At a time when societal pressures are impacting negatively on the mental and physical health of children across the country, we take the issue of well-being seriously.
Our aim is not only to encourage the girls, but also enable them to include various elements in their lives that will ultimately provide the bedrock for a healthy body and mind.
Thus, whether it be in form time, assemblies, PSHEE lessons or on the sports field, we discuss the importance of regular exercise, sleep, hydration and a balanced diet. With technology, and particularly screen time, becoming an increasingly common feature in girls' lives, we are very proactive in our delivery of e-safety guidance to girls and parents alike. Forming positive, healthy habits at a young age is vital, and as many of these habits will be carried out at home as much as at school, our ethos is very much to share information and suggestions with parents whenever possible.
By celebrating each girl's individual triumphs we nurture self-esteem, for example by awarding house points or by displaying work on classroom walls. The confidence boost that comes from being recognised in public is something we never underestimate. Courtesy, kindness and effort are also very much rewarded, thereby enabling all girls to feel the benefits of success rather than simply those who are the best in any given discipline.
Through our school rules, our global awareness and our contact with the local community, we teach the girls to conduct themselves in a way which fills their lives with purpose. We believe that it is by giving time to others that the girls form a sense of contentment in themselves – a contentment which which provides emotional resilience when challenges are faced.
The quality of the relationship between each girl and both her peers and her teachers is at the very heart of the well-being process. Developing these relationships requires commitment, patience, empathy and humour, elements that are modelled by the staff and emulated by the pupils. Visitors to the school frequently comment on the vibrant, warm atmosphere, and we are extremely proud of our community spirit. When difficulties do arise, our desire is to resolve any issues in a speedy and effective manner. The pastoral care demonstrated by all our staff means that the girls can feel secure in the knowledge they will be listened to, supported and treated fairly.
The final aspect of promoting positive mental health comes from assisting each girl to find her own personal area of interest. Being deeply engaged by an academic subject, an extracurricular club or a particular school-based event allows the girls to lose themselves in their favoured activity, and these feelings of excitement and enthusiasm can very much strengthen an individual's sense of well-being.