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Pastoral Care

Each child’s happiness is at the heart of a Heath Mount education. We are committed to enhancing our pupils’ emotional, physical and mental well-being during their time with us, ensuring different needs are supported. Our dedicated well-being programme underpins a whole school approach to mental health involving not only teachers but also peer-on-peer support through our ‘buddy’ system plus workshops and talks from external specialists such as The Self Esteem Team for both pupils and parents.

young boy and girl take one of for nurture dogs for a walk
Year 2 pupils take a wellbeing walk with Luna, one of our nurture dogs.

The Deputy Head Pastoral leads a large support network that includes our Heads of Sections and form teachers who oversee the pastoral day-to-day life of our pupils. The wider pastoral team extends to our Head of Well-being, full time School Counsellor, ARTiculate facilitator, external Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practitioners, Art Therapists and Play Therapists who can be called upon when needed. Nurture dogs, Eric and Luna, are a much-loved addition to the school's pastoral provision. 

Nurture dog Eric walks in the grounds
Nurture dog Eric

Our full-time healthcare team, consisting of a paediatric nurse and an occupational therapist, are reassuringly on hand throughout the school day while Matron is on call if any boarders feel unwell in the night. 

At Heath Mount we track pupil happiness to proactively identify any children who may be struggling in some way. We have specifically designed questionnaires based on ‘The Children’s Happiness Scale’ model provided by OFSTED. These termly surveys produce quantative data that identifies any children who have fallen below an accepted level of happiness as well as identify trends across year groups.

We use restorative practice to resolve conflicts or friendship issues. Children are encouraged to talk with their peers about their feelings so that others can understand the consequences of actions. Often, older children lead discussions and support younger pupils. As a result, we believe that our pupils are kind, confident and caring young people who display excellent skills of empathy, understanding and compassion to their peers. 

Our Educational Quality Inspection in January 2022 by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) highlighted the quality of the pupils' personal development:  

  • Pupils have excellent self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Pupils' social development is excellent and they take pride in contributing responsibly to the everyday life of the school.

Pupils grow into assured individuals with high self-esteem and confidence devoid of egotism.

“Each member of our community knows that mental health is just as important as physical health, and they know how to access help should they need it from the wide range of pastoral resources available to them. We provide caring, specialist support at every crossroad and aim to equip each child with a well-being ‘toolkit’ so they can draw on skills of resilience, collaboration and self-belief wherever life may take them.” 

Jonathan Spowart, Deputy Head, Pastoral

Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development (SMSC)

During their time here and as they go about each day, whether in lessons, assemblies, activities or simply through interactions with others, pupils are supported in developing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness.  Students are encouraged to be reflective about their own beliefs and heritages while developing understanding and respect for the beliefs and cultures of others. They learn to consider ethical issues and what constitutes ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, growing a recognition of their own responsibilities in upholding values, behaviours and laws. Social skills are nurtured as pupils hone the ability to work cooperatively, resolve conflict and interact respectfully with others. 

Our provision for SMSC is a thread that runs through everything we do at Heath Mount, with the aim of helping our pupils develop into the person they aspire to be, thus taking forward with them into adulthood, the values and attitudes that will best serve society as well as enable them to live confident, healthy, independent lives.