Finalist - Happiest Boarding School
We are finalists in the Happiest Boarding School category of the Muddy Stilettos School Awards 2023! These national awards are judged by highly respected senior educators across the UK, with many schools jostling for their nomination.
At RHS, we are committed to providing every pupil with a positive experience of their schooldays. We believe that the best way to do that is to ensure that they are happy. At the heart of this is ensuring their mental health and wellbeing is supported in the best way possible, so that they can grow in confidence and develop the life skills they require to navigate their teenage years with positive outcomes.
The effects of the pandemic on children are still being tackled today in schools across the country. As a result of this, last year we embarked on an ambitious initiative to engage the whole school community in the further development of our wellbeing programme. A Wellbeing Change Team led by Zoë King, our Deputy Head (Pastoral), was created to identify and provide a comprehensive framework on which to hang our wellbeing support programme, to ensure that pupils' happiness and wellbeing continued to be a priority for RHS.
The efforts of the team have been nothing short of outstanding. Staff attended courses such as the importance of wellbeing and good mental health. We also appointed a Pupil Welfare Assistant, developed two new counselling rooms and a kitchen area and created a health & wellbeing room for drop-in sessions led by the nurses. We signed up as a Suffolk Wellbeing Pioneer School and appointed a second counsellor, who is now offering a counselling service at the Health Centre Monday through Friday. We have created wellbeing and wellness rooms in all the boarding and day houses, established a Pastoral Care Committee and opened a new café to promote wellbeing.
We have increased staff wellbeing activities such as encouraging swimming, craft workshops, BBQs and support groups. The feedback we have received from parents and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.
One parent noted that “The wellbeing principle at RHS is a golden thread in every aspect of school life, and that’s why my child is flourishing in all areas.” Another parent stated that “the school is open to listen without judgement and offer appropriate support. This reassures me as a parent that I can safely raise any mental health issues my child has and that he or she will be supported and not discriminated against.”
“As a staff member, I feel very well supported by colleagues, health centre staff, and trained individuals. The school embraces mental health and supports both pupils and staff alike.”
We are incredibly proud of the work that has gone into our wellbeing programme and we are thrilled to have been recognised as a finalist for the Muddy Stilettos award for Happiest Boarding School. We will continue to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff, and we are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where everyone can flourish.