Pastoral Care | Highfield Prep School
At Highfield Prep School, the needs and development of our children is at the centre of our operation. From the time that our boarders wake up in the morning, or our day pupils arrive, their care and well-being is of utmost importance to our dedicated staff, who are committed to making them feel as safe and nurtured as possible.
During their years at Highfield Prep School, we are here to safeguard the children, to listen to them, to support them through the challenges of life, to cherish their individuality and educate others to do the same.
Our Form Tutors and Heads of Year are instrumental in helping pupils develop their sense of independence, resilience, self-awareness and self-esteem, their ability to reflect critically and constructively. These are skills that our entire curriculum develops.
Fully Trained Staff
We have two Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainers within the staff body, and all teachers, as well as numerous parents, attend our termly MHFA course. Over 300 parents have already attended and benefited from it. We also work closely with a Child Psychologist.
During their final year at Highfield Prep School, Year 8 children are trained to be supportive and empathetic Peer Listeners. All our pupils know there is always someone they can talk to if they need to, and that we will work with them to find the right adult or peer for them.
Beyond Highfield Prep School
Longer term, we consider carefully, in everything that we do, both in and out of the classroom, the world in which our children are growing up in: the future, which lies ahead of them in senior schools and beyond, the risks they face online, the pressures they will face in adolescence, as well as the natural world around them.
We focus on helping our children build an awareness of the world beyond Highfield Prep School, on developing grit and resilience, and most importantly a sense of self-awareness and self-appreciation, giving them a solid foundation for positive mental health.
All pupils undergo yearly, Cognitive Ability and Attainment tests. This means any potential difficulties can be identified, as early as possible, to enable appropriate support to be offered and best outcomes for all the pupils. Children are monitored, by our SENCO, who in close communication with academic and pastoral staff, will observe and suggest suitable intervention for pupils, who may not be achieving as expected.
We have experience of working with pupils with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD and ASD and as such, acknowledge that some children may need a little extra support. As a charged extra, we provide access to Specialist Trained Dyslexia Teachers, Occupational and Speech and Language Therapists. Alternatively, where there is greater need, a 1:1 session is tailor made for each pupil, by one of our Therapists or Specialist Teachers. We also provide touch typing sessions for pupils, who may benefit from word processing their work.
Support for Overseas Pupils
At Highfield Prep School, we know how important it is for our new overseas pupils to settle in as quickly as possible. Children that are away from home and new to boarding are very likely to feel homesick now and again. All of our boarders, whether international or not, were new at some point and we pair up new boarders with children who have been here longer to help them feel at home in those first few weeks. Our kind and friendly Boarding Houseparents are experienced in looking after overseas pupils and recognise the needs and challenges they may face. Staff and children help newcomers to get stuck in to all the activities that are on offer and to keep busy. Often children find that any homesickness soon passes and the weeks fly by too quickly! Importantly any child that may be feeling upset or worried know that there are many different people that they can turn to for support.