After a multi-year effort to prioritise wellbeing across the whole school, Haileybury has been awarded certification by Optimus Education for achieving a high national standard for pupil and staff positive mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Below, Dr Laura Pugsley, Deputy Head (Safeguarding & Wellbeing) shares more on the process of achieving this distinction and what it means for our community.
I am delighted that Haileybury has successfully gained the Wellbeing Award for Schools. The award recognises the work that we have done, so far, to support emotional wellbeing and mental health in our school community, and provides a great basis for our plans for further development. It has been a long and demanding process, but one which has allowed us to reflect carefully on all aspects of our pastoral care and to think creatively and strategically about what comes next.
It was February 2020 when we first signed up for the Wellbeing Award for Schools as we saw then a need to prioritise pupil mental health and wellbeing at Haileybury. The ensuing pandemic, lockdowns and online schooling only reinforced our belief that pupil wellbeing must sit at the heart of a school like ours, providing the foundation for academic success and co-curricular enjoyment. The award required us to look at the School’s vision and structures, to consider how we support the whole community in promoting positive mental health, and to ensure that we have a clear plan to continue doing so over the coming years.
The past two years have witnessed some significant changes in our wellbeing provision at Haileybury, driven in no small part by our involvement in the award. We have expanded our counselling service, opened our Wellbeing Centre, introduced the TeenTips Wellbeing Hub providing resources and support for pupils, parents and staff, and, from September, Wellbeing will be introduced as a core element of every pupils’ curriculum.
“The conversations with members of the senior leadership team, parents, staff, pupils and governors demonstrated how the award framework has been used to strengthen and enhance the work of the school and how the school plans to further develop the approach in the future”. – Judith Nelson, Optimus Education Report Verifier
Whilst there is always great satisfaction in achieving an award, we are conscious that this is just the beginning of the process. There is still much work to be done to ensure that all pupils at Haileybury have the skills and knowledge to flourish physically, spiritually and emotionally; we want that all staff members and parents understand the importance of their role in supporting the pupils; and we are committed to supporting staff wellbeing. Thank you to all members of the community who have contributed to this success, which ultimately will be to the pupils’ benefit.
– Dr Laura Pugsley, Deputy Head (Safeguarding & Wellbeing)
For more information on our commitment to wellbeing, please visit our website.