Wellbeing | Epsom College

Epsom has been judged Independent School of the Year for Student Wellbeing – possibly the award we value above all others. The entire staff – from teachers to matrons, nurses to librarians, sports coaches and minibus drivers – is responsible for the care of your child and their emotional and physical wellbeing. 

It is a responsibility we take seriously, as we help to prepare your child for the world beyond the College. We want to instil the College’s values of kindness, ambition and integrity, so that all pupils leave Epsom with strong moral values, good character, a sense of purpose and the ability to be kind to others as well as to themselves.

Character Education

An important part of student wellbeing is the the development of good character. We are not just trying to maximise our students’ exam performance, we are seeking to maximise their chances of leading happy, successful and healthy lives.

As our approach to student wellbeing demonstrates, Epsom has long been a school that views education as something that develops the whole child.

We believe the purpose of a school is to build character, not simply to teach children how to pass exams. The phrase ‘a rounded education’ is used so often it almost becomes cliched – but for us it’s a guiding philosophy and is the reason why character development is a core strategic objective of the College.

Everything we do, in the classroom, in Houses, on the sports field and in our co-curricular programme, helps to develop these virtues and build character; in conversation with staff, students are regularly encouraged to reflect upon their character and the kind of adult they aspire to be.

We do this because we know that a student’s character has a powerful influence on how successful and fulfilled they will be, both at school and later in life. We help pupils develop their character through four ‘building blocks’.

Intellectual Virtues

The traits necessary for discernment, right action and the pursuit of knowledge, truth and understanding. Examples of the skills developed are autonomy, critical thinking, curiosity, judgment, reasoning, reflection and resourcefulness.

Moral Virtues

The traits that enable us to act well in situations that require an ethical response. Examples would include compassion, courage, gratitude, honesty, humility, integrity, justice and respect.

Civic Virtues

These are the traits required for engaged and responsible citizenship, enabling us to contribute to the common good. Examples include citizenship, civility, community awareness, service and volunteering.

Performance Virtues

These are the traits that help our young people put the intellectual, moral and civic virtues into action. These traits include confidence, determination, resilience, motivation, leadership and teamwork.

Epsom's Houses

Underpinning everything is our House structure. Physical buildings that become your child’s home from home. A tight-knit family of young people who encourage, console, share and laugh together. 

All pupils join a House from the start of Year 9, whether they are day or boarding pupils. Each House is single-sex, and home to roughly 80 pupils, from Year 9 to Upper Sixth.

Each House is a physical building, offering a sense of sanctuary and community. Each one is led by a Housemaster or Housemistress, alongside their Deputy and the all-important Matron. There are also Tutors, who look after 8 or 9 pupils.

The only difference between a day house and a boarding house is that boarders have beds as well as desks in their rooms.

Learn more

‘Gold’ for Mental Health Excellence

Epsom College has been awarded ‘Gold’ for its whole-school approach to the mental health and wellbeing of its pupils, staff and wider community. Over 1,000 schools have entered, but Epsom is one of only four boarding schools to be awarded the highest prize.

The awarding body – the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – spent two years assessing every aspect of our pastoral care. 

“With an ethos of serve, share and care, Epsom provides a holistic approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing in their community and beyond,” said Tracy Shand, at the Carnegie Centre. “Students clearly feel listened to and empowered. In fact, youth empowerment in mental health is a key theme at Epsom. For example, Sixth Form students being trained as national ambassadors and providing peer-to-peer support.”

Download Wellbeing Matters for more information about our whole-school approach to pupil wellbeing

Sense of Community

We want young people to join us full of potential and to leave us successful and fulfilled, with a sense of connection to a supportive, nurturing community.

70% of our staff live onsite with their own families. This adds a unique quality to the life of the College, which at times feels like an extended family sharing together, caring for each other.

In addition, our Boarding School routine means we have an abundance of time, which helps pupils strengthen bonds with one another and with staff. They aren’t just alongside each other in class, they play together and try out new activities and experiences together. Seeing pupils learn and engage with challenges in different settings means that we get to know each pupil as a fully-rounded individual. 

The Medical Centre

We have a fully staffed Medical Centre, open 24/7 during term time, with a team of nurses and doctors available for advice, guidance and support. GP Surgeries are held each morning from 8-8.30am.

The Medical Centre is also home to our two College Counsellors, and our Physiotherapist. The counselling service is available to all pupils and completely confidential. 

Learn more