing can support students through day-to-day challenges, in relating to others, making healthy choices and developing into resilient young adults.  That is why we help students to create their own mental health toolbox during their school life, through learning and utilising healthy coping strategies to manage life challenges.” 

Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said:


“It’s been great to shine a light on the work our schools do on mental health this Children’s Mental Health Week.  I am so proud of West Exe for the pioneering actions they have taken to support the whole child when it comes to looking after the mental and emotional wellbeing of their students and of their student ambassadors for the role they play in supporting other children in primary schools in their communities.”