Wellbeing at Scarborough College

There are many ways that you can receive support with your wellbeing.  You can talk to any member of staff.  They will always take what you say seriously and find appropriate ways to assist.  If you are in the Senior School, you can also talk to your tutor or your Head of Tier.

A team of four designated Safeguarding Leads is there to help you.  The Safeguarding Lead is Mr Tim Cashell and he is assisted by Ms Julie Walsh in the Senior School, and Mr Chris Barker and Mrs Caroline Brown in the Prep School.  If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact them.  Click on their names to email them.

Other people to contact are Mr Simon Harvey, Head of Boarding, and Mrs Marianne Harvey, Senior Housemistress.  Mr Kev Riley is the School Counsellor (07494 773213) and Mrs Sue Higgins is the school’s Independent Listener (07817 683273).

Parents and Wellbeing
Healthy Eating

Many eating habits can become complex and even unhealthy.  For support with your child’s eating habits, please talk to their tutor or contact Mrs Linda Pinkney in the school Health Centre.  For more support, please visit Beat Eating Disorders or Healthline.

Internet Safety

We know that the Internet can be a wonderful place to learn, connect, shop and play.  However, it can also be an unsafe place where predators, identity thieves and other people gather online to try and cause harm.  In order to be safe online, it is important for you and your child(ren) to be aware of the dangers.

When speaking to children, they often give you the impression that they feel safe online and that they know what they are doing.  There are a number of reasons why they may be more at risk.  Children often do not think about the consequences of their actions, which can cause them to share too much information about themselves.  Children may also be specifically targeted by cyberbullies and/or predators.

As their parent or guardian, you can help keep your child(ren) safe by talking to them about their Internet use.  You can talk about the online dangers and you can learn as much as you can about the Internet, so that you can make informed decisions.  There are a number of Websites that can help you.  The UK Safer Internet Centre guides and resources are aimed at helping children and young people stay safe online.  This Kaspersky blog talks about the top 10 Internet safety rules and what not to do online.  ThinkUKnow is an education programme designed to protect children both online and offline.

Anti Bullying

The College takes peer-on-peer abuse and bullying issues very seriously. The College’s Policy on bullying can be found on the Policies page.  There are many ways to address peer-on-peer abuse and bullying and your child’s tutor or, in the Senior School, their Head of Tier is often the best place to start.  There are also online resources to access.  These include the Anti-Bullying Alliance and Internet Matters.

Mental health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.  It affects how we think, feel, and act.  It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

The five main warning signs of mental illness are as follows: excessive paranoia, worry, or anxiety; long-lasting sadness or irritability; extreme changes in moods; social withdrawal and dramatic changes in eating or sleeping pattern.  At Scarborough College, we recognise that each individual has mental health needs and that, when our mental health is poor, it can be through very ordinary and frequently occurring reasons.  Understanding and appreciating this, we equip our pupils with the knowledge and confidence to recognise the warning signs and symptoms of poor mental health and how to use strategies to support them and improve their mental health.

Many of the staff listed at the top of this page are ideally placed to provide advice and guidance.  Occasionally, it may be appropriate to seek Early Help or refer a pupil to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Useful websites include NHS Mental Health, CORC (Child Outcomes Research Consortium), Young Minds and The Anna Freud National Centre of Children and Families.

Sexting

Sexting is the act of sending sexual (text) messages.  It often also involves sending nude or seminude photos and explicit videos.   There are often consequences of sexting.  There is a risk that their image will be made available to others.  This leads to a high level of distress for a young person and it can lead to them resorting to ‘coping’ in unhealthy ways such as self-harming, isolating themselves and restricting their dietary intake.

There are many useful Websites that give advice and offer resources about sexting.  These include how to talk to your child and many resources and tools (Safer Internet, Childnet and Safe4Me)

Sleep

Children thrive on a regular bedtime routine.  Regular sleep deprivation often leads to some pretty difficult behaviors and health problems – irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches, and depression.  Children who get enough sleep have a healthier immune system, and better school performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.  For more information about sleep and how to sleep better, visit the Sleep Charity or the Sleep Foundation.

Talking to your child

Make time to talk to your child about how they are feeling and do this regularly.  Make yourself available to listen if they are having problems but also if they just want to talk.  Finding ways to discuss important issues with your child is challenging and one only needs this Harry Enfield sketch to be reminded of how fickle teenagers can be.

All joking aside, thinking about the right time and thinking about how to speak with your child are important things to consider.  It is not uncommon for parents to think it’s better to avoid talking to their children about their own mental illness and to protect them from stress and confusion.  However, research tells us that when parents open up about their own struggles, in a language their child can understand, it actually helps children to cope better.  It can help them make sense of the changes they themselves observe in their parents when they are unwell.  It can help them understand they are not at fault or somehow responsible.

You will need to make a decision about whether to talk to your child.  To help you make this decision, you might wish to consider the following questions.  What worries do I have about discussing it with my child?  What are the benefits of talking with them?  You might also like to talk to a health professional about this beforehand.

Websites that can help you talk to your children are:

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/ask-the-awkward/

https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/getting-started/how-to-start-a-conversation-with-children-and-young-people-about-mental-health/

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/children-and-young-adults/advice-for-parents/talk-to-children-about-feelings/

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