Mindfulness at The Abbey Senior School

At The Abbey, student wellbeing is our priority. We want every student to reach their full potential and to mature into adult life as balanced, resilient and caring individuals.

Our holistic approach to learning ensures that we place equal importance on academic achievement, intellectual agility and emotional wellbeing, and that each child’s journey is an experience that is shared by the whole learning family – from students themselves, to teachers, parents, extended family and staff. Our highly commended self-regulating culture encourages each student to develop a sense of responsibility for her own wellbeing, and that of others. We are a school in which every voice can be heard – even the quietest.

When challenges arise, our proactive and compassionate pastoral care system is there for everyone. The team is led by the Head of the Senior School, supported by the Heads of Section for Lower and Upper School, who are specialists in issues relating to students’ development. The first point of contact for every student is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), and along with Form Tutors and Pastoral Prefects, our network ensures that students are known as individuals, and receive personal support when they need it, in a way that is right for their needs. Appropriate policies, including safeguarding, anti-bullying, positive behaviour and discipline are all in place and the school operates an ‘open door’ policy of access for parents to discuss any concerns. All staff are contactable directly by email and our extensive pastoral team means that there is always someone to talk to for students and parents.

The culture we promote throughout our school is one that is open, kind and honest, where we celebrate and respect our differences. These values are presented in assemblies usually led by our Chaplain, the senior staff, and also by the students themselves.

The school places the education and welfare of the whole person at the heart of its provision for each pupil, and the aim of ensuring that each girl is known as an individual is very well met. Pastoral care is exceptionally well managed throughout the school.”

ISI report

The Nurse

The medical room is well equipped and is open throughout the school day. Our two nurses provide first aid care and take responsibility for any prescribed medicines brought into school by pupils, keeping appropriate records. They also deliver Skills for Life lessons on health issues to students throughout the school and offer an important ‘listening ear’.

Raising self-esteem

There are many opportunities for social integration, raising self-esteem and self-awareness, all important aspects of students’ development. Hard work and special achievements (academic and extra-curricular) receive recognition, and we have an Academic Mentoring scheme in place to offer support for students who may need a little extra help.

Skills for Life Programme

The weekly programme of ‘Skills For Life’ is designed by the Heads of Year to encourage self-esteem and to help the students develop informed opinions on many social and moral issues. Our key concepts are personal identity, healthy lifestyle, risk and consequence, relationships, diversity, careers, capability, financial risk and economic understanding. Each year group has a varied and dynamic programme delivered by the Form Tutor or a visiting speaker, and the curriculum is constantly reviewed and updated to maintain its relevance.

Pastoral Prefects

Peer group education is important, and our Sixth Form Pastoral Prefects offer a friendly ear to younger students who want to share any worries with someone closer to their own age. We also have a ‘playground buddy’ programme at the Junior School.