Mental health is increasingly becoming more important in today’s schools as they form part of students’ overall well-being. When individual students know what they are capable of, and have sufficient support to guide them during this process, they can cope better with stress, be more productive, and make a more positive contribution to the community.
There are several ways how UK schools can play an active role in ensuring students’ mental health are well taken care of. For starters, making a safe living environment is one of the easiest yet hardest things – because of so many international cultures living in one space, there is bound to be friction and misunderstanding; however, with careful guidance from house parents and other boarding staff, the boarders can learn to live with each other and contribute to safer and more respectful living.
These four schools in the UK have made it a point to champion students’ wellbeing and mental health while maintaining academic excellence – read on to learn more how they ensure this.
St Lawrence College
Founded on Christian values, St Lawrence College has been providing a happy and friendly atmosphere for boys and girls aged three to eighteen since 1879. With a beautiful seaside location on the Kent coast – just 75 minutes by train from London — this medium-sized private school is a safe and spacious campus for 625 pupils from over 23 countries and across the UK.
Over 180 students call its warm, family-based boarding houses home. Here, boarding starts from seven years of age. Facilities are exceptional; all rooms are en-suite.
At this multicultural community, it’s not long before new St Lawrence College students foster empathy and understanding. The sense of community and teamwork that comes from their broad ranging extracurricular programme are essential to developing global citizens who are outward facing, confident and emotionally intelligent.
Fantastic sporting facilities are led by outstanding coaches – a mix of former Olympians and international players. Pair this with a state-of-the-art Science, Art & Design Technology Centre and high-performance learning, and students here have all the need to excel and reach their full potential.
“The school is successful in providing opportunities for pupils of all abilities to gain academic success and develop their individual talents,” says the ISI Inspection Report. For more information about the school that won the coveted accolade of World-Class High-Performance Learning School, enquire here.
Queen’s College Taunton
Located in Southwest England, Queen’s College Taunton still remains forward-thinking despite its long history since 1843. Health, wellbeing and academic development – in the form of 24/7 pastoral care and pupil support services – take top importance here, reflecting their motto “We educate not for school, but for life”
Queen’s boarding houses provide a comfortable environment for international pupils which makes up a quarter of the total student body. Each boarder is assigned to a day house, where they can mingle easily with day students during homework and activities under the supervised guidance of houseparents and assistants.
School counsellors at the Wellbeing Centre, medical care and full-time chaplaincy services are available for anyone who needs support. At the same time, all pupils have a Year Leader who works with tutors, academic staff and boarding staff to update on their wellbeing and academic progress.
At Queen’s, students – whether they are adventure/sports-inclined or not – can enjoy a wide variety of activities such as Outdoor Education (with the Duke of Edinburgh award), Music, Sports, Performing Arts, Creative Arts, Model United Nations, Clubs and Societies. Through these activities, they learn critical life skills such as teamwork, leadership, independence, confidence and resilience.
Throughout the 80 years since its establishment, Gordonstoun School’s broad syllabus – inspired by the founder’s motto “There is more in you” – has been instrumental in developing 500 students’ character in various ways such as teamwork, compassion, resilience and responsibility.
Owing to its famous reputation of being the pioneer of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award and the Outward Bound Movement, Gordonstoun is a founding member of the Round Square which believes in teaching students about social responsibility on top of academic excellence. Gordonstoun takes student wellbeing seriously – all students are assured of excellent pastoral care; they can meet a tutor for academic support.
At the same time, the stunning 200-acre campus nestled within the Scottish highlands and the Moray Firth beaches makes for an excellent base to offer both indoor and outdoor learning opportunities. From these out-of-class activities, all Gordonstoun students become responsible and confident individuals.
Boarding life at Gordonstoun is equally rich: with day and boarding options – full, flexi and weekly boarding – boarders can expect to join lively activities on weekday evenings and weekends. Gordonstoun House and seven other Houses provide access to outstanding facilities such as the Sports Centre, performing arts studio theatre, and dance studios.
Brooke House College
Market Harborough – or the heart of England – makes for an excellent backdrop for Brooke House College where students learn to be caring, diverse and empowered with passion and purpose. This independent boarding and day school provides a supportive and stimulative environment where both boys and girls can thrive and feel valued.
Every pupil has unlimited potential which Brooke House unlocks through a bespoke teaching and learning experience. Blended teaching models and coaching approach towards peak performance help in developing values and practices that transform the pupils into creative, socially aware and globally aware learners.
Their small class size allows for greater interaction between Brooke House’s students and teaching staff, and contributes to a genial atmosphere of high-performance learning. The close-knit community further ensures all the pupils remain curious, collaborative, compassionate and motivated to work towards achieving their dreams.
Finally, the deep passion for co-curricular enrichment activities – sports, arts and community engagement – means the students can easily enjoy downtime at Brooke House College. In particular , the Football Academy – established in 2008 – has seen 21 football players rise to a successful professional careers after graduating from Brooke House College.
*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International