All of our son's teachers seem to be interested in his wellbeing and mental health, as well as supporting him with his studies. This is hugely appreciated, thank you.
Pupil wellbeing and pastoral care is incredibly important to us at Pangbourne. In an increasingly complex, fast-paced world we ensure that all individual pupils are supported during their time with us and develop positive strategies to take care of themselves throughout life’s inevitable ups and downs.
A plentiful supply of resources are available to parents on the parent portal.
Mark Skidmore is our Deputy Head Pastoral and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
He is supported in his role by Caroline Bond ([email protected]), our Assistant Head Pupil Mental Wellbeing, who leads on Pangbourne’s wellbeing provision and our dedication to mental health support. Her role includes supporting our wellbeing staff and ensuring good mental health practice is followed. She oversees the provision of counselling at the College, manages our Peer Mentoring Scheme and ensures wellbeing is incorporated into the curriculum effectively through our PSCHE programme.
Supported by Caroline are our dedicated, caring Housemistresses/masters, Assistant Housemistresses/masters, and matrons. These individuals form a full system of support for day pupils and boarders alike, and are first ports of call for pupils and parents with any wellbeing concerns. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of your child’s divisional staff.
Teen Tips Wellbeing Hub
An enhanced level of pastoral support is also offered by the Wellbeing Hub, an initiative developed by Teen Tips that we have invested in to offer expert adolescent mental health care.
Parents are supported by the Hub in understanding their child’s mind and it equips them with practical advice on how to help them develop confidence. Pupils have access to a range of Q&As, tips, positivity and support contacts to empower them to begin looking after themselves.
Pangbourne uses AS (Affective Social) Tracking to help maintain positive mental health for all pupils. This tool equips staff with in-school, targeted action plans to reduce mental health and wellbeing risks, and as a result improves mental health on both a whole school and individual scale. Teachers are provided with guidance and strategies to support each pupil in low-level ways within the school environment.
Twice a year AS Tracking is used to track data for the whole school, and at the age of 16 STEER provides each pupil with an app through which they can access their tracking data. This enables them a level of independence with setting themselves goals and helps their transition to being responsible for their wellbeing as they move into higher education or the workplace.
Pupils using AS Tracking reduce their mental health risks by 30% compared with those who do not.
Naturally, this approach of wellbeing support is complemented by specialist referrals as appropriate.
Research shows that young people would often rather speak to a fellow peer about a concern before going to a parent or teacher. Pangbourne’s Peer Mentoring Programme was set up as a student initiative to enable this additional level of support and encourage more peer support within the College. This isn’t a substitute for pastoral care offered by staff, but rather a supplement.
Pupils in the Lower Sixth apply to become a peer mentor, filling in an application form and explaining their reasons for wanting to get involved. Those who are selected are provided with training sessions multiple times throughout the week.
This extensive training covers areas such as:
- The role and responsibilities of a peer mentor
- Issues that students might come and discuss
- Safeguarding training
- Mental health awareness
- Questioning techniques
- Listening skills
- Conflict resolution
- The importance of passing information on to pastoral staff
- Case studies
At the end of the course, pupils are presented with a certificate by the Head during assembly. They are given a ‘Peer Mentor’ badge to wear with pride to make them easily identifiable to other students, and posters of the Peer Mentors are placed in all the divisions.
For more information on the wellbeing provision available at the College, download our Pupil Mental Health and Wellbeing booklet here.