Students at St Edward’s School in Poole created a newsreel about mindfulness and mental wellbeing as part of the BBC Young Reporter project featuring on BBC South Today.
The youngsters turned into news reporters to produce a package showcasing how a range of positive mental health practices are being incorporated into school life to help support their wellbeing.
The BBC Young Reporter Project gives young people aged 11-18 a way to tell the stories which matter to them, while being coached and supported by professionals at the BBC.
Sixth Form students Molly Robinson, 16, and Oliver Davies, 17, took the roles of presenters for the three-minute news package which appeared on BBC South Today on March 10, and other students also got a first-hand experience of making a news report, both in front of and behind the cameras.
St Edward’s School works closely with Oxford University for the MYRIAD (My Resilience in Adolescence) research project, which looks at the impact of mindfulness coaching as one tool to develop resilience in young people.
The students’ news feature also covered other ways the school is supporting them, such as peer mentoring, an in-house counselling service and the creation of a mental health manager role to coordinate the support and skills development given to students across the school in managing day-to-day issues.
Footage of students in a mindfulness session and a number of short interviews with pupils talking about techniques they have learn to manage stress were featured in the professional-standard segment, as well as an interview with Michael Tomlinson MP on his position on mindfulness and mental wellbeing.
Michael Antram, St Edward’s School Headteacher said: “Here at St Edward’s, nurturing the wellbeing, mental health and resilience of our students and staff is central to our Christian ethos, so I was very proud that the students chose to focus on mindfulness and some of the other work we’re doing in this important area.
“I congratulate them all for their hard work and the excellent quality of the news item they were able to produce.
“It was certainly a rich experience for our students, who have learned about the making of news both in front of, and behind, the cameras.
“Thank you to the BBC for giving us this opportunity and thank you to Michael Tomlinson MP for giving us his time and support.”
St Edward’s School fosters a culture for learning that supports the wellbeing of students and staff. As a school, they show that it is possible to combine strong academic outcomes with strong support systems.