Southern Road Primary School was part of the HeadStart Newham pilot programme and has continued involvement into Year 2.
As a pilot school, Southern Road established a strong and well recognised link to HeadStart’s parent support by offering peer parenting courses in the school.
Southern Road is a large primary school of nearly 700 pupils, which includes a 120 part-time place nursery. Throughout Year 1, the school started to build their group of HeadStart Champions from years 5 and 6 to empower pupil voice and support the development of their wellbeing strategy. Part of their success was the decision to allocate time for staff to work together to co-produce ideas and changes they would like to see to develop pupil wellbeing over the coming years.
Q: Why did Southern Road Primary choose to take up the HeadStart offer?
A: We thought it was an opportunity for the school to focus more on the wellbeing of young people in our school within the context of increasing academic demands.
Q: What did you hope HeadStart would help Southern Road Primary achieve?
A: We wanted help with readdressing the balance. We also thought that with the support of HeadStart, we could provide something different for vulnerable pupils within the targeted age range.
Q: What has changed in the school since introducing HeadStart into Southern Road Primary?
A: There is a lot more focus on having a ‘growth mindset’ and there have been many more opportunities for pupils to problem solve and take risks; the school is giving the message ‘it’s ok to get it wrong, we can learn from these mistakes’.
Q: Have you seen any changes in your pupils?
A: Our pupils are much more aware of what resilience means. Amongst the Headstart Champions, they have felt empowered about being in a position to have their say and affect change in the school.
Q: Have you seen any benefits since the ‘Being a Parent’ courses have been delivered?
A: We have had a lot of parents attend the ‘Being a Parent’ course – their positive feedback has affected the way they have addressed difficulties with their children.