Developing Brave and Resilient Girls – Journey Towards Independence
We recognise that boarding is a unique opportunity to observe and understand the needs of young girls as they transition through school, and support them through this. We have designed a Wellbeing Programme that specifically focuses on the needs of boarders as they embark on a journey of growing independence.
In this programme, we have identified four major strands that underpin the foundations of a thriving, happy, healthy, self-aware, empathetic individual with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to think critically. Each strand grows from year to year and there is a natural transition to more relevant skills as the girls mature. We have also ensured that the skills learnt not only apply to life beyond boarding but are delivered in a way that acknowledges the real-life challenges specific to a boarder. Those strands include:
- Community: How to belong to community and be a contributing member
- Relationships: Navigating friendships and relationships both new and old
- Health and wellbeing: Strategies to manage and support sound physical and mental health
- Identity: The discovery of who you are and the sharing of culture.
The Year Co-ordinators manage this Wellbeing Programme which includes weekly meetings with the Year Co-ordinator, planned and impromptu activities, guest speakers and workshops. Part of belonging to a community is also sharing a set of routines and rituals that progress as you get older. This includes a rewards programme, birthday celebrations, the collaborative and student-led establishment of a code of conduct and year group values, weekly year group meetings and individual check-ins with each student.
Student voice is at the centre of our decision making
We value all of our boarders’ thoughts and feelings and support them in developing their leadership skills throughout their boarding journey. Students have the opportunity to be year group leaders and recreation ambassadors in all year groups. The Year 12 Boarding Prefect team facilitate the weekly Boarding House celebration and take pride in bringing each of their own visions to life during their leadership journey. The 2022 Boarding Prefects Vision was ‘to create a fun environment that is inclusive and supportive, where physical and mental wellbeing is valued’ and they have implemented a number of initiatives to do this over their journey.
We take pride in seeing the girls leave the Boarding House having learnt how to be confident, strong, and independent individuals within our community, and it is immensely rewarding to know they will take these skills with them into the world beyond PLC.