Our Wellbeing programme underpins school life. As well as curricular Wellbeing lessons, assemblies are often used to promote Wellbeing topics such as living a healthy lifestyle, empathy, World Mental Health day, resilience and making good choices. Every Friday, within our celebration assembly, leaves are added to our kindness tree when boys nominate each other for acts of kindness. The kindness tree – built specially for us by the Upper School DT club - takes pride of place in the Junior School hall and is intergral to our ethos.
In Years 3, 4 and 5, boys have one 55 minute lesson dedicated to Wellbeing. In Year 6 they have two 25 minute sessions. The Wellbeing curriculum comprises three strands: Health and Wellbeing; Relationships and Emotional Wellbeing; and Living in the Wider World. Lessons are tailored to the needs of the year group or class but common themes are repeated throughout the Junior School, often relating to the Junior School values. Each year group marks Safer Internet Day and anti-bullying week annually through special lessons and activities, and with a special assembly.
In the Junior School, we recognise that circle time is pivotal to the creation of a nurturing classroom - the circle establishes equality and a sense of group responsibility based on honesty and trust. Circle time is used as a vehicle to: improve speaking and listening skills; extend powers of concentration; enhance relationships; to encourage respect and value each other’s differences; develop confidence and self-esteem; to support the boys as they learn to be kind, not only to each other, but also to themselves; to establish a sense of community and to have fun. Well-chosen resources are used to support circle time and these may include a talking object, games, puppets and parachutes.
Every year group also completes a community action project during the year, such as organising a collection for a local foodbank before the Harvest Festival or organising and hosting a party for local elderly people. We feel that it is vital that our boys begin to understand their place within the community and that they appreciate the positive impact that their actions and words can have on the wider world.
Boys are supervised closely in the playground or library during break times and encouraged to find activities they enjoy that they can share with others. There is a friendship bench for any boys who haven’t yet found someone to play with. New boys are allocated a buddy in an older year, usually Year 6, who looks after them in the playground specifically for the first week to ensure that they have settled in successfully.
Boys can talk to any adult in the Junior School if they would like to discuss a worry and there is a post box outside the Deputy Head’s office for boys to seek support if they are finding it difficult to begin the conversation. Due to the close relationship between boys and their form teachers, most concerns are dealt with quickly by them. The Deputy Head is always happy to meet with parents or boys to discuss any concerns. The school also has counsellors who can meet with boys individually or provide advice or support to parents or teachers should a particular issue arise.