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Merchiston Castle School

Orah gives us instantaneous feedback on student wellbeing

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School Type:
Independent School
United Kingdom
"[Orah gives us] instantaneous indicators of any concerning feelings of our pupils, once they have submitted the Mood Check. We can then respond quickly by adding a comment–and always with a 1:1 follow up in person"
William Ogilvie-Jones
Assistant Head (Pupil Support)
Merchiston Castle School

Before implementing Orah Nurture, Merchiston Castle School conducted a bi-annual well-being survey using Google Forms, lacking real-time mood check capabilities.

Need for Real-Time Emotional Support

The primary challenge was ensuring immediate support for students experiencing emotional difficulties. William explains, "Before Orah, we only had bi-annual surveys which did not provide real-time insights." This delay meant Merchiston Castle couldn't address issues promptly, potentially allowing problems to escalate. It was challenging to ensure every student felt heard and supported continuously. "Not all students like to or want to share how they are doing or feeling", making it difficult to identify those in need promptly.

How Orah Transformed Student Support

William Ogilvie-Jones, Assistant Head (Pupil Support) states, "Orah Nurture provides us with instantaneous indicators of any concerning feelings of our pupils once they have submitted the Mood Check. We can then respond quickly with a comment and always follow up in person."

He adds, "Ensuring that every single member of the school community has someone to talk to is crucial for identifying and addressing mental health issues. Orah Nurture allows us to continually monitor pupils' well-being, making the first step to conversation less daunting."

Impact of Orah on Student Participation and Engagement

Since adopting Orah, the school noted a higher participation rate in well-being surveys (80% compared to the previous 70%) and improved engagement in setting personal goals aligned with the GIRFEC framework, with 81% of students participating. The ability to quickly address student concerns through the app has been pivotal in supporting student welfare.

Advocacy for Orah in Schools

William highly recommends Orah Nurture to other institutions. "Patterns can be spotted over time, and pupils are taught to be self-reflective. Concerning mood checks trigger automatic notifications to key staff, facilitating crucial conversations that would otherwise never happen."

Enhancing Anti-Bullying Efforts

William wishes to enhance the school's environment by empowering students to actively stand against bullying and report incidents earlier. "We would want to improve pupils' confidence in standing up to bullying behavior - especially as bystanders, for them to be upstanders and for the bullying behavior to be reported earlier."

Note: Orah helps school identify at-risk students via the Mood Check, Behaviour TrackerStudent Survey tools, whether via direct prompts or student-led reporting. Efforts from schools to address bullying using Orah have been effective, but do rely on a concerted effort from the school to address these challenges. Another way Orah can help schools support students is via the Student Support Library, which allows schools to surface relevant content for students off the back of Mood Checks.

Identifying at-risk students

"Ensuring that we hear every voice, especially when a student is in need, is challenging as not all students like to or want to share how they are feeling. Orah certainly helps with this challenge."

"Orah provides a quick way for pupils to check in and raise issues without having to come to a staff member's office. The Orah flag allows staff to pick up notifications and provide the best possible support in real time."

For more information, visit Orah Nurture.

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