Our whole school pastoral program promotes the five keys to success: organisation, confidence, persistence, getting along, and resilience. Our youngest pupils use the characters Penny Persistence, Robert Resilience, Greta Get Along, Oscar Organised, and Connie Confidence to bring the keys to life. And these are all held together by the key ring of integrity. We teach the character attributes which develop these important life skills and we publicly celebrate pupils who excel in these areas. A key part of the programme is building strong connections between pupils themselves as well as staff and pupils, therefore pupils feel listened to and valued. Pupils in the PrePrep receive WOW postcards from staff when they have shown one of the five key behaviours during the week at school. In the Prep School this is a postcard home to congratulate success. At the end of term there are Awards presented in assemblies and in the Prep School children are awarded actual keys in the hope that they will collect all five by the time they finish at the school.
The first point of contact for our pupils is their Form Tutor or Class Teacher in PrePrep. All our teaching staff are supported by the pastoral team through regular guidance and in-service training, ensuring they feel confident and properly equipped to proactively talk to the children about the five keys and how these life skills permeate all areas of the school. Staff also understand the importance of accountability to be looking for signs and symptoms of children’s mental health declining on the ever-changing mental health continuum.
The pastoral team run two drop-in sessions every week where pupils can discuss any concerns that are causing them anxiety. We help them learn how to resolve situations for themselves and encourage them to focus on what is going well in their week which encourages a positive mindset. Form Tutors encourage their pupils to regularly set positive targets, both an academic as well as a pastoral one. If a pupil needs further support to think positively, they are invited to create their own ‘Key to happiness’ book and note down things that have gone well. When our pupils review their week, they then can focus on the positive things that have recently happened.
We have introduced PALS (Playground Assistant Leaders), with the older children getting involved with the younger children at break time to help make the playground a happy place to be. It benefits the older children as it develops their self-confidence, helps them manage the feelings of others and play a meaningful part in the school community. They are then better equipped to develop and foster relationships and to find the causes of conflict and seek appropriate responses. The older pupils provide a valuable service to the younger students by being sympathetic and proactively helping them find friends to play with at playtimes. They are taught to watch out for any children who may be standing on their own or not joining in. Our Buddy Benches provide pupils with a quiet place to sit during break when in the playground and looking for a friend to play a game that reflects and supports their interests. Our Buddy Benches are about inclusion and fostering a sense of friendship. They are in a prominent location in our playground which is overseen by staff when on duty.
We have a pupil-led school council and an anti-bullying committee that both meet termly to talk about any changes that need to be made around the school. This gives pupils an element of control over their own routines and surroundings.
We have an active House System with all children belonging to one of the three houses. This creates three, smaller ‘family’ units within the school community to which the children develop a strong affinity. Houses meet regularly for an assembly. We award House Points for academic effort and attainment, as well as for good behaviour and commitment to the school. The House system encourages pupils to develop their involvement and aspiration through academic, artistic, musical and sporting events.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education at Rose Hill School is a planned, developmental programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. The PSHE programme contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. It enables them to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings. PSHE education covers mental health and wellbeing; physical health (including healthy lifestyles and first aid); learning about safe, healthy relationships and sex (Year 7 & 8, including understanding consent, negotiating life online and intimate relationships).
Throughout the school we run Mindfulness sessions. These are successfully led by two fully trained members of staff and provide yet another tool for our pupils to use as a strategy for combatting stressful periods in their lives.
Every summer the we have a week dedicated to wellness with a focus on the mind, body and soul lead by the pastoral team. Last year the week was dedicated to sleep with the whole school benefitting from sessions with a sleep therapist. A wide and varied timetable of activities were delivered for the whole school community including Mindfulness, yoga, nutrition, e-safety hormone health, drama, music appreciation and much more!
If pupils continue to have on-going concerns, they are partnered with an ‘active listener’. This is a member of staff who the pupil feels comfortable to talk with. They meet once a week to discuss any issues that may be troubling them, and to agree on potential resolutions for different scenarios. Our pupils can often be seen walking either of the school dogs, Frank or Maisie, around the school site with their active listener in tow. Frank and Maisie, who both attend school every day, are a great source of comfort to many of our pupils’ wellbeing. ‘Draw and Talk’ therapy sessions; a twelve-week program allowing pupils to talk about their thoughts while they are drawing or painting.
We strongly believe that happiness and emotional wellbeing should be valued and monitored, just as closely as academic success. As such, bi-annually we use CEM assessments to track and monitor each pupil’s happiness in both the short and long term, allowing us to proactively address any worries or concerns at whole school, year group or individual level. We are committed in our desire to ensure that all our pupils at Rose Hill School are happy, healthy and flourishing.