Kingswood Prep School – Mental Health and Pastoral Care

Posted: 22nd May 2023

During ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’, Kingswood Prep School celebrated the exceptional pastoral care they provide. As a leading educator in the south west, they strive to make a positive difference to each and every child who passes through the School.

When it comes to the pastoral care and emotional wellbeing of children, many schools struggle to strike the right balance. But Kingswood Prep School has developed a unique approach to ensure that every child in their care receives the highest level of support.

One of the key tools employed by Kingswood is AS Tracking, a sophisticated program used from Year 3 onwards. This powerful system provides insight into children’s thoughts and feelings at different stages of their development. It works in tandem with teachers’ professional judgement, parental feedback and input from the children themselves, allowing the School to provide personalised support at the right time.

Beyond this innovative tool, the School offers a wide range of other resources to support and develop children’s wellbeing. Excellent channels of communication are established between teachers, parents and pupils, with regular opportunities for open dialogue. In-class communication is also prioritised, with teachers taking the time to listen to children’s views and provide exercises that build confidence and resilience.

Other initiatives include dedicated reading time and “time to talk” sessions, as well as a classroom “post box” that allows children to anonymously share worries or concerns. The School’s careful planning of classes ensures a positive and dynamic learning environment, while the Forest School program enables outdoor learning in a natural setting.

At the heart of Kingswood’s approach is a focus on kindness and a culture of empathy and compassion. This ethos runs right the way through from the youngest children at 9 months old, all the way to Year 6 and into the Senior School. Each class has at least one “Kindness Champion” and various year groups have introduced thoughtful initiatives such as the friendship bench and compliment-giving.

In addition, Kingswood Prep School focuses on emotional literacy. Children are equipped with age-appropriate tools and strategies to recognise, name, and manage their emotions. The vast majority of staff are Mental Health First Aiders and are trained to recognise and support children in an age-appropriate way. Mindfulness sessions, including colouring, meditation and yoga are also incorporated into school life to help children to relax and use these tools to control stress in a healthy way.

“We strive to embody the vision of our Founder, John Wesley, each day in our School”. Explains Helen Worrall, Deputy Head at Kingswood Prep School. “All of the children, from the Nursery up to Year 6, know that our primary school rule is ‘To Be Kind’. Keeping this at the forefront of children’s minds builds empathy for others and underpins all actions taken by children and staff.”

Overall, Kingswood Prep School’s approach to pastoral care and emotional wellbeing is a recipe for success. With over 80 co-curricular activities on offer and dedicated teachers with a passion to inspire, every child is given the opportunity to ignite their potential and to be truly happy.

Categories: Kingswood School School News