Wellbeing is embedded in the curriculum and across the whole school. Pupils and staff have incredibly positive things to say about the climate of the school and how they have been personally supported.

Wellbeing Award for Schools inspector

The promotion of wellbeing, care for each other and resilience lies at the core of Caterham School – both at the Prep School and the Senior School. A programme of wellbeing begins in the pre-prep department and continues up through to Sixth Form in the senior school.

The programme covers a broad range of topics including mindfulness, physical and mental health, online safety and learning to manage money – all taught in a gentle, age-appropriate way.

Caterham’s unique approach to Learning and Teaching also augments our strong pastoral care. Pupils are coached and mentored throughout their time at school, right through to Sixth Form, and encouraged to adopt a positive approach to every aspect of life. They know that their school is a safe and supportive place where they can try their best and make mistakes as a healthy and important part of learning and developing their skills. Mindfulness is also promoted to both pupils and staff.


Wellbeing and pastoral care at Caterham School and Caterham Prep has been given the UK’s highest accolade after the school was awarded the National Children’s Bureau backed Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS). Following a rigorous 16-month-long assessment, which included input from pupils, parents and staff, Caterham’s pioneering approach to Wellbeing was endorsed by the WAS inspector who commented: “Wellbeing is embedded in the curriculum and across the whole school. Pupils and staff have incredibly positive things to say about the climate of the school and how they have been personally supported.”

The specialist award recognises the leading whole-school approach at Caterham which promotes mental health and wellbeing across the entire school community. Individuals at every level of the school’s community are proactively involved in supporting Wellbeing: from pupils in Kindergarten up to Sixth Form, to the school’s Trustees, the teaching and support staff and parents.

Sarah Griffiths, Caterham’s Deputy Head of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing said: “Taking a whole school approach to wellbeing is the surest way of helping all our pupils to thrive and succeed and I am proud to work at a school where this is so clearly understood. It is incredibly rewarding to work with so many members of the Caterham community to ensure our pastoral care system is proactive, positive and robust, and for our pioneering work in this area to be acknowledged by a national body.”

Caterham’s evaluation for this prestigious award began in October 2017 and culminated in an extensive onsite inspection held this week. To receive the accolade, 60 wellbeing key performance areas were examined, in addition to an assessment of Caterham School’s overall climate. Each and every area of school life was examined with a particular focus on five key areas:

  • Networks – Caterham School’s systems and external partnerships in place to support different types of emotional and mental health needs.
  • Participation – ensuring Caterham School works with the whole school community to support emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  • Positive culture – recognising that at Caterham School emotional wellbeing and mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.
  • Professional development – that Caterham school is committed to high-quality, ongoing professional development on emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  • Staff wellbeing – actively promote staff emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Ceri Jones, Headmaster of Caterham School said: “I am thrilled that the work we have been doing for the past two years has been recognised in this way. The rigorous and reflective process that the Wellbeing Award for Schools encourages has been enormously helpful in focussing our thinking about positive outcomes for pupils and colleagues and has enabled us to have honest dialogue with the whole school community – and enabled us to plan effectively for the future.”

In granting the Wellbeing Award for Schools to Caterham, the inspector noted a number of Caterham initiatives, including regular timetabled ‘wellbeing’ lessons, mental health discussions in form time and assemblies and targeted support (e.g. mindfulness and yoga) linked to specific aspects of school life such as reducing exam stress. 

Mental Health First Aider training, a full time counsellor available for pupils and that the school is working with other agencies to develop a local mental health hub were aspects of Caterham’s wellbeing programme which were singled out by the inspector.