Wellbeing & Pastoral Care
The wellbeing of our pupils is of vital importance at Berkhamsted Girls, with mental health an absolute priority.
The teenage years are a critical period for developing skills for leading a healthy life. We want all our pupils to be happy and healthy at Berkhamsted Girls. The link between health and wellbeing and positive academic performance has been well researched. Mentally healthy pupils are more likely to be able to concentrate and be receptive to learning.
We have a dedicated Deputy Head of Pupil Wellbeing who leads our Wellbeing Team of chaplaincy staff, nurses, counsellors and coaches. This helps to keep our pupils well, looks out for early signs of potential problems and supports those who have any pastoral difficulties.
A team of qualified counsellors is available to all pupils for confidential counselling. The school also has a full-time residential Chaplain and an Assistant Chaplain.
There is a Medical Centre at Berkhamsted Girls with fully qualified nurses providing cover during the school day.
The wellbeing of our pupils at Berkhamsted is a core part of many programmes of study and ways of working including curriculum PSHE, Chapel services and AS Tracking. Helping them to understand how to make informed and good choices is a key part of us helping them to navigate the path through the teenage years.
At Berkhamsted Girls, our aim is to maintain good discipline within a relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere and to encourage the development of responsibility and self-discipline.
We recognise that intellectual development and strong pastoral care go hand in hand, so the wellbeing of all pupils is very important to us. The pastoral care afforded by our House system is delivered by our Heads of House, House tutors and a wellbeing team comprising of counsellors, nurses and the Chaplaincy. A key facet of our pastoral system is establishing and fostering strong school parent relationships to support the girls’ development, so regular meetings, parent presentations, consultations and focus groups are all woven into the rhythms of the school year.
Our School values to Aim High with Integrity, Be Adventurous and Serve others are embedded within school life and we expect our pupils to live by these. We work to educate them away from behaviours which will not serve them well by a combination of coaching, restorative justice, teaching and sanctions.
Each House has a Head of House, who has the primary responsibility for the academic and pastoral support and progress of each student in their House.
Alongside the House tutors, the Head of House takes responsibility for the social and academic development of each pupil. They are the main channel of communication between the student’s school and home life.
Our Houses also provide an environment for cooperation and competition, with Inter-House competitions, music, quizzes, debating and sport. Pupils also regularly fundraise for charity within their House.
Listen to our podcast with Tracey Evans, Chief People Officer and Dr Kathy Weston from TooledUp education who help to provide the latest research for supporting children both to the school and to parents.
Listen to our podcast about the Personal Development lessons held at our Senior Schools to help support the wellbeing of our pupils.
When our School was founded in 1541, its Christian foundation was a large part of school life and remains integral to our tradition today. We retain the commitment to nurturing the faith and spirituality of our pupils.
Our two full-time chaplaincy staff provide pastoral care to our pupils. We offer pupils many opportunities for spiritual support from the chaplaincy staff and from their student peers – from Christian Unions and lunch-time drop-in clubs to the chance to take Confirmation classes if they wish.
There is also a chapel service which all Berkhamsted pupils attend every week and which addresses a variety of issues and topics. These services are accessible to all pupils, whether they have another faith or none at all.
There are special services open to all the school community for Christmas and Easter and a memorial service on Remembrance Day,.
At Berkhamsted we believe that spiritual development and social action are crucial to our pupils’ personal development. This pastoral support encourages our pupils to grow into well-rounded individuals with a strong sense of community who serve others with compassion.
We always encourage our pupils to stimulate debate and raise questions, which in turn allows them to reflect and contributes to their spiritual development.
Our Chaplin considers in this podcast the opportunity that is provided to support pupils with their spiritual development