The pastoral curriculum at St Paul’s encompasses a programme of tutorials, assemblies and PSHE lessons. Developing students’ resilience lies at the core of our wellbeing provision. All students are taught about mental health and self-care, encouraging them to engage in conversations about these important topics. Specialist programmes enhance our pastoral provision; we work with the Mental Health Foundation to offer the Peer Education Programme to our students when they join us in MIV, while students in the V follow a 5-week cycle of lessons and discussions on positive mental health and wellbeing.
In recent years we have revised our PSHE programme to ensure that our students are building empathy, understanding their own bias and privileges and exploring their roles as global citizens. PSHE lessons offer a safe space to discuss issues such as racism, misappropriation and human rights across the world. This forum is essential to enable students to think through and develop their values and world view. A varied range of visiting speakers enables students to engage with a spectrum of issues and debates.
Our pastoral provision is forward-looking and innovative. We are keen to engage in national debates on pastoral care and mental health and have taken part in several studies, run by institutions such as the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families, UCL and the University of Manchester. We have also participated in a study run by King’s College London on mobile phone usage and mental health in 16/18-year-olds and are in discussion with other institutions to continue this involvement in research next year.