We are delighted to welcome Natasha Devon MBE as our guest speaker at Speech Day this year. Natasha is a writer and activist for mental health, body image, gender and social equality. She is an active campaigner for improving mental health in schools, and it will be fascinating to hear her discuss this challenging topic with our students, teachers, and guests.
While pastoral care and mental health awareness and promotion at Westonbirt School have been rated as excellent by the ISI (International School Inspectorate) during their inspection of the school in May 2019, sadly many other schools have not prioritised these areas as part of their student support programmes. Therefore as one of her final acts in office, Mrs Theresa May has made mental health a priority, specifically in schools. Mrs May hopes to push through plans to increase the amount of training for teachers, so they can identify children who might have mental health problems and address the issues surrounding self-harm.
Westonbirt School has a long history of promoting different aspects of mental health and wellbeing. In her recent article, our Head of School Mrs Natasha Dangerfield considers how mindfulness can be an invaluable tool for young people in managing their mental health. Using mindfulness techniques can help children and teenagers to deal with their emotional pain before turning to physical pain. At Westonbirt, we pride ourselves on helping students to successfully manage their mental health with staff at the heart of it.
Although helping students manage their mental health is an area that our school excels at, we always thrive to do more. Welcoming Natasha Devon to the school on Saturday 6th of July will offer a fresh perspective for all students, staff and parents, and we look forward to lively discussions and projects that Natasha’s presentation will no doubt inspire amongst our community.