Beehive Creates A Buzz In Pastoral Care Awards

13th June 2024

Highfield and Brookham is in the running for a national award thanks to its new wellbeing hub.

The Beehive, which was unveiled last September, has created such a buzz that the school has been named a finalist in the ‘Pastoral Development of the Year’ category of the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE).

Named after parallels were drawn between busy bees and children at Highfield and Brookham, not least when it comes to community, effectively working together and looking after each in other in the hive, The Beehive is regularly used as part of the school’s continued commitment to top-level pastoral care.

The bright and friendly space, which is staffed throughout the day by teachers expertly trained in mental health first aid, is a place where children can relax, reset and regulate their emotions whenever they need to. It also hosts visits from wellness experts, to promote good mental health among the pupils and staff.

The Beehive was opened officially by Alicia Drummond, founder of Teen Tips, an organisation which supports mental health and wellbeing in children and adolescents through on-site and online training, and marks another exciting chapter in the ongoing pastoral story at Highfield and Brookham.

In the past two years, the school has created space in the children’s busy days to allow time dedicated to their mental health in the form of weekly wellbeing workshops, featuring activities such as ‘Journaling and Scrapbooking’, ‘Cards and Board Games’ and ‘Lego and Chill’ while ‘Be With the Boys’ and ‘Go With the Girls’ are run by the school’s Peer Listeners – a group of trained and compassionate Year 8 children who offer younger children a friendly face or a kindly listening ear.

And it was an overwhelmingly positive response to the wellbeing workshops that provided the trigger for the rural boarding school to invest in the development of its very own wellbeing centre.

Suzannah Cryer, Head of Highfield and Brookham, spoke of her delight at the school being named an award finalist.

“We’re exceptionally proud of our pastoral provision but we are always looking at ways that we can make it even better for the benefit of our children and staff. The Beehive has proved incredibly valuable for pupils, staff and parents alike and to have our ongoing work recognised once again by NAPCE is something that fills us all with a real sense of honour.”