“Some of my best friends are in different year groups. It’s normal to just hang around with people you really like, rather than just people who are in your class.”
Max, Year 7
At St Mark’s the personal development and well being of students is paramount and our Christian values are central to our educational purpose. We will continue to ensure that our students are safe and happy in school, that their achievements are celebrated, they take part in the community and are supported fully in their preparations for life after St Mark’s.
Our pastoral care is based on our School Values and draws on the many facets of our school that underpins these Values. It consists of many components that work together to ensure that students are well cared for and achieve their best. Our Pastoral system is a co-ordination of many specialist and highly trained members of staff who all have their students’ happiness and welfare at heart.
Students are assigned to a House and Tutor group, which are overseen by the Head of Key Stages. This team is responsible for the academic progress, personal development and well being of every student in their care, throughout their journey at St Mark’s.
Each student, upon starting at St Mark’s School is assigned to a mixed-age tutor group. This supports our ‘family ethos’ and ensures that all students are mutually supportive and that slightly older students are able to positively mentor their younger peers. This system has been much valued by our students, particularly those joining in Year 7 who enjoy the security and support that such an environment provides.
We also have an experienced Student Support Service, made up of teaching and support staff. The team provides learning and behaviour support and a full programme of activities designed to support those students who experience difficulty in their learning or with their behaviour.
Mental health and wellbeing: information for parents and carers of secondary school aged children and young adults
St Mark’s School take the emotional health and wellbeing of every child seriously. We believe that the school can help pupils build resilience and support them to be mentally healthy. Our mental health and wellbeing policy sets out how we do this. Link to Policy
We all have ups and downs in life but in childhood it can be particularly hard to cope with sad feelings and worries that arise when things are hard or scary. There may be times when your child is unhappy or struggling emotionally. You may notice that they seem low or worried or that their behaviour changes. We may notice that they seem withdrawn or upset at school.
If you are worried about your child’s mental health then you are not alone. Many parents and carers have similar worries and stresses . There is good support available from local and national organisations. The sooner you seek help the better for your child and you.
The leaflet: Mental health problems in children and young people: guidance for parents and carers provides some useful tips for helping your child plus links to local and national services.
Local services for children & young people
- The School
Please talk to us about your concerns, so that we can work together to help your child feel better. If you are worried, please speak to your tutor in the first instance. You can also always speak to one of our mentor team in the Hub office and the Sanctuary, at any time. We will always find time to talk to you and may be able to point you in the direction of some other support if you need it.
- Your GP
A GP can check any physical symptoms linked to your child’s health and talk with you about their emotional well-being making a referral to a specialist service if necessary
Parents/carers can contact the Bath and North East Somerset School Nurse Service for advice and support on a range of health issues.
A free NHS service that assesses and treats 0 -18-year olds with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
Children and young people aged 11 and over are also able to access support themselves from B&NES Kooth. This provides links to advice as well as online counselling.
- Off the Record Counselling service for young people.
Websites that offer information and advice
The following organisations provide reliable information and advice to help parent/carers to support their child when experiencing emotional difficulties:-
Young Minds: – Help for Parents Information about all aspects of child mental health, including a Parent Helpline 0800 802 5544.
Childline Lots of information and tips for children of all ages about feelings and difficult situations.
Minded for Families Free learning resource about mental health for parents and carers.
Happy Maps Lots of information about health topics including mental health, organised under different age groups including secondary age and young adults.
Looking after your own mental health
In order to support your child, you need to stay strong and well yourself. It isn’t easy being a parent or carer especially when you are experiencing problems of your own such as relationship difficulties, money worries, problems with work. Often it helps to talk to someone, so don’t be scared about doing this, with friends, family, your GP or a support service. The following organisations can also offer information and advice to help you.
Directory and database of groups, activities and courses in the community that can support adult wellbeing.
Accessed through G.P or self-referral.
Available to anyone registered with a GP in B&NES. This service provides support in finding specialist services and community groups to help individuals experiencing mental health and wellbeing issues to take control of their situation.
Tel: 01225 316199
Samaritans. Tel: free 116 123
NHS Choices: moodzone. Helps manage stress, anxiety, depression. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing
Agencies and services to support parents and carers in vulnerable situations
Links to a range of services supporting physical, social and emotional needs across the area.
1 Big Database links to a wide range of useful information for families including Ofsted registered childcare, parenting support, groups, clubs and events.
Signposts to organisations, services, support, activities and groups for children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs.
Independent charity that provides free, impartial advice and information on a range of issues including housing, employment and debt.
The information on this page has been provided by B&NES Council Public Health Team