St Helen’s provides a warm, friendly and supportive environment where every pupil is known, respected and celebrated for who she is. The happiness and wellbeing of each student is at the heart of all that we do, and all staff are involved in caring for, and supporting, our pupils. Our ethos is one of mutual respect and kindness.
Each pupil is a member of a small, cohesive form group with a designated class teacher (Prep School) or form tutor (Senior School) who plays a central role in providing pastoral care, and is the first port of call for pupils, teachers, and parents.
All class teachers and form tutors are trained in using a coaching style of tutoring, called GROW (Goals, Reality, Obstacles, Way Forward), which supports every girl to develop her character attributes and learner habits, and enables her to flourish.
As pupils get older and become more able to self-reflect and identify their personal ambitions in all spheres of their lives, GROW coaching empowers them to actively pursue these ambitions and thereby achieve greater contentment.
This approach boosts wellbeing and enables our pupils to take control of their progress, not only whilst they are at St Helen’s, but throughout their adult lives.
Each section of the school has a Phase Leader (Prep School) or Head of Section (Senior School) and the system of pastoral care is overseen by the Pastoral Deputy Head.
We work in close partnership with parents who have regular opportunities to meet with teachers and tutors, and are also welcome to communicate with them by email. The pastoral team organises events for parents such as speakers on topical issues, and opportunities to meet together and share ideas for dealing with the challenges that face young people today. Reputable resources on a range of matters are also shared with parents.
Our bespoke Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) programme is an important part of our pupils’ education and runs throughout the school, addressing age-appropriate topics and issues.
In Early Years for example, we cover ‘People who help us’ and the girls have the opportunity to meet people such as our local policeman, a dentist and the fire service.
In older Prep Years we cover topics such as democracy and the safe use of technology, while in Senior School topics include refugees, mental health, drugs awareness and Parliament Week.
In all sections of the school, this teaching time is also used to respond to issues that are relevant for a particular class at a particular time. Our programme is reviewed annually and led by the PSHCE co-ordinators who respond to the needs of the pupil body.