Supporting Pupils to Embrace Positive Masculinity | Epsom College
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Supporting Pupils to Embrace Positive Masculinity

Epsom's positive masculinity programme combats gender stereotypes, challenges unhealthy masculinity and prioritises mental wellbeing. The course concluded this week, with pupils hailing it a resounding success.

The ethos of Epsom’s wellbeing programme has shifted toward ‘positive wellbeing’. Of course, there are excellent support structures in place for those who are struggling, but by focusing on developing character, and building resilience, we are helping young people to develop the skills necessary to cope if and when things do go wrong.

Our positive masculinity programme – new this year – aligns perfectly with this shift in emphasis.

The programme, which has involved all Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, has culminated in a student leader focus group made up of 20 Year 10 and Year 12 pupils. They have focussed in even greater detail on the issues surrounding positive masculinity and how pupil-led projects can become embedded into the College community.

Pupils have discussed the challenges facing young men at Epsom and considered ways to promote positive relations and interactions between pupils of different interests and backgrounds.

In their final session this week, they presented ideas for pupil-led projects around issues such as:

  • helping pupils to integrate and feel settled on their arrival at the College or in their Houses
  • challenging unpleasant behaviour
  • what helps boys to feel motivated in their learning.

They will now introduce these projects into our community and, crucially, be role models and promote positive masculinity at Epsom. 

Alex Cooke, one of our Year 12 students, took part in the programme and shares his experience:

“The positive masculinity programme has been a great step forward for Epsom College in terms of talking about problems men and boys may face and how to combat them in positive ways, while also helping others in the process. These sessions have equipped us with useful tools we can now use within the College and for the rest of our lives.

I am very thankful to Will Hudson from Voicebox and all the teaching staff who have helped to set up these, and future, sessions. The programme will be hugely beneficial to the College moving forward throughout the years, taking an already amazing community to even greater heights.”

Chris Filbey, Assistant Head: Pupil Welfare, says: “The first year of the Epsom College positive masculinity programme has been a great success and plans are already being implemented so that next year’s Year 10 and 12 can take part.  Our aim is that the whole community can promote positive masculinity, challenge unhealthy attitudes and gender stereotypes and continue to make Epsom an inclusive community for all our pupils.”