As a small school with a tight community, the onus for looking after the wellbeing of the children is on all staff not just their form teacher. Staff are quick to smile and chat and follow up any issues no matter how small.
Our Pastoral Head, Mrs Vanessa Sharp, oversees this important area of school life, hosting a meeting every week where all concerns from any pupil are raised so that all staff are fully aware of any wellbeing issues and she also meets with the children in small groups or individually at least once every half term or, if and when, the pupil needs her.
Misunderstandings inevitably occur between children and PHSE lessons allow teachers flexibility to discuss issues that might arise.
Physical health as well as mental wellbeing is certainly a high priority at St Joseph’s In The Park. The school is set in beautiful countryside and the children benefit from the parkland setting and Forest School. The teachers make the most of teaching outdoors wherever possible and incorporate mindfulness sessions in lessons when appropriate. In the summer the classes all make use of the outdoor swimming pool and get out in the fresh air whenever they can. The Headmaster places great emphasis on the importance of sports and physical fitness so all children take part in football, hockey, cricket, crossfit, swimming and the girls enjoy netball and dance. The whole school enjoys the occasional Wake Up and Shake Up morning fitness sessions or a run around the field.
Kerry Harris, Therapeutic Counsellor, MBACP
My name is Kerry and I am a fully qualified person centred counsellor. I live in Welwyn with my family and our tortoise, Harriet. I have two boys and we are fortunate to live next to a woodland nature reserve where we enjoy walks together. My friends would describe me as kind, gentle and funny and I am a huge fan of Mary Poppins! Flying a kite is one of my favourite things!
After having my children, I found my passion working in schools with children with special educational needs and visual impairment. I have worked in a school setting for a number of years, working with children with both common and complex mental health issues and have also mentored children to promote and build positive mental attitude.
I like to encourage children to be curious about the world we live in and promote being the best version of themselves while they are constantly changing and growing.
I would like to offer a safe therapeutic space for children to talk openly, so that they feel enabled to explore their feelings. The space is also a reflective opportunity for children to ponder their own way of being and any emotional hurdles they are trying to navigate whilst on their learning journey.
She can be contacted via Rachael Gaffney, the Headmaster’s PA on 01992 513810 or [email protected]
Helping Pupils to Stay Positive in the Pandemic
The Benefits of Outdoor Learning
For Useful Links Regarding Wellness
New Horizon have created Guided Meditations and Sleep Stories for both Adults and Kids which are being used by Parents, Teachers and Therapists worldwide. They would love you to join them on the journey.
Check out their YouTube page