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Wellbeing and Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is a significant strength of the School and every member of staff has a role to play in the safeguarding of the students in our care. All staff, whether teachers or support staff, undertake regular safeguarding training and are confident to act on and report any concerns. 

We support pupils throughout their time at St Albans School and help them to navigate the emotional and physical complexities of teenage life. Pupils know there is always someone for them to turn to when they have concerns or need someone to talk to. 

We have an extensive Wellbeing Programme across all year groups which looks at building confidence and teaching pupils how to thrive and be more resilient. Through this programme we:

  • promote positive mental health and wellbeing
  • take a proactive approach to deal with any concerns before they become a problem and to spot the signs early on
  • increase understanding and awareness of mental health and to provide support and guidance to staff, to help them spot and then help pupils who may be developing or who have mental health concerns
  • provide support to pupils who suffer from mental health challenges provide support to peers and parents of pupils with mental health challenges

There are approximately eighty members of staff who have been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. This course is designed to teach staff the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offering first aid in guiding them towards support that they need. There are a number of avenues for additional support both within the School and through external agencies. The School Nurses and Chaplain also make an important contribution to our pastoral provision and we have a School Counsellor who is available to all pupils for confidential consultation.

At our recent ISI Inspection in November 2022, our pupils were commended for having “a highly developed sense of self-understanding. In this way the school successfully achieves its aim to develop pupils’ self-knowledge and self-confidence. Pupils understand themselves and clearly express both the importance of continued learning and their pride in the school. This is because the school’s culture of strong pastoral care, through which pupils’ progress and well-being are carefully monitored, means that pupils are well-known by their teachers and are given time to develop and express themselves. Pupils are extremely self-confident and independent. The school thus fully meets its aim to help each pupil develop self-knowledge and self-confidence."
(ISI, November 2022)

Our Pastoral Care System

All our pupils, from First to Sixth Form, are members of a tutor group, organised by year. The tutor is the first point of contact for parents and oversees the personal and academic welfare of pupils through a combination of informal contact and tutor periods. Tutors meet with their tutees twice a day and play a key role in the delivery of our PSHEE programme and ensuring their tutees are healthy, both mentally and physically.

Coordinating the work of these tutors are the Heads of Section, who are all members of the Senior Leadership Team: Lower School (Years 7 & 8), Third Form (Year 9), Middle School (Years 10 & 11) and Sixth Form. A distinctive feature of our pastoral care is the supportive role played by form prefects who are Sixth Formers, chosen by a very careful selection process to assist the tutors. We also have a large Safeguarding Team, which is comprised of seven Safeguarding specialists.