This week, Hunter Hall, Cumbria’s only standalone independent school for children aged 3 – 11, launches its Summer of Wellbeing.

This term will see this forward-thinking independent school put pupil, teacher and parent wellbeing front and centre – helping the children and wider school community to understand that wellbeing is not about restricting yourself, it’s about finding balance and achieving a personal equilibrium.

As part of this initiative, Ella Tarrant, Head of Lower School and Early Years has now been appointed Assistant Head Wellbeing. This further cements the school’s long term commitment to ensuring that each and every child thrives.

Ella commented:

“Being in the Early Years, I can see how integral personal, social and emotional education is to the development of a child. But we believe it should remain at the forefront of the learning experience throughout a child’s time at school, to ensure that they thrive whatever they are doing, whether it’s in a Maths lesson, on the sports field or on stage.

Our goal going forward is to interweave wellbeing throughout the curriculum, equipping children with the skills and strategies to prioritise and look after their own wellbeing.”

The Summer of Wellbeing is jam packed with events both large and small as the theme is woven throughout the daily curriculum. In particular, the school community will celebrate both Mental Health Week (13 – 19 May) and World Wellbeing Week (24 – 28 June) when the children will engage with local organisations and businesses who champion wellbeing, including Cumbria’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing team, Sunbeams Music Trust and Pooley Bridge’s Verey Books to name but a few.

Horticulture, cookery, yoga, meditation and parent-led art masterclasses are already embedded in the timetable. With the launch of the Summer of Wellbeing, Hunter Hall will also undertake a whole school Wellbeing Walk; build in curriculum time for pupils to create their own toolkit of strategies to help recognise and regulate their emotions; create ‘Be Well’ Boxes to be delivered to local charities and organisations as a way of marking ‘World Wellbeing Week’ and take part in a number of workshops during weekly timetabled wellbeing sessions.

As part of this drive for wellbeing, under the leadership of new head Paul Borrows, the school team have undertaken a review of internal and external assessments. This has led to them deciding to opt out of both external KS2 SATs and the twice yearly formal internal exams all Upper School students historically sat. These have been replaced with continuous assessments in a classroom setting – just as robust at measuring progress while reducing pressure to perform in exam conditions.

Head, Paul Borrows commented:

“Wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. Ella’s appointment and the Summer of Wellbeing are two key steps that underpin our commitment to a broad, enriching and inclusive curriculum, which develops key life skills through Wellbeing lessons as well as through the wider curriculum. 

Looking forward to September 2024, Wellbeing will have a physical presence in school in the form of new indoor-outdoor Wellbeing Space – a place where children will have the opportunity to learn in a different environment and develop an understanding of how to look after their own wellbeing, whilst also learning how to look after the natural world, all overseen by Ella in her capacity as Assistant Head Wellbeing.”

To find out more or arrange a visit, go to www.hunterhall.co.uk. Hunter Hall is Cumbria’s only standalone, independent preparatory and pre-school for children aged 3 – 11 years and is located on the outskirts of Penrith, Cumbria.