Caring for our pupils is at the heart of everything we do at St John’s. The structure of the School, centred as it is around a house system staffed by Housemasters and Housemistresses, matrons and tutors, creates a robust network of staff dedicated to looking after every child here. But pastoral care does not rest only with certain members of staff, the whole community knows it is fundamental to every aspect of school life.
Our wellbeing programme prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life, and our holistic approach embeds chances to enhance wellbeing within a broader educational programme. To that end we also run a variety of evening sessions for parents, helping to encourage open lines of communication between pupil, parent and school and offering insights into issues which matter to young people today.
The programme has three core themes: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. As pupils progress through their school years, they hear from a range of external speakers on topics such as cyber safety, self-esteem, substance abuse, careers, sexual relations and stress management. By creating opportunities for pupils to ask questions and discuss important topics, we help them explore difficult themes in a safe and supportive environment.
Our approach to wellbeing is designed to equip St John’s pupils with the knowledge, insights and confidence to cope with the challenges and changes of their teenage years and allow them to reflect on these topics in the supportive environment of the School community.
We integrate themes related to wellbeing into broader aspects of school life, so that staff are actively thinking about and discussing topics which are relevant and important to pupils as they progress thorough the School. From the Lower Third exploring themes of friendship, peer pressure and personal responsibility, to working with Upper Fifth pupils on developing a resilient mindset and explaining the importance of physical health through a good diet, exercise and sleep for the Sixth Form, we aim to address the issues which matter to our pupils. We introduce mindfulness from Lower Third and encourage pupils to be reflective so that they can identify patterns of behaviour and understand their emotions in a thoughtful and self-aware manner.
It is common sense that pupils will be happier and able to achieve their full potential when they are healthy in body and mind. We take a holistic view towards the health and wellbeing of our pupils which encompasses all relevant areas of school life.
There are many benefits to having a therapy dog in a school setting, the main one being the wellbeing of the school community. We have introduced trained and certified therapy dogs to the St John’s family, with the main aim of providing support and comfort to our pupils and staff. They have been trained to be patient, disciplined and good-natured to provide companionship and support.
According to a 2019 National Institute of Health study, and other recent studies the presence of a dog in a school setting can help promote a positive mood, reduce anxiety, improve learning and enhance motivation.
Food & Nutrition
We place high priority on providing varied, healthy and interesting menus for pupils and staff. Our catering is managed in-house which gives us control over the quality and range of products. The menu cycle offers a wide range of choice, all dietary requirements are catered for, and the menus take into account requests that come from the Pupils’ Food Committee. The committee is well represented across year groups and meets once a term to make suggestions that enable the catering team to keep up to date with the changing palate of pupils.
We are one of only a few schools in England to source their meat from a local community business that controls the entire farm-to-fork process. By using locally sourced meat, we are committed to an ethical approach, which provides important benefits to the health and wellbeing of our community and has a positive impact on the environment and local area.
Our local supplier, Downland Farm, provide total transparency of the farm-to-fork process and ensure high welfare standards for their organic, free-range, grass-fed animals which are given the natural habitat and diet to live well. Our bespoke meat products are leaner, lower in salt and use whole cuts that go through the onsite mincer, as opposed to mechanically removed mixed meats.
Our Head Chef, Billy, and Sous Chef, Mark, competed in the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef Team of the Year competition on Tuesday 21 March 2023. Their stunning, locally sourced dishes impressed top industry judges and saw them win the coveted Gold Award! Click here to find out more.
St John’s Health Centre provides medical care for pupils when required, assists with health promotion and training in school, is aware of any specific health needs of individual pupils, and provides emergency care when necessary. It is staffed by Registered Nurses during term time (8.00am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday) while, in the evening and overnight, house staff are on call for any issues a pupil might have.
Pupils are able to arrange appointments directly with the School Counsellor via phone or email and counselling is provided by a trained, experienced counsellor on a confidential basis. Physiotherapists, working in partnership with the School, run clinics twice a week.
Further details on all medical services can be found in the Medical and First Aid Policy on the policy page of this website.
It is the responsibility of every member of staff to ensure that all suspected cases of child abuse – (neglect, physical injury, sexual or emotional abuse) – are recognised and dealt with as quickly as possible. Ms Hilt is the School’s Designated Safeguarding Lead to whom all suspected cases should be reported. The Head will be notified if necessary. Every referral is treated with the strictest confidence.
A member of the Governing Body is designated to take a special interest in this area. The School follows the guidelines of sections 27 and 47 of the Children Act 1989 which states that every school has a duty to assist local authorities and Social Services in matters of Child Protection. Copies of the Child Protection (Safeguarding and Protecting Children) and Anti-Bullying policies can be viewed on our policies page.
The Chaplain is a vital part of St John’s, looking after the day to day life of the Chapel, leading worship, praying the daily office, meeting with pupils, parents and staff, and organising the many special events that take place in the Chapel on an annual basis.
The Chaplain is integral to the pastoral care team at St John’s; he is trained in this area and works in collaboration with the Health Centre, School Counsellor and other senior members of staff. Pupils are encouraged to meet the Chaplain to discuss any issue that might be causing worry or pain, and conversations are held in confidence.
Confirmation is offered each year to all pupils and staff at St John’s, usually during the Spring Term. In the preceding weeks, those considering confirmation meet together to discuss and explore issues around their faith.
Parents meet regularly to pray for the School, offering each other support and encouragement in a friendly environment.