Pupils at Hartshill Academy in Nuneaton have been learning about resilience and online safety as part of a project funded through a Warwickshire County Council grant to support mental health and wellbeing. The ‘Be Well’ project awarded £2,000 to the school to fund interactive drama workshops for pupils and training sessions for staff to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on wellbeing.

The sessions, run by Loudmouth, a Birmingham-based drama and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) organisation, helpedpupils in Years 9 and 10 to explore issues including crime and bullying, and provided a toolkit of resources and helpful advice.

Teacher Gavin Collins from Hartshill Academy said, “Following the pandemic we have found that many pupils are experiencing anxiety particularly around crime in the local area. The project started with an energetic and engaging presentation that pupils could relate to, and that was followed up with workshops and follow-up sessions.

“Loudmouth had all the most up-to-date knowledge and were able to pass on information to signpost pupils to sources of help and support should they need it. The sessions helped to reassure pupils so that they could feel safe.

As part of a review by Warwickshire County Council, Gavin Collins and some of the Hartshill Academy pupils who took part were recorded in a video reflecting on the impact of the project in the school.

Lorraine Taylor, Principal of Hartshill Academy said, “We are grateful to Warwickshire County Council for the ‘Be Well’ project grant which has made such a difference to our pupils. Loudmouth inspired their confidence and helped them to put their fears and anxieties into perspective, safe in the knowledge that they have the tools they need to deal with negative issues.”

A brand-new school building for Hartshill Academy is currently under construction. The school is one of the first to benefit from the Government’s national School Rebuilding Programme and will move into its new accommodation in 2023.

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