Girl in a classroom at Prep Class At St Mary's Colchester in Essex

Wellbeing Award Success

23 November 2018

Recognising our commitment to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, St Mary’s has been awarded the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) by Optimus Education. 

This award has been developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau and focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision to promote the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both students and staff. We want to ensure mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support is provided, offering provision and interventions that match the needs of our students and staff.

The verifier was highly impressed with the comments he received from students, staff and parents, who highlighted our commitment to students’ wellbeing across both the Lower and Senior School sites.

We place great emphasis on Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH) and ensure that it is integrated into the curriculum, explicitly within Personal, Social, Health, and Social Education (PSHEE). This, along with the Enrichment programme, Wellbeing Days, Expressive Arts workshops, Forest School sessions and other activities, all help the girls to develop self-confidence and resilience. The report also highlighted the many support mechanisms that are in place for the Lower and Senior students, from the Buddy system to the Friendship Bench, and the Listeners, as well as our team of pastoral staff who are always available for the girls when needed. Forest School received a special mention for developing the pupils’ strengths, team building skills, and the positive effects on how pupils learn to interact with each other.

For further details about the award, see

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