Student Support and Wellbeing
We are a school that prides itself in the way we provide support and care to our students. A clear and thorough structure in providing student support as well as overseeing the wellbeing of our students is at the core of all that we do at Sidcot. We forge nurturing and trusting relationships with our students, and provide plenty of places around the school for students to go to when in need of a safe space. At Sidcot every member of staff is ready to listen, empathise, advise, advocate, coach and mentor our young people. Our hands-on approach to monitoring students’ emotional development and wellbeing, and because we get to know our students so well, means we are able to quickly put preventative interventions in place when needed.
Standards of behaviour and boundaries are made clear and reinforced daily, opting for cooperation with our students and appealing to students’ emotional intelligence as a first point of call. In line with our Quaker values, we emphasise the importance of community and the value of equal and honest friendships between students. When students need support and guidance around social dynamics and friendships, they are encouraged to communicate their concerns with the help of a mediator. Putting honest communication, empathy and restorative justice at the heart of how we support students. We are confident that this will equip our young people with vital skills they will need for their futures. We also educate our students in practices of positive self-care, such as mindfulness, as a way of helping them to deal with the inevitable stresses that come with growing and developing.
The Wellbeing Hub
Rose Cottage is the school's Wellbeing Hub designed to offer students a reflective, calming space where they can go during lunchtimes and breaktimes to connect with friends, play board games, participate in seasonal craft sessions, or enjoy a hot chocolate in a safe and welcoming space.
Some student clubs have booked our popular snug space for their weekly meetings. If a student is feeling lonely, left out or just having a bad day, they can come to Rose Cottage to find a buddy at breaktime or a member of staff to lend a listening ear.
In addition to the more relaxed drop in sessions any pupil can request a 1:1 session to discuss any worries they have and if they have more complex needs students can be offered further tailored counselling sessions to support them. Counselling is offered on a six week basis with a review and can be further supported by “step up, step down” sessions with the pastoral team if required.
Rose Cottage is headed up by our Wellbeing Lead, who is supported in their work by two part-time counsellors, a Pastoral Support and Attendance Lead, Take Ten Mentors and our wider Health Centre team.
The team also offers invaluable crisis support for any students feeling overwhelmed or anxious for any reason during the school day as well as supporting students on a phased return to school and our current pupils with PSHE sessions and resilience workshops.
The Tutor System
On joining the school, every student is assigned to a small tutor group of around twelve other tutees. Our tutors meet with their tutor groups twice a day, and as such will develop a strong bond with their students. The Tutors’ role is a key part of the school's pastoral care structure and is overseen by the Heads of Year and Assistant Head (Pastoral). Tutors deliver thorough, up to date and applicable PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) sessions every week. On a regular basis we invite specialist speakers to the school to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in certain areas. Tutors are not only central to maintaining an overview of each student’s social and emotional development and their general sense of wellbeing, but they are also heavily involved in monitoring the academic progress made by students and provide parents with a first point of contact.
The Health Centre
For medical matters, the school has its own Health Centre staffed by a team of highly experienced nurses. The local GPs (Doctors) hold surgeries at the school twice a week and students can choose to see a male or female doctor. In a recent boarding inspection our health centre was described as ‘outstanding’.
As well as caring for sick or injured students, the school nurses offer:
- Health screening
- Travel advice
- Immunisation / vaccination programmes
- Individual and group work with students covering a variety of health issues, including healthy eating, exercise, alcohol, drugs, smoking, puberty, sexual health and help with any concerns students might have
- Advice and support for parents and staff
- Private orthodontic treatment also available (fees apply)
The school nurses are well equipped to support most medical conditions.