When children are happy, they thrive socially, emotionally, physically and academically. That is why wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do at ESMS Junior School. We keep our teacher and pupil ratios small and take the time to build strong relationships with every child, so that we get to know them personally and understand how to support and nurture them as they grow.
We work together as a family with every member of staff in the Nursery and Junior School taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the children in our care. This whole-school approach helps our children to develop vital personal qualities such as resilience, emotional intelligence and self-belief. Within the curriculum we also have a Learning for Life programme which covers Health & Wellbeing, Religious, Moral and Philosophical Education.
Our wellbeing programme is not limited to the classroom. From climbing trees, to making fires we are passionate about our extensive programme of outdoor learning. ESMS was one of the pioneers of outdoor learning in Scotland and we believe it plays an instrumental role in developing confidence, strengthening friendships and giving children a strong sense of belonging. Our Forest Kindergarten sessions, run by trained experts, start in the Nursery. As they journey up the school they are exposed to an extensive range of outdoor learning activities from bushcraft, hiking and rock climbing to dragon boat sailing and canoeing. While the children are having fun exploring the natural world around them they are also developing a host of essential life skills which will help them to deal with the challenges they encounter both in childhood and later as adults.
The pastoral care is amazing and you always feel like they’re one step ahead, anticipating your child’s needs. I feel like they have become part of my family and we are raising my son as a team."
Strong relationships with our parents are a core part of our pastoral care programme. We offer regular parent consultations and our door is always open for parents who have any worries or questions they would like to discuss. We also provide an extensive range of workshops with child development experts, such as Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, to help give parents additional tools to support their children at home. These include “Mindfulness for Learning”, “Calm Minds for Camp” and “Internet Safety Awareness”.
This year, Stewart’s Melville College received the Silver School Mental Health Award, from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. The award recognises the range of evidenced based, wellbeing initiatives and innovations at SMC, many of which are also happening at MES and ESMS Junior School and the Junior School and MES will be applying for their own awards this year.
Fun in the classroom
Learning about mindfulness