St George’s School Windsor Castle has been named the winner of the ‘Creating a Mentally Healthier Workplace Award’ from the Health In Education Association (hieda).
The award recognises a school which has shown a proactive and open approach to mental wellbeing and demonstrated initiatives for continued support and development of mental health for all in its environment. For St George’s this has included opening a Wellbeing Hub for students and their families, embedding the MindUp mindfulness programme with daily ‘brain breaks’ from Kindergarten upwards, training Year 8 student volunteers to be Peer Listeners, and holding wellbeing walks with Olive, the school dog.
“As one of our strategic priorities, wellbeing in mind and body is something we take very seriously at St George’s,” said Ally Onions, the school’s Head of Safeguarding and Mental Health. “There is much talk nationally of a youth mental health crisis, with the NHS reporting that almost one in five children aged seven to 16 had a probable mental health problem in 2022. By reducing the pressures on our young people, whether that be through removing unnecessary exams and excessive homework, breaking down stigmas which if left unchallenged can lead to mental ill-health and making sure a robust support network is in place, we aim to do all we can to promote the wellbeing of our students and to create an environment where everyone is welcome, diversity is embraced and children have the confidence to be themselves, no matter what.”
The hieda award win comes in the same week the school learned they had been shortlisted in the Independent Pre Prep School of the Year category at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards. Finalists will be announced on 6 September.
“I am immensely proud of the work going on all around the school to embed initiatives which position us right at the forefront of educational reform,” said William Goldsmith, Head at St George’s School Windsor Castle. “Everything we do, from offering transformational learning through an International Baccalaureate curriculum from Kindergarten upwards, to prioritising mental wellbeing, is with the best outcomes of our students in mind. It is fantastic to see this recognised through our recent school inspection and various award nominations and successes. Even more pleasing is seeing the tremendous impact this has on our students, who are inquisitive, engaged and Real World Ready.”