The London school talks through a commitment to wellbeing
When considering a school for your child, there are a lot of key questions to ask. Is the school academic? Does it have a strong sports department? Will it foster my child’s creativity within the art and music curriculum? And, most importantly, will my child be happy there? Chepstow House School answers yes to all of these questions. The wellbeing of all children is paramount to our school. Our ethos states, ‘In a happy and purposeful family environment, where every member of the school community is important and all are valued as individuals, Chepstow House aims to discover the best in every child and challenge them to go beyond their expectations’.
So, what does Wellbeing at Chepstow House School look like?
Picture a scene of children happily skipping into school. Children smiling as they enter their classroom each morning. Teachers returning this smile as pupils walk into class. Children proudly receiving acknowledgement of their efforts in assemblies. Children giving back to the local community. Children proud to be part of something bigger. Simply put, happy children.
Wellbeing is something that is embedded in every school day at Chepstow House.
Wellbeing is understanding feelings. At Chepstow House School, children are taught to recognise and understand emotions. Not just their own emotions; however, the emotions of the pupils and teachers they interact with. Every classroom operates a ‘zones of regulation’ system. Children are encouraged to think about the zone that they find themselves in, articulate this if they wish to, and understand that moving between zones each day is part and parcel of everyday life. Children realise that there are many emotions occurring within the classroom, and not all of these are visible. Teachers create a safe, respectful environment where different feelings can be shared, and where pupils can help support each other to ensure every child is in the best mental space and ready to learn.
Wellbeing is feeling part of a family. Our ‘House’ system, four houses named after local roads, allows children to be part of a larger team. A team who come together at our regular Friendship Fun Days, swimming galas and Sports Day. Hard work, sporting achievements, good behaviour and kind deeds allow children to earn merits each day. As well as merit stamps in homework diaries (25 stamps will get you a merit badge), children receive coloured tokens to post in the school ‘house’ boxes – a system not dissimilar to posting green counters into chosen boxes at Waitrose. In our case, the red, green, blue and yellow counters can add up to a fun day out of school at the ‘Winning House Event’. In addition to the house system, all classes are part of a buddy system. Early year classes, Key Stage 1 classes and Key Stage 2 classes are linked together via buddy ‘trios’. These ‘trios’ come together throughout the year for collaborative activities. Younger children can envisage what it is like to be an older pupil. Older pupils can learn how to be a role model to the younger children in our school. Both the House and Buddy systems allow children to pass each other in the corridor and greet pupils of different ages and stages with a welcoming smile and a ‘hello, how are you?’
Wellbeing is understanding your role in the wider community. When establishing our school in 2010, Chepstow House believed it was important to involve the pupils in our school charities and community involvement. The organisations we support are meaningful to our children. Representatives are regularly invited to speak with our pupils. Children understand the immediate needs in the local community and are active with the support the school offers. It is the Chepstow pupils who ensure Harvest donations are delivered straight to the shed of our local Salvation Army. It is the Chepstow pupils who load the van each December with Christmas shoeboxes filled with gifts for other children in our local area. It is the Chepstow pupils who stand outside the school each November selling poppies for the Royal legion. Our pupils understand the difference they are making within the wider community, and this is something they are especially proud of. As part of our tenth birthday celebrations in 2020, pupils were asked to complete 10 good deeds in order to receive their CH10 birthday badge. Litter picking in the local park, donating toys to charity shops, writing thoughtful messages to family members are just a few activities that were recorded in their own personal birthday booklet. How better to celebrate a big birthday than to give back to the community we live in?
Wellbeing is taking time to acknowledge your strengths, and also the strengths of others. As part of our 2021 ‘Year of Living Magically’, the children at Chepstow had a monthly focus linked with wellbeing. Alongside pupil participation, we invited some inspirational speakers to engage the children. What better way to learn about perseverance, determination and personal obstacles, than to invite real life explorers into our school?
At Chepstow House School we are proud of our commitment to the wellbeing of every child. If you would like to experience Chepstow and take a tour, please contact our school administrator, Rose O’Grady on:
0207 243 0243 or [email protected]