Wicklea Academy, Bristol, Cabot Learning Federation

Our Hamish & Milo Story

Wicklea Academy located in South Bristol provides education for primary-age children from Reception through to Year 6.

The school is spacious and open with bright and vibrant displays. There is a warm, welcoming atmosphere that places wellbeing as a central element within the whole school culture. In 2020, the Wicklea Academy achieved the ‘Wellbeing Award for Schools’ and continues to place significant value on wellbeing and nurturing for the children, so they can thrive and achieve their best.

“We aim to offer an education that supports and challenges each child to fulfil their true potential. We want our pupils to leave Wicklea Academy confident, motivated and fully prepared for the next stage of their education, and to look back on their time here with affection and pride.”

Wicklea Academy has recently joined the Cabot Learning Federation along with two other schools, Woodlands Academy and Waycroft Academy from the original Waycroft Multi-Academy Trust. The Cabot Learning Federation is based in the South West of England with a core ethos of ‘…the delivery of excellent educational experiences for pupils, improving their life chances.’

There is a strong pastoral team at Wicklea Academy, with an approach that is creative in providing wellbeing support for both staff and children. Rachael Morley, the Parent Link Worker, is the lead practitioner and is dedicated to developing the wellbeing strategy and provision, which includes Hamish & Milo.

Cabot Learning Federation

Wicklea Academy was part of the initial phase in the University of Bath research study and began implementing Hamish & Milo in the Autumn Term of 2022.

As part of a commitment to developing the pastoral work within the school, and after securing additional funding to develop the space, headteacher Heather Morris and Rachael were able to create a new larger room as the pastoral base.

Much thought and planning has gone into making it a beautiful space with soft lighting and soft furnishings including sofas, chairs and cosy corners. The atmosphere in the room is welcoming, bright and has a sense of safety and care that ensures children feel secure and nurtured.

Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention school room Wicklea Academy Bristol

Using the Hamish & Milo programme

Hamish & Milo has fast become a significant intervention that runs every afternoon with different groups of children participating. Rachael and TA, Ali Williams, are running a range of different programmes with some interventions being run by headteacher Heather too for some children in a 1:1 capacity.

To ensure awareness across the whole school, staff training was delivered by Rachael so that everyone understood the approach and content and knew how to refer children for Hamish & Milo intervention. Children are allocated on a needs basis and coordinated by Rachael to ensure the best intervention is in place for each child. As safeguarding lead, Rachael ensures that systems are in place to ensure children’s wellbeing and that safeguarding is prioritised.

The programmes run so far include:

Hamish & Milo Programmes - Amazing me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - Calm me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - Exploding me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - Memories and me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - Resilient me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - New beginnings and me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - My friends and me Icon
Hamish & Milo Programmes - Actions Words and me Icon

Observation of a Hamish & Milo session - Amazing me

“It was wonderful to be able to join and witness a session in progress.”

Clare Williams, Author and Creator of Hamish & Milo

The children in the group were involved in the 'Thrive and Shine' session from the programme Amazing me. With their sock puppet pets next to them, they were engaged in discussion and reflection about how they take care and nurture their own wellbeing.

The group of girls were keen to share their ideas and collages they had made, to highlight how they could thrive and shine. There was a calm and relaxed atmosphere to the group. They finished off their session by completing their wellbeing journals and enjoyed receiving their stickers.

Wicklea shared many highlights in using Hamish & Milo

There have been reports back from both teachers and parents that have shown how the programme is having an impact. A few examples were shared by Rachael…

  • A child who is selective mute in Year 4 - "...the engagement in the programme and the art work they have done has blown us away. It has been amazing to witness and the amount of confidence he has now is amazing too. He non-verbally communicates with every child in the group which he never did before. We didn’t think he would participate but he has with every session with his whole heart."

  • "One child has completed three different groups and thrives on it. He is highly anxious, as is his parent, but he has grown in confidence and is now able to articulate how he is feeling. Before he used to just shut down."

  • “My favourite group is amazing me, it flows so well and the children absolutely love it.”

  • Memories and me group - “For something that is sad, it has actually been fun. It is something that has been hard for children to talk about, loss and separation in families but it has been the most beneficial, the most impactful for this group of children.”

Hamish & Milo School Story Wicklea Academy Amazing me pic3
Hamish & Milo School Story Wicklea Academy

Navigator helps demonstrate intervention impact

Navigator was created to help schools capture and present impact data for the children involved. Navigator highlights shifts and changes for each child and allows for a robust process of review to ensure provision mapping and meeting children’s needs.

“Navigator is amazing for tracking data and being able to show a child’s progress and experience.”

Rachael Morley

Wicklea Academy Dashboard April 2024

Wicklea ongoing plans

Hamish & Milo is at the heart of wellbeing and pastoral support for Wicklea. The practice and approach can be shared and offered as a model for schools across the Cabot Learning Federation and there is significant evidence of impact that shows how it is making a significant difference.

“Hamish & Milo has changed our approach as a school for quantity and quality of pastoral support. It has raised awareness too for most staff of how emotional wellbeing comes before learning can really take place and it is central to what we do at Wicklea.”

Rachael Morley

Hamish & Milo School Story Wicklea Academy Sock puppets Sock Puppets
Hamish & Milo School Story Wicklea Academy pic10
Hamish & Milo School Story Wicklea Academy pic12
  • Saltersgate Infant School Doncaster Hamish & Milo

    Saltersgate is an infant school in South Yorkshire that strives to place wellbeing at the centre for its 350 children. “We have never really found anything before Hamish & Milo that is bespoke enough and where we can see this level of impact. We now have developed the role of our support staff to be able to deliver this across the school and to do more of this work.”

  • Bedales Dunhurst Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Resources

    Bedales comprises three coeducational independent schools located within a 120-acre estate on the South Downs of Hampshire. “Hamish & Milo is magical. For me as a teacher, it has changed my style. It is allowing me to empower the children and allow them to grow through the conversations and sharing of experiences through the sessions. It is becoming our emotions curriculum.”

  • Damers First School

    "Not only do you get the 10 intervention programmes with Hamish & Milo you get so much more. It is extremely well supported by a wealth of easily accessible extra tools and resources, quality supervision opportunities and a team of knowledgeable and passionate people on hand to answer any queries. We are truly excited to continue our Hamish & Milo journey."