Flourishing - Promoting Emotional, Social and Psychological Well-Being

Event Archive

Simon Ward, Mick Simpson, Pete Smith, Steve Baker

Flourishing – Promoting Emotional, Social and Psychological Well-Being

June 2015


in partnership with:

The programme

In recent years, we have begun to develop a better understanding of the processes which underpin positive mental health and the environmental factors that support their development. This interactive session combined theory with practical examples, and focused on some key concepts, ideas and research in this area. In particular, drawing upon the evidence base of positive psychology and resilience with an emphasis on the attitudes, skills and experiences, which promote mental health and improve well-being.

The model for flourishing was introduced and they looked at how this can can be applied across the school community. Through this focus, we will be better able to incorporate the science of positive psychology into the life and work of schools/settings and develop practices that harness positive emotions, build strengths and increase engagement.



Introduction by Neil Dyment, Headteacher of Weatherhead High School


Flourishing – Positive Mental Health. Key note speech from Simon Ward, Senior Educational Psychologist


Workshops: Kilgarth School – A non-confrontational approach to behaviour management; West Kirby Residential School – Reducing barriers to learning for pupils with SEND


Plenary: Future Challenges by Steve Baker, Headteacher of Kilgarth

Simon Ward

Senior Educational Psychologist

Simon Ward is a Senior Educational Psychologist on the Wirral where his specialism is mental health and well-being. He has recently been project lead for the targeted mental health in schools work (TaMHS). This involved building the knowledge, skills and confidence base of staff to support promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies. Prior to this, whilst in Sefton, he developed and led the Mental Health Training Programme for tier 1 staff alongside colleagues from health and social care. For a number of years, Simon has also been running a variety of projects to develop the well-being and resilience of staff, parents and children in an increasing number of schools and settings. His particular interest is in positive psychology and the factors that contribute to individuals, groups and communities flourishing. As a regular trainer, he has delivered seminars on a variety of topics including: Motivation and engagement, positive behaviour management, coaching and solution oriented approaches.

Mick Simpson

Deputy Headteacher at Kilgarth School

Mick Simpson is Deputy Headteacher at Kilgarth School, an outstanding special school for KS3 and 4 boys with statements of BESD. He has taught for 25 years, chiefly in mainstream secondary schools. Mick has 20 years of experience in middle and senior leadership roles that include Head of Faculty, Head of Year, Senior Teacher and Assistant Headteacher.

This session begins with a basic look at the evolution of the human brain and the roles of its three main areas. We then look more closely at the ‘reptilian complex’ – an ancient part of the brain that drives processes and behaviours involved in meeting our primary survival needs.  Examining the types of behaviour driven by the reptilian complex, we explain why it is in the best interests of teachers to keep the activity of this part of the brain as low as possible.

Part two of the session examines in detail some strategies that are effective in reducing confrontational behaviour and associated negative behaviours. We will look at the psychology that makes ‘the toolkit’ such an invaluable part of the teacher’s repertoire.

Pete Smith

Vice Principal at West Kirby Residential School

Pete Smith is Vice Principal at West Kirby Residential School on the Wirral and has spent over twenty years in SEN as an art teacher, Assistant Headteacher and Vice Principal with overall responsibility for behaviour.  He gained a Masters degree in the arts and therapy in education and has recently specialised in investigating the links between curriculum content and breaking down the barriers to learning, with a key focus on creative planning and differentiation. He has a clear vision that works with young people with SEN in the classroom and beyond, works with all pupils.

The title of this session is Behaviour and Communication – reducing barriers to learning for pupils with SEN, with particular reference to those on the Autistic spectrum. It is an introductory session into the basic theory around classroom management and Behaviour modification for pupils who find learning difficult in mainstream settings. An overview of some of the common symptoms associated with autism, the difficulties both personally and specifically related to teaching and learning.

The second half will be focused on sharing the practical application of strategies for successful teaching approaches in the classroom, breaking down the barriers to learning and reducing the anxieties the young people experience in a traditional educational approach. This session will also enable reflection and discussion around individual pupils in your settings with some more focused work leading to specific Individual Support Plans (ISPs) to take away and implement.

Steve Baker

Headteacher of Kilgarth School

Steve Baker is the Headteacher of Kilgarth School which was recently judged to be outstanding in all areas.  Inspectors commented upon the “exceptional atmosphere” at Kilgarth and staff’s engagement in educational research.  Steve is also an Additional Inspector, a member of the Pearson Teaching Awards’ panel of judges and works with Teaching Leaders, developing middle leaders in schools across the North of England.

“Fantastic, thanks! I will be in touch for staff training.”

“A very informative day with practical suggestions to use in school. Thank you!”