There is a designated Welfare room in both Prep and Senior School where girls can be looked after by one of our three-person Welfare team. Our team consists of a Paediatric trained nurse and Welfare assistant based in the Prep School and a trained nurse in the Senior School. Both of our nurses have worked in the community for many years, are highly experienced and a great asset to our community. Our welfare assistant who cares for the needs of the youngest pupils is always on hand with a plaster and a kindly word for those little bumps and scrapes that happen as an inevitable part of exploring and developing in our wonderful playground area and wild natural areas.
The welfare team is on site from 8am until the end of co-curricular activities and in order to meet with parents and discuss and produce care plans for any child who has specific medical need. At times, of course, this possibility for daily face-to-face contact ensures that every young person’s needs are met whatever they may be.
Our nurses frequently review pupils with specific medical needs and work closely with parents, the pastoral team at St Helen’s and, where relevant, outside agencies and specialists. They are used to and capable of dealing with any medical needs and discussions with specialists.
We cater for a wide range of physical and learning needs at St Helen’s. To that end we have a very pro-active Individual Needs department. To avoid disruption to the pupil’s education our Head of Individual Needs can undertake many of the assessments required in school herself. The specialist team work closely with classroom teachers to make sure that the provision and support in the classroom is tailor made to the needs of a particular pupil whatever that may be.
Pupils with identified learning needs will have a bespoke Learning Profile which they and, for younger pupils, their parents review and contribute to every year with the Head of Individual Needs. Teachers therefore can adapt their lesson planning and resource creation to suit every student. The team also liaises on behalf of pupils and parents with outside agencies and examination boards to make sure that every pupil can achieve their potential.
The Pastoral team at St Helen’s are the first port of call for pupil well-being and this is an important daily part of their work. However, when necessary, girls have the opportunity to speak with a range of counsellors as part of our well-being service. In Senior School, this is a confidential service subject to the usual safeguarding procedures. In Prep School this is called the Listening Ear service and the counsellor works closely with parents and at this age it is not confidential.