The wellbeing of our pupils is our primary concern and we believe that only by being happy and healthy can our pupils meet their goals and aspirations.
As such, the school goes to great lengths to support our pupils’ emotional development alongside their academic progress.
At the heart of our pastoral care is the tutor system. Amongst other training, the school asks that all tutors complete an externally accredited two-day Mental Health First Aid course. This ensures they are well placed to support the emotional needs of their tutees, as well as being able to spot the early signs of a possible concern.
Our PSHE program also talks openly about wellbeing and mental health: Every year, new pupils and their parents are invited to hear a talk by the prominent mental health campaigner, Dick Moore, in their first few weeks of school. Each February, all pupils are taken out of lessons for the Parsons Lectures dedicated to the promotion positive wellbeing across the school community. Last year, these lectures were delivered by Jonny Benjamin MBE. We also revisit all these themes as part of the taught PSHE curriculum, ensuring that pupils are able to recognise when they might need a little help and that they know where to turn for support. Frequent parents’ seminars help to support this work.
There is also an active pupil society called ‘MindMatters’ run by Eighth Formers with the goal of tackling mental health related stigma and promoting positive wellbeing at St Paul’s. In the past this group has streamed live ‘virtual lectures’ into tutor groups, organised YouTube campaigns on issues like sleep and social media, and organised conferences for parents and their children on topics like ‘Peer Support’ and ‘Why Sport is good for the Mind?’.
St Paul’s was also the first independent school to sign the Time to Change Pledge and is one of only a few schools to take part in Minds ‘Workplace Wellbeing Index’.