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Pastoral care and wellbeing in education

Academic success and pastoral care are inextricably linked. Young people are able to flourish when they feel good about themselves and their surroundings. At Woodbridge, students don’t ever have to face challenges alone. With one third of all our teaching staff qualified as Youth Mental Health First Aiders, we ensure students are suitably supported, encouraged and given the tools to take on life’s challenges.

Equipping young people to deal with life

Pastoral care at Woodbridge focuses on the wellbeing of our whole community, nurturing students in a caring, supportive and mutually respectful environment.

The teenage experience is evolving all the time, with our students facing ever more varied challenges. Woodbridge aims to equip students with the skills and experience to deal with whatever life throws at them. Good mental health needs to be worked on, much like good physical health. This can’t be taken for granted, nor stigmatised, and thus awareness and openness is key.

An integral part of our curriculum

Mental wellbeing is a vital part of life at the School, and embedded in our Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) curriculum. We further educate students on the significance of mental health with our own ‘Healthy Minds’ programme, student support sessions, tutor time and mindfulness lessons.

We teach mindfulness throughout the Prep School and specifically to all of our Year 10 pupils, introducing them to valuable concepts at a time when they are most ready to understand and make use of them.

Trained staff at every level

Inevitably, students will get things wrong or need some personalised and specific guidance. With one-third of our teaching staff qualified as Youth Mental Health First Aiders – including all members of our dedicated, experienced pastoral team and Pupil Support prefects – we’re ready and able to provide a supportive, empathetic network of individuals for students to call on when they need to.

In addition, our whole staff body, from minibus drivers to teachers, is prepared and equipped to look out for the wellbeing of our pupils, be it in the classroom, extracurricular activities, sport, lunchtime or the boarding house.

Our pastoral team work closely with both students and staff to ensure our whole community feels able to step outside of their comfort zones and not be afraid to make mistakes in the pursuit of excellence, whatever form that may take.

Helping young people through school and beyond

Parents and members of the wider community have always been quick to give praise for our exceptional pastoral care, excellent parental links, outstanding contribution to the community, and the overall atmosphere of our School.

Ultimately, our aim is to guide students to a point where they can manage their own responses to challenges and so thrive both in School and beyond.

An integral part of our curriculum

Alongside pastoral care and support, mindfulness is taught throughout School, from our Prep through to Senior and Sixth Form at Woodbridge – and beyond.

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