Read on to find out more about Hurst.
At Hurst College, pupil wellbeing is at the heart of what we do. The pre-emptive approach aims to support all pupils throughout their time at Hurst. Positive mental well being is evident throughout assemblies and at every level with the whole school objective ‘to develop a mutually supportive culture’. Pupil wellbeing is an assessed element of the staff performance review system and pervades every aspect of our approach. So much so that our recent ISI report stated “Throughout the school there is a tangible and marked positivity among pupils”.
Embedded timetabled wellbeing sessions ensure all pupils will spend time on the school farm, in the forest, taking part in yoga, mindfulness and reflecting on what positive well being means to them. Daily sessions with housemasters/mistresses, tri-weekly tutorial sessions and head of year check-ins, ensure pupils can share concerns.
There is an array of expert support beyond house staff – on-site counsellors, medical, Chapel, a dedicated Director of Wellbeing and a pastoral intervention practitioner all provide specialist support, alongside the robust pupil guardian mentor scheme. Pupils feel supported and “cite many people to whom they could turn to for support” (ISI).
Transition to Hurst is a key time and we host a unique two-day event where prospective pupils join us several months in advance of their entry to ensure a smooth transition pastorally and academically to support their wellbeing. This helps develop key relationships with pupils and their schools, who also join us for events throughout the year. This is the beginning of a transition/ induction programme that lasts throughout the first year.
Staff are trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid by our Director of Safeguarding, and are also provided with specific and dedicated CPD on supporting individuals. Staff Wellbeing is also a significant priority and Hurst is seen as a leader in this field with our Staff Wellbeing lead regularly writing and presenting for the TES and Optimus Education. Hurst was also the first school nationally to offer all staff the Mind Clinic – a supportive listening service – alongside an array of other staff wellbeing resources and support. This forward-looking culture encourages staff to be excellent role models.
Parents are also key to our wellbeing story. They are invited in for presentations, forums and webinars to help them support their children/our pupils. We believe this holistic approach is key.
Hurst is seen as a wellbeing leader in the local area, emphasised by hosting conferences and forums for other schools with a focus on Wellbeing, Transition and Safeguarding. We also invite key staff from feeder schools to see how we teach subjects, share ideas/best practice, and work closely with those staff to best support every pupil. It is through this and all of the above that we ensure our pupils remain “happy, healthy and active” (ISI).