How does Pennthorpe support my child’s wellbeing?

The happiness and wellbeing of all pupils is our top priority.

We have a multifaceted approach to wellbeing, which ensures there are numerous systems and support mechanisms in place.  We proactively teach about wellbeing and mental health in our Roots, Shoots and RISE programmes as well as through our PSHEE curriculum.

Our pastoral staff are well trained and qualified in supporting the wellbeing of young people and act as Tutors, Champions and Mentors.  Our pastoral programme enables staff to hold regular emotional temperature checks, one-to-one sessions and small group discussions.  We also have a ‘Wellbeing Guardian’ whose sole purpose at the school is to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils through counselling and empathic listening sessions.

What is the difference between a Form Tutor and a Champion?

A Form Tutor works with pupils as part of a Tutor Group. They oversee the pastoral and academic welfare of all of the pupils in their Tutor Group on a daily basis.

In addition to the Tutor, each child in the Prep School has a Champion. This is a member of the pastoral team who meets with them half termly, on a one-to-one basis, to support their wellbeing and development.

The Champion will liaise with the Tutor, and vice versa, to ensure each pupil is given the right support, encouragement and guidance.

What do I do if I am worried about my child’s wellbeing?

Your first point of contact, should you have any questions or concerns, is your child’s Form Tutor. They will ensure they listen to your concerns and liaise with the appropriate staff to best support your child.

We pride ourselves on the effective, positive partnerships we build with parents and we always encourage you to speak with us if you are concerned about anything at all.

Does Pennthorpe have a school counsellor?

We have our own Wellbeing Guardian who is fully qualified in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, using a variety of therapeutic approaches. Our Wellbeing Guardian is available in school every day.

Pupils who would benefit from more formal wellbeing or mental support at any given time, can be referred by the pastoral team to the Wellbeing Guardian who will create a programme of support based on the needs of the pupil. Sessions with the Wellbeing Guardian take place in ‘The Retreat’, our dedicated wellbeing space.

How much pastoral time do pupils get within the timetable?

We have daily pastoral sessions with all pupils, to reflect the high priority we give to their wellbeing and pastoral care. These sessions provide a valuable opportunity for Tutors and pastoral staff to build connections with the pupils. Pastoral sessions are also used to undertake our wellbeing programmes, as well as our PSHEE and RSE curriculum.

What is the structure of the pastoral team at Pennthorpe?

Form Tutors and Class Teachers are responsible for the daily welfare of the children.

They are supported by a Head of Section: Head of Pre-Prep, Head of Middle School and Head of Senior School.

The Deputy Head has oversight of all pastoral matters in the school.

What can my child do if they have a worry or a problem?

We have many ways that the children can communicate they have a worry or a problem.

  • They can speak to their Form Tutor or Champion who can offer them guidance and support.
  • Children could use our ‘Tissues and Issues’ box if they would like to more discreetly ask for help and a member of the pastoral team will arrange to speak with them to support them.
  • Pupils in our Senior School (Years 6-8) can also attend the Wellbeing Guardian’s weekly ‘Drop In Clinic’ to access additional support.

Are pupils taught explicitly about mental health and wellbeing?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to wellbeing. This is why we have created our own whole school wellbeing programme, that best meets the needs of our children as they mature and grow – our Roots, Shoots and RISE programme.

At an age appropriate level, the programme works through teaching the children about wellbeing and mental health. It empowers them, using a positive psychology approach, with tools, strategies and an understanding of ways they can build positive emotions and mental resilience to cope with whatever life may throw at them.

What is Pennthorpe’s approach to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)?

We fully believe that teaching RSE in schools is absolutely vital as it prepares children for growing up in today’s society and allows them to learn about, and discuss, issues in a factual, age appropriate manner within a safe environment and under the guidance of a trusted adult.

We have created an RSE curriculum that meets statutory requirements and also meets the needs of our pupils. Find out more from our RSE Policy.

How does Pennthorpe monitor the happiness and wellbeing of my child?

Our Happiness Tracker is one of the main ways we monitor the wellbeing of each of our pupils. Each term, pupils complete a Happiness Survey and the results of this are analysed. The outcomes allow for timely intervention, if, for example, they indicate that a pupil is unhappy or is struggling in a particular area of their life. This also allows us to track happiness over a longer period so we can monitor each child’s wellbeing journey throughout their time with us at school.

We also use other measurement tools such as our Welfare Survey and the PASS (Pupils Attitude to Self and School) Survey to monitor how children feel about themselves, their learning and life at school.

All of these tools allow us to remediate any barriers that may present, which ensures each child is given the right level of support to flourish.