At Huntingdon, colleague wellbeing is a priority. We believe that we are all able to fulfil our roles better if we have a sense of belonging, are well supported and well informed through effective communication systems and have a good work-life balance.
Wellbeing of colleagues does not need to compromise high expectations and standards, in fact it does the opposite, by looking after our colleagues, we are more able to fulfil our roles and this in turn impacts positively on the education we provide for our children.
Every year, we conduct a workload review to evaluate how we spend our time and ensure that the tasks we are prioritising are having the maximum impact on children’s education. For example, our marking policy is reviewed every year to check that it is manageable and focuses on ensuring children make progress, as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest best practice research.
Additionally, we implement resources and systems that support staff in providing high quality education whilst also managing workload. For example, the school provides detailed long and medium term planning, not only to ensure that there is consistency and progression throughout, but so that teachers can spend their time planning the delivery of their lessons, rather than spending hours planning the content of their lessons.
Our coaching culture supports wellbeing because it empowers people to take responsibility and ownership of their professional development; having that control leads to a greater sense of wellbeing.
One of the most well-known models of an individual’s health is Seligman’s PERMA model, which captures the five domains that have a positive effect on wellbeing outcomes: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. These are embedded in our values at Huntingdon and in how we recognise each other’s achievements such as in our fortnightly staff recognition event.
At Huntingdon, we also enjoy social events such as our staff breakfast briefing and end of term events. We cater our events to suit all members of our team knowing that some employees prefer a simple gathering in school whereas others prefer an out of school team building event.
As part of L.E.A.D. we have access to 24 hour mental health support for ourselves and our immediate family through the Employee Assistance programme (EAP). Whether it is personal or professional challenges, EAP provides a safe space to talk through it all. To further support with wellbeing, we regularly discuss and reflect on ways of keeping ourselves well in our two-weekly briefing. Our school values of listening, thinking, collaborating and communicating support our ways of working as a team which ultimately helps us to manage the challenges of school life by listening to understand each other and collaborating to find a solution.