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Wellbeing

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Pastoral care

Pupil wellbeing is of vital importance to us at Berkhamsted. We believe that each of our students has the power to fulfil their own potential, developing into remarkable people equipped with the skills they will need to flourish in the future.

Our Counselling and Coaching Team provide a safe, confidential environment for our pupils to explore their experiences.

Our Director of Pupil Wellbeing leads our Wellbeing Team of chaplaincy staff, nurses and counsellors/coaches, supporting our teaching staff in their pastoral roles in implementing a proactive wellbeing strategy that helps keep our pupils well, looks out for early signs of potential problems and supports those who have any pastoral difficulties.

Our medical staff and fully qualified nurses provide cover across every School site during the school day and our School Medical Officer has special responsibility for boarders.

Our team of qualified counsellors is available to all pupils for confidential counselling up to six days a week. We also have a full-time residential Chaplain and an Assistant Chaplain.

Our aim is to maintain good discipline within a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and to encourage responsibility and self-discipline. We believe our students develop by taking responsibility for their mistakes when they make them, rather than being excused by a desire to blame others.

At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, Prep and Heatherton, Form Teachers take responsibility for both the academic and personal development of their pupils. These teachers are supported by Heads of Department, Deputy Heads and Headteachers. Our classes are small so our staff can offer each child as much individual support and attention as they need.

Each pupil at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, Prep and Heatherton belongs to a House, which is at the centre of their school lives. Our Houses provide our students with a sense of belonging, developing their self-confidence and giving students the opportunity to celebrate each other’s achievements and promote a healthy spirit of competition.

Students at Berkhamsted Girls, Boys and Sixth also belong to smaller House units, where every pupil receives pastoral support and academic guidance.

Each Head of House has overall responsibility for supporting each pupil’s social and academic development within the school and is supported by a Deputy Head and a team of tutors.

Students have the opportunity to take leadership roles in their Houses and throughout the year there are many opportunities for pupils to work together as a House taking part in a range of competitions, activities, trips and charity events.

Chaplaincy

Our Christian foundation was established when our School was founded in 1541 and the foundation remains as much a part of school life and tradition as it was 477 years ago.

We have two School Chapels – one on our Kings Campus and one on our Castle Campus – and two full-time chaplaincy staff, meaning the Christian identity of our School underpins much of our students’ daily lives.

Our chaplaincy staff who provide pastoral care and support to our students through lunchtime drop-in clubs, extracurricular Christian Unions and the opportunity to take Confirmation classes.

All Berkhamsted students attend one chapel service each week, which are Christian in their focus but still accessible to those of other faiths and none, addressing a variety of topics and issues.

Christmas, Easter and Remembrance Day are marked with special services and there is a half termly after school communion service, which is open to anyone in the school community.

We believe that social action and spiritual development are vital to the development of our students, enabling them to become well rounded individuals with a strong community focus and sense of compassion.

We aim to raise questions, stimulate our students with debate and provide them with opportunities to contribute and reflect.

The Parent Partnership

The wellbeing, happiness and success of our pupils is dependent on the strength of the partnership between our students, staff and parents.

In today’s fast-moving world, teachers and parents are having to provide advice and support for young people about things which we did not grow up with ourselves, such as social media.

At Berkhamsted we support our students throughout the challenges, difficulties and disappointments they will face through their school years, leaving us as independent, resilient and confident young adults.

Our Parent Talks and Courses programme is intended to strengthen the links between home and school and to provide additional opportunities for staff and parents to discuss the issues facing young people in today’s world – whether they are at home or at school.

Boarding

Although the majority of our pupils are day pupils, we also offer various flexible boarding options for our pupils aged 11-18, with full time termly and weekly boarding options available to pupils in Year 9 onwards and flexible or occasional boarding to pupils in Year 7 onwards.

At Berkhamsted we place great value on the benefits that our students gain from their experience of living in a community, developing resilience and independence.

Full-time boarding in Sixth allows our Year 12 and Year 13 students to focus on their academic studies while still participating fully in all that Berkhamsted Sixth has to offer, with boarding the ideal way to prepare our students for the next stage of their life at university.

We offer a number of boarding places to Sixth Form students from overseas.

We aim to create a boarding environment in which the happiness and wellbeing of our students is paramount, with our pastoral care, chaplaincy and medical staff available to guide and support every pupil throughout their time as a boarder.

Our boarding houses

We have two boarding houses – St John’s for girls and Incents for boys – which are located on Chesham Road within a few minutes walk of our senior campuses – Castle and Kings – and the town centre.

Both boarding houses have individual study bedrooms for senior pupils, which are furnished and decorated to a high standard.

There are two common rooms, kitchen facilities and a large garden, which is shared between the houses. Pupils can also meet together in the dining area.

Boarders at Berkhamsted have access to the sports facilities of the senior school, alongside free private membership to our Knox-Johnston sports centre, which offers a fitness suite, sports hall and 25m swimming pool. Classes range from aqua aerobics to pilates.

Computers with Wi-Fi access are available in both St John’s and Incents boarding houses and house outings for boarders are arranged on a regular basis.

Our boarding options

Our flexible and occasional boarding options ensure pupils who live far away from our School are able to participate fully in our extensive after school activities.

Flexible boarding – which is charged at a nightly fee – is the ideal solution for parents who frequently work away or travel abroad and need the assurance that their children are being cared for in their absence. Flexible boarding can be booked on a regular basis, or used on an ad-hoc basis.

Our weekly boarding typically runs for four nights per week, from Monday to Thursday.

If you’d like to visit one of our boarding houses, please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Extra provision boarding

We understand that families lead busy lives and we aim to support you by providing a range of services that make life easier for those who are juggling full schedules.

Our Day Nursery is open from 07:30 to 18:30, 50 weeks of the year (ages five months to rising four).

Pre-Prep, Prep & Heatherton

We offer Wrap Around Care from 07:30 to 18:30 for children at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, Berkhamsted Prep and Heatherton during term time.  Each of the sessions are charged by credits which can vary dependent on if your child attends an after school club or not.  Credits are purchased as bundles to allow for a discounted rate for large purchases. Credits cost £5.00 each or £4.75 in bundles of 51+ or £4.50 each in bundles of 101 plus.

Berkhamsted also operates a holiday camp on site.  Available each school holiday are a range of courses for children aged 3 – 16 years through BERKHAMSTED BASECAMP run by Berkhamsted staff.  BASECAMP runs from 08:00 – 18:00.

Senior School and Sixth

A range of coach routes for Senior and Sixth pupils, including late coaches on our most popular routes.

For those aged 11 + we offer extended day support at the boarding houses including a meal, supervised prep and collection up until 20:00.

Flexible Boarding

In addition to day support, Flexible Boarding options can be booked which include occasional, or even last minute, overnight stays (from 11+), weekly (from 13+) or full boarding (from 16+) in high quality accommodation (subject to availability).

Our boarding houses can be arranged to accommodate additional boarders from Year 7+ whatever the length of stay. From one night or more, flexible boarders enjoy the same benefits as full boarders, including special outings and celebrations. All pupils who board are automatically welcomed into the family atmosphere of St John’s (Girls boarding) and Incents (Boys boarding).

Why Choose Flexible Boarding

  • Parents can fulfil work commitments in this country or abroad in term-time in the knowledge that their children are being cared for.
  • Parents may take holidays in term-time without disrupting their children’s education.
  • Pupils who would benefit from more specific support for their academic progress can be offered additional help.
  • Parents may be away from home for shorter or longer periods and children would enjoy staying with friends in the boarding house.
  • It provides a secure environment to meet unexpected family difficulties.
  • Pupils who have long journeys to School might prefer to spend a few nights in the boarding houses during the week. This may also enable pupils who live further afield to take advantage of the many after-school activities on offer.
  • `Last minute’ accommodation can be provided by arrangement.