We’re passionate about creating a School environment that provides holistic pastoral care for our children, from an experienced network of staff. St Andrew’s prides itself on being a friendly, kind, and inclusive place, where every child is encouraged to be themselves. We believe that children’s learning is accentuated in an environment where they feel emotionally and physically secure.
Whilst we encourage independence and aim to equip our children to solve problems for themselves, we also teach them to seek support when they need it and therefore provide this in many different ways.
St Andrew’s School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people – further information can be found here.
Form Tutor Support
The Lobby & Bother Boxes
Form Tutors form the backbone of our pupil wellbeing system, offering support, encouragement and a listening ear. We may also match pupils with teachers of their choice on a one-to-one basis, so they can talk about any concerns they may be experiencing.
The Form Tutor system in the Prep school is ably supported by a Head of Juniors (Years 3 and 4), a Head of Middles (Years 5 and 6) and a Head of Seniors (Years 7 and 8).
ELSA & Counselling
Factoring in rest and downtime is essential for pupil wellbeing. The Lobby is a quiet, tranquil place for pupils to use during breaks and rests, away from the bustle of school life. In the Lobby, pupils can read, draw, play quiet games, complete prep or simply chat with friends. Another innovative scheme is our ‘Bother Boxes’. There are Bother Boxes placed around the School and also virtually, to provide an easy and discreet way for pupils to express any concerns they may have to a teacher of their choice.
St Andrew's has three ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants), specialists who have been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver individual or group programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. For pupils with more significant concerns, the School has its own counsellor for private one-to-one sessions.
A 360 approach to pupil welfare
PSHEE and RSE
Mental Health Lead and Form Tutor, Haig Howard, works with Deputy Head, Pastoral, Kirsty Parkhouse to continually assess how our Pupil Wellbeing programmes and initiatives are evolving. Our mantra is that no child goes unheard and to ensure that all pupil welfare concerns are handled quickly, with sensitivity and care.
Assistant Head of Pupil Mental Wellbeing at Pangbourne College (link), Caroline Bond, is St Andrew’s Independent Person. Her contact details are displayed around the school.
Every child is given a Study Diary when they start in Year 5. These help pupils become more independent by taking ownership of their personal organisation but also provide a link to, and means of, communication with home. Along with lots of useful pages containing information and helpful tips, there is a section for pupils to record how each week has gone in terms of their happiness and wellbeing.
The School uses an online system called CPOMS to record and track pastoral concerns, which all staff input into, meaning that issues do not fall between the cracks. We take the view that everyone, from Matrons, to the School Maintenance department and Catering team, are responsible for the children’s success and happiness and they all contribute so we provide the best individualised care we can.
PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) is a crucial part of the curriculum, helping our children to develop into responsible citizens and equipping them with the knowledge, skills and understanding to lead confident, healthy and independent lives, in an ever-changing world.
Our PSHEE curriculum is carefully constructed and continually reviewed in order to deliver topics at an age-appropriate level. It also incorporates RE (Relationships Education) and RSE (Relationships Sex Education), placing emphasis on teaching the building blocks of healthy, respectful relationships. We aim to help pupils to learn to respect themselves and others, and therefore move with confidence from childhood, through adolescence, into adulthood.
A recently-formed group of senior pupils look at ways of promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. Pupils are proud to wear their “Mind Your Head” monitor badges and are keen to talk to pupils about ways of maintaining a healthy mind. They do this through assemblies, which are almost entirely pupil led.