Pastoral Care Page Banner


Pupils' Emotional Well-being

Within our school community we acknowledge and appreciate the importance of pupils’ emotional well-being, especially for the current generation and during these unprecedented times.

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” (

We seek to equip our pupils with skills, coping mechanisms and the ability to manage their emotional and mental well-being in a positive manner, even when the challenges of life are all too apparent. During each academic year, pupils are encouraged, and given the opportunity, to discuss, reflect upon and consider their mental and emotional well-being.


Pastoral Support System

Pastoral diagnostic testing is a common feature within our school community. Pupils in Years 9 and Year 11 complete the ‘PASS’ survey which considers pupil feelings regarding key school issues such as attendance, work ethic, relationships with peers/teachers and general levels of happiness in school.

Such diagnostic testing enables the Leadership Team and Pupil Well-being Team to implement systems that are most needed, as stated by pupils. Pastoral diagnostic testing provides specific information relating to pupils and allows individual needs to be met, adopting a personalised approach.

Pupils who, according to the findings, are highlighted as expressing a ‘low satisfaction’ are placed on ‘Pupil Support’. Prefect Mentors (Junior School) or a trusted adult (Senior School) meet with identified pupils each Friday and discuss their personal feelings and emotions, as well as how the individual pupil is coping with the demands of school life.

Pupils placed on the ‘Pupil Support’ system are tracked throughout the academic year. Each term a teacher from the Pupil Well-being Team meets with the individual child to discuss their personal progress and emotional well-being. Such monitoring and evaluation provides quality assurance and ensures the effectiveness of the programme, as well as the well-being of the pupils identified.

The ‘Pupil Support’ system works collaboratively with parents/carers. Throughout the school year parents/carers are regularly informed of pupil progress as we work in partnership to ensure the best provision for the children in our school community.

Children will thrive,
not just survive

At Saintfield High School we firmly believe that every child has the right to learn, and every member of staff has the right to work in, an atmosphere free from fear and intimidation. We do not tolerate any form of bullying, and we are proactive about educating our children to always discuss anything that is worrying them. Our pupils know who to speak with and who to turn to if they ever have any concerns about school life.

Our pastoral lines of communication are illustrated in the diagram opposite:


School Counselling Support

A key element of the pastoral provision at Saintfield High School involves our counsellor, Mrs O’Higgins. Mrs O’Higgins is in school each Wednesday and is available to speak with any pupil. The School Counsellor plays a crucial role in promoting pupil well-being by providing a listening ear and wise counsel. This service provides an opportunity for pupils, across all year groups, to discuss and reflect upon their thoughts, feelings and emotions within a safe and respectful environment.