Queen’s College, Taunton, an independent boarding school renowned for its commitment to academic excellence, the arts and outstanding pastoral care, is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the esteemed Wellbeing Award for Schools this summer. This recognition reflects the whole school approach to fostering a culture of exceptional wellbeing and pastoral care for students, parents and staff alike, supporting the College’s Core values of ambition, creativity, care and activity.
Wellbeing is truly embedded at Queen’s and the Wellbeing Award for Schools developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau is testament to the College’s commitment to providing a nurturing and supportive environment for all stakeholders. This holistic approach recognises that wellbeing is the central pillar that underpins personal growth and effective relationships within school.
Head of College, Julian Noad, expressed his pride in gaining the prestigious award, “The process of achieving the Wellbeing Award for Schools has been rigorous but rewarding. It has provided Queen’s College with an opportunity to build upon existing provision and a clear structure for further development. Moreover, we have been able to take stock of all that we do in the interests of pupils, staff, and the wider community. In so doing, we have been able to make our provision even more coherent and ultimately better serving.” The Wellbeing Award for Schools acknowledges the critical role of schools in promoting mental health and wellbeing in young people. According to a 2022 survey by Student Minds, 57% respondents self-reported a mental health issue, highlighting the urgency for support in the education sector.
The wellbeing of students, parents, and staff alike is supported by a range of initiatives, including a dedicated team of qualified, on-site counsellors, an on-site medical team, an extensive safeguarding team working across the campus, staff training from the Samaritans amongst others, a number of qualified mental health first aiders and round-the-clock support for boarders from a dedicated team of houseparents. Even the College’s celebrity dog, Percy, provides emotional support.
The Wellbeing Centre, at the heart of the school site, is available to all students, parents, and staff. Counsellors, learning and emotional support staff, as well as the chaplaincy, are based there. Student wellbeing ambassadors, emotional support training for all staff, including a trauma informed approach, as well as regular, innovative and accessible wellbeing surveys help to ensure that wellbeing is threaded through all parts of the College.
Enhanced communication for parents through My School Portal, monthly wellbeing newsletters, information evenings with guest speakers and community events all combine to foster a strong bond between parents, students and the school community, with one parent expressing that “being at Queen’s is the first time my child has ever been happy at a school.”
Moving forward, Queen’s College remains dedicated to further reducing the stigma around mental health by expanding its peer mentoring and wellbeing ambassador programmes, whilst actively involving parents in the wellbeing journey.
The Wellbeing Award for Schools concluded that “Wellbeing is a core element of the school ethos and approach which demonstrates there is strong and growing commitment to ongoing development of strategy, policy and provision. The development of the Wellbeing Centre provides pastoral approaches, intervention and key staff who are able to support the wellbeing of students. It offers a hub for signposting on, as well as direct support with a dedicated pastoral team of counsellors, ELSA and support staff. This dedicated centre is seen as central to wellbeing at Queen’s and it has had a significant impact on reducing any stigma, encouraging students to seek support and to receive early interventions that support their wellbeing and in turn, their learning.”
Wellbeing Award for Schools Brochure