Now more than ever it is paramount to ensure that children are thriving, not only in their academic work but in their happiness and wellbeing.
At Millfield Prep School, our pupils’ welfare and happiness is at the heart of everything we do. We have a holistic approach to every child’s care, encompassing expertise from key members of the school community. We asked our Headmistress Shirley Shayler, Deputy Head Pastoral Tracey Hazell, School Chaplain Michele Kitto, Head of the Learning Development Centre (LDC) Sarah Lennon, Outdoor Adventure Lead Hannah Parsons and Director of Sport Jo Morgan-Hughes along with our House Parents and Heads of Years what can make the difference to our children in 2020.
We encourage pupils, through our PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health, Economic Education) curriculum, sport and boarding activities, to practise good habits throughout their schooling and onto life post Year 8.
Communicating openly and honestly
Strong communication is of upmost importance when striving for wellbeing. Children must feel confident in communicating their feelings honestly, in order that they can receive the best support possible. Whether that is chatting openly with a best friend or confiding in a teacher or parent, sharing how we feel is often the first step.
Here at Millfield Prep, the children can confidently speak to whoever they feel comfortable with, be it their singing teacher, houseparent, football coach or group tutor. Every staff member is trained with how to deal confidentially with a child’s situation. We pride ourselves on strong communication, whether between pupils, staff or parents, or communicating across a large group, we practise an honest and confidential process which puts every party at ease. On a pupil level, Year 6 supporters are a friendly face in the playground and Year 8 ‘Pastoral Monitors’ guide their peers through the school journey, instilling our school value ‘Be Kind’.
Find out more about Millfield Prep’s Values here.
Not being afraid to ask for extra support
Our Learning Development Centre (LDC) has been described as ‘a major feature and strength’ of Millfield Prep, by the Good Schools Guide. The LDC provides another level of support and pupils feel valued, their strengths recognised, and learning differences understood and supported. Staffed by specialist and experienced teachers, tracking procedures and early intervention are put in place, allowing the children to enhance their learning in a relaxed and friendly environment.
A happy Millfield Prep pupil says “The LDC is great they help you in all types of ways and I look forward to my LDC lessons.”
View more on our well known Learning Support offering here.
Making the most of sports opportunities
Sport is essential to enhance the wellbeing of our children. At Millfield Prep, pupils have the chance to play sport every day, within the curriculum through PE, individual sports lessons and games, as well as co-curricular clubs and training sessions, with the majority of these held outside in the fresh air. Individual sporting programmes allow the school to focus on pupils’ strengths and interests and allows them to balance their academic work with their sporting commitments, working proactively to eliminate any unnecessary stress. Children are introduced to a choice of 25 different sports, giving all pupils the chance to discover their individual brilliance, the programme is flexible but totally inclusive. Success and endeavour are celebrated equally, therefore we prepare them for a lifelong enjoyment in physical activity and the impact sport has on health, wellbeing and self-confidence. Sport allows students to excel and develop confidence to take on into their further studies. The sport staff work in collaboration with the pastoral team and group tutors to ensure a healthy balance for every child.
Discover the sports and facilities at Millfield Prep here.
Fully staffed Medical Centre
Care is provided onsite for pupils with access to four nurses, a doctor and physio where necessary, so parents can feel confident that their child will be well cared for by professionals within the school campus. Children have access to our very own counsellor, and pupils can be referred or self-register for additional support, helping to guide and nurture the children through difficult periods. We take a proactive approach to every child’s wellbeing and provide care plans where necessary.
Find out more about our medical provision here.
Taking five minutes with our school Chaplain
Millfield Prep pupils’ schedules are busy, sometimes five minutes are needed to reflect and practise mindfulness. Sunday Chapel services are held for boarders and an annual confirmation is available for those who wish to take part. Our school Chaplain Michele Kitto, who has recently been ordained at Wells Cathedral, is a frequent visitor in boarding houses and is a familiar face around campus and in school assemblies. Reverend Kitto runs Chapel Club, who meet twice a week, providing a chance to discuss faith and chat with tea and cake! Every faith is welcomed and appreciated; pupils can be themselves in an unbiased environment.
Read more on chaplaincy here.
Getting out in the great outdoors
A breath of fresh air is proven to have benefits in boosting mood, increasing energy levels and relieving stress and anxiety. The great outdoors allows us to get more vitamin D, time away from screens and sometimes to just enjoy the peace and quiet.
Children at Millfield Prep benefit from an abundance of beautiful green countryside space around them and an extensive outdoor adventure programme, which enhances their physical and mental health. Our onsite Forest School presents a neutral environment for the children to make friends, have fun and learn about nature whilst being in the heart of it. The children develop awareness of their surroundings and advance their independence whilst building positive connotations with being outdoors.
Millfield Prep’s Outdoor Adventure Lead, Hannah Parsons, says “Learning outdoors offers a personal connection to children and their environment. Even simple things like being able to identify a bird or a tree not only gives the child a sense of achievement but encourages them to look after it in the future.”
See what our pupils experience outside here.
Millfield Prep School is passionate about the health and welfare of every child in our care. Learn more about Pastoral Care at Millfield Prep here.
To come and speak with our key staff, tour the campus and boarding houses, book our next Open Day here.