Counselling & Mental Health First Aid

At The Aquila School, we are committed to nurturing the wellbeing and mental health of our community.

The school vision and ethos are centred on core values of respect, kindness, excellence, empowerment, cooperation and honesty.

Wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility at The Aquila School. We are receptive to the growing mental health challenges in our community and we aim to sensitise and equip children, families and staff to take care of their wellbeing and seek support and guidance when they need to.

The Crucial Connection

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Education

A growing amount of research today points out the impact of mental health and wellbeing on learning and engagement, we strongly believe that when children and adults have a sense of security and happiness they will be able to thrive in what they do.

Our pupils are provided with ample learning opportunities to understand the importance of mental health and wellbeing through circle time activities, form time discussions, moral education and well-being sessions as part of our  school pastoral care. Teachers also encourage discussions around values of empathy, friendship, acceptance as well as being safe (out and about, at home, on the street and on-line), and self-awareness, as examples.

Empowering Students and Families

A Comprehensive Approach to Wellbeing Education

The school has  a personal, social, health and economic curriculum (PSHE), which includes social and emotional development, as a preventative approach to empower pupils with skills to cope with diverse situations and contribute to their emotional and social development. This aligns with the school values and the local curriculum for moral, social and cultural values education.

As families play a key role in their child’s wellbeing, we provide educational opportunities for adults on how to support their child’s wellbeing. This is facilitated by workshops, tips and guidance on the Family Portal - based on common concerns and individual psycho-education sessions with the school counsellor. 

Empowering Students and Families

A Comprehensive Approach to Wellbeing Education

The school has  a personal, social, health and economic curriculum (PSHE), which includes social and emotional development, as a preventative approach to empower pupils with skills to cope with diverse situations and contribute to their emotional and social development. This aligns with the school values and the local curriculum for moral, social and cultural values education.

As families play a key role in their child’s wellbeing, we provide educational opportunities for adults on how to support their child’s wellbeing. This is facilitated by workshops, tips and guidance on the Family Portal - based on common concerns and individual psycho-education sessions with the school counsellor. 

Supporting Success

Navigating Personal and Academic Challenges through Counseling

The purpose of the counsellor is to work with pupils or community members whose personal circumstances, concerns, or problems are threatening to interfere with or are interfering with their healthy academic, career, and personal/social development. 

Specific issues some pupils face include abuse, cultural diversity, family loss, relationships, school attendance, stress and change in family dynamics. As a result, there is a need for a range of support options, such as individual counselling, small-group sessions and play therapy. 

Why would/should a pupil be referred to our school counsellor?

The purpose of the in-house referral process is to provide timely and effective support to initiate an appropriate plan of action for pupils at various levels of need. Through the identification of early warning signs, our counsellors can help the pupil/family to create an action plan of support. 

Please note: the school counsellor cannot replicate or replace the support of an external professional. The school counsellor's primary role is to triage and support in a crisis. Pupils who require ongoing support are signposted to licensed professionals as needed. 

Our school counsellor can be contacted at: counsellor@theaquilaschool.com

Mental Health First Aid

In addition to the school counsellor, many of our staff who work with pupils in year five and above are certified Mental Health First Aiders (Adult to Teen). We also trained two children from every tutor group in secondary as Teen-to-Teen Mental Health First Aiders. 

Mental Health First Aiders provide additional eyes and ears around school to recognise when pupils are struggling and make referals to our school counsellor, or a trusted adult, when concerns appear. Just like physical first aiders do not replace our school nurses and doctors - mental health first aiders do not replace our counsellor. 

Mental Health First Aid

In addition to the school counsellor, many of our staff who work with pupils in year five and above are certified Mental Health First Aiders (Adult to Teen). We also trained two children from every tutor group in secondary as Teen-to-Teen Mental Health First Aiders. 

Mental Health First Aiders provide additional eyes and ears around school to recognise when pupils are struggling and make referals to our school counsellor, or a trusted adult, when concerns appear. Just like physical first aiders do not replace our school nurses and doctors - mental health first aiders do not replace our counsellor.