St Mary’s is the first in Essex to receive the Wellbeing Award for Schools

St Mary's Lower School for Girls | 30 Nov 2018 | ISC Icon IAPS Icon
St Mary’s is the first independent school in Essex to achieve the prestigious Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) from Optimus Education.
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Miss Jo Middleditch, Wellbeing and Resilience Co-ordinator (left) and Mrs Hilary Vipond, Principal (right) with St Mary’s Lower and Senior School girl

“We place great emphasis on Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health at St Mary’s, so I am delighted this has been formally recognised!” says Mrs Hilary Vipond, Principal.

St Mary’s received the Wellbeing Award after evidencing and showcasing everything that it does both in the curriculum, via Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education, as well as all of its other programmes, activities and initiatives. The Award verifier was particularly impressed with the comments he received from students, staff and parents, who all highlighted the School’s commitment to students’ wellbeing.

The School received a glowing report, which praised the many support mechanisms that are in place for both its Lower School pupils and Senior School students, from the Buddy system to the Friendship Bench, and the Listeners, as well as the team of pastoral staff who are always available for the girls when needed. Forest School received a special mention for developing the pupils’ strengths, team building skills, and the positive effects on how pupils learn to interact with each other.

“We place great importance on helping our girls to develop self-confidence and resilience,” says Mrs Hilary Vipond, Principal. “Girls are able to achieve so much more, academically, if they are happy. At St Mary’s, supporting their wellbeing goes hand-in-hand with helping them to reach their potential in the classroom – which is why it is so wonderful to have received recognition for our excellence in this area.”

“We can clearly see that our approach works,” concludes Mrs Vipond. “By offering a broad, balanced and emotionally supportive environment, our girls thrive – which is evidenced by our Lower School recently being ranked 9th best Prep School in the country by the Sunday Times.”

The Wellbeing Award has been developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau and focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision to promote the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both students and staff.