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St Nicholas CE VA Primary School

Believe and Achieve

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Pastoral Support

At St Nicholas, all teaching staff support our pupils' well-being and are knowledgeable in using a range of strategies to help develop self-esteem and a sense of security. The school is very proud to have received the  silver standard award in Mental Health in Schools from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence (Leeds Beckett University). This reflects the importance we give to the well-being of all our pupils and our staff.


The school community  was delighted that our focus on well-being was recognised in the Ofsted report; “St Nicholas is a very happy school…..Parents praise the ‘balance’ between ‘the nurturing environment’ and ‘fostering a love of learning’. Pupils appreciate the safe and caring community that leaders create.”


Members of our teaching team have completed training in; counselling, leading mental health in a school and delivering Mindfulness practices to pupils. All staff place pupils’ well-being at the forefront of their work, recognising and responding to needs as they arise. We believe that young people can only achieve and progress if they feel settled and secure in the learning environment. This involves liaising with parents and maybe signposting them to external agencies or we can help them make a referral. 


All our pupils are taught strategies to help them be more resilient. Our school values of perseverance, kindness, hope and responsibility help pupils think about how to approach problems and how to support others. Teaching has a positive approach; " I can't do this yet but if I practise I will get better." We make it explicit to children that learning can feel hard and that making mistakes and then realising how to change them, is the most powerful way to learn.


Interventions we use range from regular Brain Gym routines to settle younger pupils after playtime, to structured Mindfulness sessions to create a calm and focused environment during SATs week for our Year 6 pupils. Where needed we provide targeted one to one sessions with our trained in-school counsellor or external support from qualified professionals. Our pupils say;

"We learn about listening to our breath to help us be calmer especially after playtime and computing when we have been in front of screens."


"When we have been doing mock SATs we learn how anchored feet help anchored minds."


"Mindfulness books help us get our own thoughts down....we learn to think about the present and not worry about the past or the future."


"The two minute strong silence teaches us how to concentrate."


No form of bullying is tolerated at the school and we have a very clear Anti-Bullying Policy.

Please view the policy on our policies page.

St Nicholas CE Primary School, Church Green
Harpenden, AL5 2TP