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Could pop-up safe spaces help to improve students’ wellbeing?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    In this week’s Tes, Clare Erasmus, head of mental wellbeing at Brighton Hill School, suggests that these dedicated areas where pupils can go for support can help them feel settled, safe, focused and valued.

    ‘She says:“I would argue that we should meticulously plan, put into action and maintain safe spaces in our schools,” she says. “A safe space in school is one where a young person has some control over what happens next; where, for a few moments, they can press 'pause' and gather their emotions; somewhere they feel less threatened and overwhelmed by what is happening; a place where, if they want to talk to someone without fear of being judged or exposed, they can.”

    Erasmus outlines the various forms these safe spaces, or "wellbeing zones" can take. Examples include the “anti-bullying room”, “the gay/straight alliance space”, “the young carers’ space” and a “Year 7-only playground”.’
    To read this article in full, pick up a copy of the 8 June issue of Tes.

    What are your thoughts on this idea? Could designated, neutral zones where students can seek advice and support from their peers or teachers really be the answer to them dealing with the growing pains of school and teenage life in constructive way? Do you think it would be easy to provide these spaces as well as trained peers and teaching staff considering that many schools are coping with shortfalls in their budgets, under-resourced departments, and over-stretched teachers juggling with timetables burdened with extra-curriculum topics/initiatives?

  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Why stop there?

    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    There's a bit of me thinks that it's a good plan.
    Most schools already do have these safe zones.
    More of me wonders why schools have to be so scary that safe zones on the scale Erasmus suggests should be needed. The whole building should be a safe zone.
    Part of this though means building sufficient resilience and toughness so that the majority of kids (as they already do) are able to cope with the gritty reality of life. Those children without the mental resources to deal with such things need a lot of support when they're young.
  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    An anti bullying space sounds like that outside that it's acceptable.

    As mentioned above the whole school should be a safe space.
    MarieAnn18 and phlogiston like this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Brief a person with catching goblins and you'll soon be told that you've got a goblin infestation.

    In the main their parents' job, of course.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I can support that.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    There are no informal conversations in a school.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    These exist already - they are useful and do work:cool:
  9. Jamvic

    Jamvic Senior commenter

    The gay/straight alliance space?

    Doesn’t that cover most everyone.

    I suppose there might have to be a separate bisexual/asexual space at a push.
  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  11. Jamvic

    Jamvic Senior commenter

    There’s no point telling @TES_Rosaline that you think it’s innapropriate. She didn’t say it. You need to contact.

    Clare Erasmus, head of mental wellbeing at Brighton Hill School

    Head of mental well-being. :D

    Does that mean there’s a whole department of mental well-being’ers.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I was not telling this to Rosaline, I was commenting on an article. Ms Erasmus, I am sure, has seen this thread at least once and I am not in the habit of accosting people at their place of work.
  13. Jamvic

    Jamvic Senior commenter

    Glad to hear it.

    Perhaps I should have written ‘tongue in cheek comments’ under my last post for clarity. :rolleyes:
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Is that Linda Blair emoticon meant to signify sarcasm? I don't recall it being there when I quoted you but then I normally look right through them. Hideous things.
  15. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    This is the same mindset as when you ask people about tooth decay. You ask what causes tooth decay and people answer, 'Sugar'. You ask the same people how they can reduce the amount of tooth decay they suffer and they say, 'Brush your teeth more'. If we stopped putting children in such a bad place to start with none of this would be needed. Nowhere in a school should be an 'unsafe' space for a child. It's appalling to think they might have to go somewhere special to avoid harm.
  16. RuthTom

    RuthTom Occasional commenter

    Yes it is needed. Many schools already have one. It’s often otherwise known as the library.
    phlogiston likes this.
  17. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and one for adults too! the staff room used to be that, but few teachers seem to actually visit them in too many schools these days.
    phlogiston and monicabilongame like this.
  18. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I find it very sad that schools have become such awful places that children need safe zones.

    We are not looking after our children.
    phlogiston likes this.
  19. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    So, by implication, the rest of the school is an unsafe place?
  20. RuthTom

    RuthTom Occasional commenter

    Not unsafe, necessarily, just sometimes overwhelming. Being with other people all day can be exhausting. This has nothing to do with being a snowflake or anything of that kind.
    Some children thrive on constant activity and demands. Others do not. School can be harder for children and adults who need the odd five minutes of down time. I appreciated the school library as a child and as an adult I appreciate being able to leave the school building for a short walk at lunchtime.
    Those are my views. The author is talking about a different kind of space.

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