Egerton Rothesay School in Berkhamsted was delighted to welcome former Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy Terry Waite CBE to a staff inset in May. With the increased awareness of mental health issues in school ERS has spent time with staff and pupils thinking about resilience to help them cope with the unexpected problems that occur in life. By way of assemblies, tutor- led work and outside visitors the school is highlighting many of the issues in a child-sensitive and appropriate way enabling pupils to feel confident in approaching staff to talk about their issues. The school’s Therapy Department’s Speech and Language specialists, and Social and Emotional Development team, along with the Safeguarding team play a major role in this and much time is spent in staff briefings and meetings discussing pupil issues. Being aware of how these problems can affect staff wellbeing Headmaster Colin Parker invited former hostage Terry Waite to talk at a staff inset about his time in captivity in Lebanon for almost five years. Particular emphasis was on how he dealt with his time alone in solitary confinement for four years and how he coped with the unknown on a daily basis. Mr Parker also invited local school Heads, local councillors and dignataries to raise the issue of mental health in schools once again.
Egerton Rothesay is a small School for pupils with various special needs and its vision is to transform the lives of children who have struggled, or who will struggle, to develop and grow within a mainstream school setting because of a difficulty with their learning or development.
ERS is a non-selective school that has the facilities to provide specialist support for each pupil, whether for a specific educational need or for a more general problem with learning.
It aims to provide a unique and relevant education for each student and believes that education should be focused on the individual and should be about preparing each child for life after school, not just academic subjects and exams.
ERS provides a broad, mainstream curriculum, education and as part of this teaches pupils a range of individually tailored strategies to support their learning and development. Former pupils have progressed to university and many achieve good GCSE results including the new Grade 9 in English last summer.
The school was founded on Christian principles and retains a strong Christian ethos which underpins its whole pastoral care policy. It encourages children to learn about their community, about the beliefs of both Christian and other faiths and to share with them the need to be aware of others who are less fortunate than themselves and to contribute in some way to help such groups.
ERS wants each child to achieve to their individual highest potential and to be valued for who they are. It wants each member of the school community to fully respect and be respected by others, and therefore, aims to provide an environment where learning can flourish, enabled by excellent teaching, specialist support and care.
At the annual prize giving event in July the guest speaker is chosen to encourage pupils to triumph over adversity. Previous guests have included Steve Cunningham, the world’s fastest blind person, and this year the school will welcome former Judo Paralympian Ian Rose. Guest speakers are also asked into the school before the event to spend a day talking in assemblies and working with pupils in groups and on an individual basis, to provide encouragement and convey the message that everyone can succeed despite any difficulties they may have.