Next Wednesday 28th September, RGS Newcastle are hosting ReTHINK 2016, a pastoral conference on Understanding and embedding self-esteem at the heart of student care.
Pooky will be speaking alongside Natasha Devon, Elizabeth Harlety-Brewer, Nick Luxmoore and other talented professionals who will be delivering workshops.
You can follow the conference build-up @RGSReTHINK and there are still places available. To book, please email Sandra Ellis. The programme containing further information can be found at the bottom of this post.
RGS Pastoral Director Sue Baillie and Headmaster Bernard Trafford have written the following blog post linked to the conference:
What makes great pastoral care? Having the people and systems in place to support our students. Obviously that requires great communication between the pastoral team and students, teachers and parents alike. Ultimately, though, great pastoral care is achieved when a school manages truly to amalgamate necessary focus on student attainment with the ability to listen to individual students and their needs and to understand them beyond the grades.
With more and more schools understanding how growth mindset can inform their teaching and their pastoral support, the momentum is building – now, more than ever – for schools to embed the highest-quality care (both academic and pastoral) actively in their ethos. Thus it becomes more than wishful thinking, rather a central focus for all the school’s work.
Achieving this isn’t necessarily easy in busy and demanding schools where teachers feel the pressure to do the very best for their students and feel driven to deliver “support” which they know is unhelpful: is there, for example, any sixth former ( or parent) in our world who doesn’t believe that the thicker the notes, the better their learning will be? How can pastoral staff stand back and see the bigger picture for their students when the problems that need real help now are arriving at their door daily?
As we are all coming to realise, one way is to arm our students with the qualities of resilience, compassion and perseverance which will enable them to take more control of both their academic and personal lives and simultaneously help positive mental health.
In the past two years Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School has hosted pastoral conferences looking specifically at practical ways to support students with mental health issues. This year the ReTHINK16 Conference will move forward to consider how, by focussing on building and supporting self-esteem in our students, a school can support academic and personal development.
With keynote speeches from Natasha Devon ( former government advisor on children’s mental health and founder of the Self Esteem Team), Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer (author of Self Esteem for Girls and Self Esteem for Boys) and Pooky Knightsmith from the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust plus a host of practical workshops to give immediate ideas to take back to school, the Conference promises, in true RGS fashion, to be both inspirational and ruthlessly practical. The Conference is likely to be of interest not only to Pastoral leaders, Heads of Year and other staff such as school nurses and counsellors, but also to academic leaders who are looking to develop growth mindset principles in their schools.
Confident, resilient adolescents don’t just cope better with emotional troubles: they learn more effectively too.