Here at The Priory School, we are keen to cultivate the emotional, physical and cognitive development of our students. This work pervades all areas of the community from the delivery of the curriculum to the support the year teams provide.
Each year group has a team consisting of form tutors, a Head of Year and an Assistant Head of Year. This team moves with the student from Year 7 to Year 11 allowing time for the building of relationships and trust. In addition, there are non-teaching pastoral staff to aid our students: Julie Laycock (Wellbeing Manager), Sam Brazier (Pastoral Manager) and Safina Malik (Pastoral). The team tracks the academic progress of each student and is overseen by Lawrence Foster (Deputy Headteacher Behaviour & Attendance) and Claudia Omar (Assistant Headteacher for Student Wellbeing) as well as the Heads of Department in order to ensure that appropriate interventions are in place to support our students.
The team closely monitors and supports the emotional wellbeing of the students in their year group.
Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Surveys
All students in Years 7 to 13 will complete GOVOX Wellbeing Surveys. The survey is composed of questions that have been discussed and modified based on the needs of our students. Results of these surveys are closely analysed by the Head of Year and Wellbeing team in order to ensure that students are receiving the support that they need and that whole school issues are being addressed. Actions are agreed with the Wellbeing Manager and SLT to ensure quick intervention is in place.
Support and Information
At school, we have a dedicated Wellbeing base that students can use for break and lunchtime “drop ins” as well as to access 1:1 mentoring and counselling support. This resource is invaluable and has enabled students to worry less and engage with their learning. We have a range of external services that work in school to deliver counselling, drama therapy, mentoring and CBT.
As a school we utilise services such as Phase, Step 2, NHS GRIT, CAMHS, Tilehouse Counselling, The Sadie Centre and NESSIE.
The Priory School was carefully selected to be the base school for the NHS North Herts Mental Health Support Team in 2022. The role of the NHS team is to support our students and implement this on a quicker basis than other NHS routes can often sometimes offer. This is on a school referral basis. The NHS Mental Health Support Team have spent time this year giving advice to parents/carers, staff CPD sessions and student one to one/group work.
Our in-house provision offers numerous opportunities, also. We have a Wellbeing Manager who is also a fully qualified counsellor (Julie Laycock). We are also a successful counselling placement school where we accept Level 4 and Level 5 trainee counsellors. Our in-house Wellbeing team works with students, parents and staff.
We also have a very close working relationship with Phase, our local charity supporting the wellbeing and resilience of our young people. We can be seen throughout the year to be holding one to one mentoring sessions with Phase staff and fundraising for them as much as we can.
Students also receive assemblies and form time sessions around wellbeing and mental health. Annually, we run a wellbeing day for our main feeder primary schools and we have events such as wellbeing week, as well as recognising key awareness days throughout the academic year.
Staff receive training in a variety of wellbeing topics- LGBTQ+ support and self-harm awareness to name a couple. The wellbeing staff regularly review the training needs of our wider staff body and meet regularly to encourage and support our whole school vision of student wellbeing being everyone’s responsibility. We have upskilled our pastoral staff in receiving their Mental Health First Aid training. We hold numerous educational and supportive opportunities for our parents/carers, also. Each term, parents have an opportunity to attend ‘parent information evenings’ on topics such as the teen brain, LGBTQ+, Online Safety, general wellbeing, CAMHS services, exam support and dealing with anxiety. This academic year, we aim to cover the following topics- confidence and self-esteem, self-harm and stress and sleep.
For more information and support, please see the full list of websites and material detailed below in the parent section.
Citizenship (delivered during form time) and RSHE incorporate mental health and physical health. The RSHE curriculum starts with discussions around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and how students can actively use them to support their own wellbeing. Year 9 also have a Sex Education day (for more information please see the RSHE & Citizenship section of the website).
If you would like more information on our RSHE & Citizenship programme, please see RSHE & Citizenship.
As part of our offering outside the classroom and to aid the development of the whole child, we have an extensive range of opportunities for students to get involved with leadership roles at TPS. These span the whole student cohort and students from years 7 to 13 can get involved, whatever their skill set. We hope that in providing leadership opportunities our students can go on to present themselves with confidence in their classrooms, college and job interviews and beyond. This aids friendships and encourages a sense of community spirit, enhancing student wellbeing and mental health.
If you are looking for more information to look after your own wellbeing and emotional health or you feel you need some support, this is a comprehensive list of services, websites and charities that are able to give you the support, information and help that you need.
www.fpa.org.uk (Sexual Health)
These websites have been checked for suitability but we cannot be responsible for any changes in information/content.