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Clive Leach Teaches Mental Toughness and Coaching To Students, Teachers and Parents

16 April 2015

We have been very fortunate this week to have Clive Leach working across our school community – with students in the secondary school, with parents and with our teaching staff.  Clive has visited the school before and his current placement builds on previous work with us on coaching and developing character strengths.  The theme this week has been “Flourishing”.  

  • Clive Leach teaches mindfulness and mental toughness to teachers, students and parents at BISS Puxi
  • Clive Leach teaches mindfulness and mental toughness to teachers, students and parents at BISS Puxi
  • Clive Leach teaches mindfulness and mental toughness to teachers, students and parents at BISS Puxi
  • Clive Leach teaches mindfulness and mental toughness to teachers, students and parents at BISS Puxi

Clive has explored this idea at the beginning of each of his workshops with our students and he states “We all want to flourish and be our best.  We also want the best for our families, friends, colleagues and organisations.  Recent global research tells us that although the majority of people are doing ‘OK’ in life, only about 20% of the population is truly flourishing.” 

His work with students has focused upon ways that they can flourish and develop mental toughness through positive education, a model that supports better learning, creative thinking, academic/extra-curricular accomplishment, future employability and virtuous citizenship.  This concept mirrors our own school aims in relation to our Cognitive Curriculum and the Behaviour and Social Graces philosophy at BISS Puxi. 

The workshops were interactive and engaging.  Some key questions that students discussed with each other included “What were you doing when you were at your best?”, “What were the challenges or tasks that you were facing?”, “Who do you think might be a mentally tough person or people? Why?”. 

They also enjoyed strength-spotting in each other, coaching conversations with friends to look at how to develop these strengths further and meditation techniques that helped them to develop mindfulness and to enjoy “being in the moment”.  I was fortunate to participate in the sessions myself with the students and I know that they found Clive to be thoroughly engaging and open to questions that they raised.  

Parents also enjoyed similar challenges, both in an evening session on Monday and in a workshop with Clive later in the week in Stage One. The enthusiasm to learn and the engagement of the parents was really encouraging.  With a desire to build upon the coaching skills learnt today and to share with their families and the wider community, the parents who attended plan to continue to meet.  As part of our wider programme of well- being for students and teachers, the school plans to support and encourage the work with parents and will keep you updated with the progress made.

Some of the parents commented that “the coaching skills learnt today will help me have positive conversations with my children” and “it was highly relevant and I look forward to applying what we have discovered today.”

Our teachers have also spent time with Clive in looking at how we can incorporate the techniques and ideas learned into our pastoral curriculum to support students in developing mental toughness and thus enabling them to flourish.  We will continue to revisit them through this term and into next year.

- Andy Lancaster, Head of Key Stage 3