Your first port of call if you have any concerns about your own wellbeing or that of another student is your form tutor. You should feel free to approach them with any concern, whether that be do with your academic studies or for issues to do with your health, relationships with other students, issues at home or any other matter.
Your Head of Year is also someone who could be approached to help and can refer you to our pastoral support team, the school counsellors, peer mentors or other outside agencies and professionals that can help.
The key thing is to tell any member of staff that you trust and then we can act to support you.
If the concern is of a less personal nature, but is something that you think that could be done in school to improve student wellbeing, please speak to a member of the Student Leadership Team who meet regularly with senior school staff to offer suggestions.
When considering the wellbeing of our young people, at Verulam we feel it is important to promote positive wellbeing at any given opportunity. Although this far from an exhaustive list, we do this through assemblies, our lifelong learning curriculum (PSHE), mentoring, events such as Feeling Good week, House events and Curriculum Enrichment Days. Form tutors are the key members of staff when it comes to promoting positive wellbeing and will always be on hand to support students to develop in to happy and healthy young adults.
Another key member of our Pastoral Team is Bobby, our School Welfare Dog. Research has shown that pupils and staff benefit enormously having pets in school – particularly dogs – as they support social and emotional needs and development.
Bobby is a Coton De Tulear and is owned by the school’s Receptionist Mrs Southward. He is supervised at all times by a member of staff and will never be alone with students. He was chosen as his breed is hypoallergenic, child friendly and easy to train. In fact, this breed is identified as one of the best for children. He plays a full and active role in the school, and is here to support students and staff alike.
At Verulam, our pastoral care system is designed to support students with a range of experiences that they may face. Sometimes, we may need to help students when they are suffering from poor wellbeing, whether that be emotionally, psychologically, physically or socially, and there are number of ways both within the school and by utilising services outside of school that we can do this. Please contact the school to have a conversation with a member of the pastoral team should you want to find out more.
Safeguarding our students
Verulam School is committed to the safety and protection of all our pupils. Our Deputy Head, Mr Flack, is our Lead Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) and our Assistant Head, Mr Emsley, is our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person (Deputy DSP). The School also has 5 Assistant DSPs.
If you are have any concerns about a student, you can talk to any of our DSPs.
Our DSPs can be contacted by calling the school on 01727 766100 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes it is appropriate for the pastoral team to foster a relationship between students so that they can support one another. More often than not this is a student from an older year group supporting those lower down the school, but these mentoring partnerships are set up very much on a needs basis. The needs on the student needing support are usually ‘low level’ and we feel that they benefit from hearing from another individual closer to their age that may have experienced similar issues.
If the needs of a child are slightly more significant and require an adult to support them, the pastoral team will work to develop a mentoring partnership between a student and their chosen adult in the school. This mentoring will normally take place once a week but can be on a needs basis, and staff mentoring is usually appropriate for students whose academic studies or social wellbeing are beginning to affect their happiness or wellbeing.
Support for Young Carers
We are aware of the impact that being a young carer can have on our students and as such, have developed a programme for them to be supported. The structure of which is direct access to support from the pastoral team or a school counsellor and numerous fun activities throughout the year whereby they can feel supported by staff members and each other.
Happy as I am
It is an open group of students from Key Stages 4 and 5 that meet once a week to discuss any issues to do with equality that they wish. Supported by a school counsellor, they discuss many topics to do with gender, sexuality, race, disability, age to name but a few. Often students who are suffering from poor social wellbeing find this group of great support.
At Verulam, we utilise the service of 2 external counsellors that hold weekly specialist counselling sessions with students. This is a confidential, targeted therapy service that students can access to support them often with significantly poor emotional or psychological wellbeing.
The following is a list of external agencies that the school works with to support the wellbeing of our young people. These are agencies that support with a wide range of needs. There are also others that we can utilise that are more specific in terms of needs. Please feel free to contact a member of the pastoral team at school to discuss any of these further.
YC Hertfordshire is a service which provides youth work projects and programmes, information, advice, guidance, work related learning, outdoor education and support for young people. Our Personal Advisor in school and she can be accessed via student services.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
An external agency that supports students with a broad spectrum of wellbeing needs. It can be accessed by seeking a referral from a GP, or in some cases a referral from a member of the pastoral team at school. In order to support students completely, it is essential that school is aware of any referral that has been made to CAMHS so that we can work together to support the young person.
Teen Mental Health – A Guide for Parents: https://www.mytutor.co.uk/
Education Support Teams for Medical Absences
Occasionally, a young person’s wellbeing can be poor enough for them to be unable to attend school. The ESTMA team support young people who are unable to attend school temporarily because of medical reasons, whether that be emotional, psychological or physical. The teams work closely with the school to minimise the disruption to the child’s education and to support their re-integration as soon as possible. As well as schools the team works with parents, the young people and other professionals to ensure children and young people’s education continues as normally as possible.