Pastoral Care

The aims of Pastoral Care are indistinguishable from the aims of the school. Similarly, the aims of the school cannot be separated into those which are “pastoral” and those which have no pastoral strand.  Much the same is true of the staff of the school; the teaching and the non-teaching staff  work together and share important roles in the success of pastoral care.  The focus of all school policy and action is the student – her growth, her circumstances, the development of her abilities and interests, and the recognition and celebration of her achievements.

Pastoral Organisation

Students are placed in form groups on entry to the school in Year 7.  Each new Year 7 Form meets on the induction afternoon in July of Year 6, when time is spent with the Form Tutor in the prospective form room.  There are thirty students in each form. Year 7 is based in Hyde House, though some lessons take place daily in the other parts of the school.  This arrangement eases transition from the smaller primary environment into this large and busy secondary school. Students stay in the same form group throughout the years of compulsory schooling. The school encourages students to prepare for the responsibilities of adult life by taking on various responsibilities in school. In the Sixth Form, tutor groups have just over twenty students.

There are Heads of each Year, who lead teams of Tutors. As a general principle, Heads of Year stay with their year groups and Tutors with their Forms. This helps to ensure continuity of care for each girl in a strong, supportive social group, and to develop the team of Tutors and their Head of Year as an informed, effective pastoral group. Staff development, through shared management of change, is thus built into the system.

The school keeps in close touch with parents and aims to ensure effective communication takes place between home and school.

The expertise of support agencies, such as the Local Authority’s Children’s Services and School Attendance Improvement Officer, Chessbrook Education Support Centre, and Educational Psychology Service, is used regularly and effectively.

Wellbeing at WGGS

The world in which our pupils are growing up is an increasingly complex one, which presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. At Watford Grammar School for Girls’ we would like to support our pupils in managing their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way. Teaching about mental wellbeing is paramount in giving our pupils the knowledge and capability to take care of themselves and receive support if problems arise.

We aim to reduce stigma attached to mental wellbeing by engendering an ethos that encourages openness whereby pupils can seek support at school, at home or online as they gain knowledge about how to promote good health and wellbeing.

The Mental Health Lead is Ms J. Shrimpton (in her absence Ms J. Hart) and the Deputy Mental Health Lead is Mr J Landsman.

The Peer Education Project, supported by the Mental Health Foundation, is delivered to our year 7 pupils by our year 12 students.

Throughout the school we follow the 5 ways to wellbeing:

In school, we can facilitate access to counselling, mindfulness, one-to-one or group support. We can help pupils find the right person to talk to about friendship, learning, home life, exam stress, medical conditions, careers or anything that is on their mind.

If needed, we can offer support with accessing external counselling, mental health referrals, bereavement support, career advice, medical appointments and much more.


  • Wellbeing Workshops
  • Wellbeing Hub
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health

    Herts Haven Cafes

    Herts Haven Cafés

    Herts Haven Cafés are a free welcoming drop-in space for children and young people across Hertfordshire to access support for their emotional wellbeing.

    Herts Haven Cafés are open to any young person in Hertfordshire between the ages of 10 and 18 without the need for a formal referral. Just pop in.

    Monday3.30PM – 8PMWatford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1JZ

    You can come along on your own, or with a friend and/or family member.

    Please note, drop-ins will be accepted 30 minutes prior to closing time to enable our staff to best support you.

    Signpost Counselling

    Signpost is fully committed to the continued provision of counselling, coaching and other support to help young people aged 10-25 and living in Hertfordshire overcome problems in their lives.

    Funded Counselling Service:

    We have a number of funded spaces for 10-19 year olds living in Hertfordshire.

    • Early Intervention and Prevention Project for those living in Dacorum, Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford (funded by Hertfordshire County Council). A maximum of 12 sessions of counselling will be available for 10-19 year-olds who have not previously had support.
    • Counselling Plus Project for young people aged 10-25 who have not previously had support and living across Hertfordshire.


    Signpost – Home Page – One YMCA

    The Sandbox

    Online mental health support for children and young people.


    ThinkNinja – NHS (

    ThinkNinja is a mental health app designed for 10 to 18 year olds. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well.

    Clear Fear App

    The fear of threat, or anxiety, is like a strong gust of wind. It drags you in and makes you want to fight it or tun away.

    Instead, face your fear with the free Clear Fear App and learn to reduce the physical responses to threat as well as changing thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions.

    Mood Move App

    Move Mood is an app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and uses the evidence-based treatment Behavioural Activation Therapy to help you improve your mood by encouraging you to increase your motivation to carry out a variety of tasks in order to help you to move forward, take control and feel positive.

    Combined Minds App

    Combined Minds is an app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr. Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, to help families and friends support young people with their mental health.


    Advice, help and support for young people suffering from mental ill health and their parents. Includes Young Minds Crisis Messenger for those in mental health crisis and a parents helpline.

    Young people aged 10-17 and parents can discuss anxieties (including health, and school) by calling Herts Mind Network’s Young People’s Helpline on 01923 256391.

    Anna Freud

    On My Mind aims to empower young people to make informed choices about their mental health and wellbeing. Includes a youth wellbeing directory of local support services.

    Royal College of Psychiatrists

    Information for young people, parents and carers about young people’s mental health. Their aim is to provide information which enables people to make informed decisions about their health. Covers a wide range of areas of mental health, from Bipolar disorder to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to panic attacks, OCDrequest and who CAMHS are.

    Healthy Young Minds in Herts

    Support and information for young people and parents. Includes Parent tips on topics such as exam stress and managing anxiety.

    YC Hertfordshire

    Supporting You is a 7 week programme which equips young people with the tools to help themselves to strengthen their resilience and emotional well-being.


    Information, advice and support on a variety of topics from bullying, abuse and feelings to relationships, friendships and sex.

    0800 1111


    Help and advice on abuse, neglect and keeping children safe, including sexting, self-harm, mental health and suicidal thoughts.

    Hertfordshire Wellbeing Service and Single point of contact for child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS)

    Hertfordshire wellbeing service offer free, confidential talking therapy and practical support for people aged 16 and over and registered with a Hertfordshire GP service.

    0300 777 0707

    Public Health eNews

    A monthly public health newsletter from Hertfordshire Public Health Service.

    With Youth

    Providing emotional wellbeing support for children and young people across Hertfordshire.

  • Exam Stress

    Pressure to do well in exams can be overwhelming and affect your mental health. Here’s some advice from Young Minds if it’s all getting a bit too much.

    Young Minds – how to deal with exam stress

  • Bereavement

    Grief Encounter

    Being bereaved at this age is difficult to say the least. We will be there for you when you feel you would like our support. Here are some of the ways in which we can support you through these overwhelming and challenging times:

      • Grieftalk Helpline
      • One to one counselling
      • Group counselling
      • Therapeutic Workshops
      • Fun Days Out
      • Residential
      • FREE Resources (Workbooks, Grief kits)


    Help is at Hand

    Support after someone has died by suicide: Help is at Hand please click here to read the document

    Hope Again

    A website offering support, advice and information for young people who have been bereaved.

    Sudden Bereavement

    A website and helpline offering support for those who have been bereaved suddenly, or when someone has died too soon in their life.

    Helpline: 0800 2600 400 (10am – 4pm Monday – Friday)

    The National Bereavement Partnership

    The National Bereavement Partnership provides a support helpline, counselling referral and befriending service for all those suffering from anxiety, grief or mental health issues as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    0800 448 0800 (7am -10pm, seven days a week)

    Way In

    Way In is a counselling service for young people and families. Way In have received funding to provide free counselling (depending on parental income) for young people living in Three Rivers, Dacorum and South Bucks who have been affected by bereavement during the COVID pandemic.

    • Way In flyer (attached)
    • Website: Way In | Home (
    • Email:

  • Self-Harming and Suicidal Thoughts

    Calm Harm App

    The urge to self-harm is like a wave. It feels the most powerful when you start wanting to do it.
    Learn to ride the wave with the free Calm Harm app by choosing activities from these categories:
    Comfort, Distract, Express Yourself, Release, and Random.

    NHS Mental Health support at any time of the day or night

    Freephone: 0800 6444 101

    We are available 24/7 for Hertfordshire residents who:

    Are experiencing a mental health crisis
    Need some mental health support
    Just want to talk
    You can also live chat at, 7am-7pm, Monday-Friday.

    In the case of serious illness or injury, dial 999 for emergency services.


    Harmless provides support and information to people who self-herm, their friends, family and professionals.


    08457 909090

    YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

    YoungMinds Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK for young people experiencing a mental health crisis.

    Text YM to 85258 for urgent help.


    PAPYRUS provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through their website and helpline, HOPELINEUK.

    HOPELINEUK: 0800 068 4141 10am-10pm weekdays, 2-10pm weekends

  • Request for Further Support

    If you are worried about your wellbeing or mental health, please speak to (or email) the medical team, your Head of Year or another member of staff you feel comfortable talking to. They may suggest you request further support using our online form, which is here . The information you provide on the form is confidential, but it will be seen by the Counselling Coordinator, your Head of Year, your Director of Key Stage and the Safeguarding Lead. These key staff will work together to find the best form of support for your needs. If appropriate, you may be given the option of seeing a school counsellor (if you are offered this, the school will need to contact your parents if you are in Y7-Y11).

  • Report bullying, harassment, assault or discrimination
  • Local Foodbanks

    Rickmansworth Foodbank

    Our foodbank works using a voucher referral system.  In Rickmansworth, vouchers are available from the Citizens Advice Bureau, 3 Rivers Council – Housing Department, and Children’s Centre.

    Watford Foodbank

    Open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 1pm.  Call 01923 804 435 or email for more information.

  • Health

    Health for Teens

    Advice and information on feelings, growing up, health, lifestyle, relationships and sexual health.

    NHS Livewell

    Advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing. Includes eating, healthy weight, exercise, sleep and tiredness, sexual health, alcohol support and quitting smoking.

    Text your School Nurse

    Dedicated text messaging service to contact a school nurse for advice and support with issues such as weight and exercise, healthy eating, smoking, relationships and sexual health.

    Text: 07480 635050

    Sexual Health Hertfordshire

    Information on sexual health services in Hertfordshire.

  • Eating Disorders


    Beat offer support, advice and information on eating disorders

  • Drugs and Alcohol


    Honest information about drugs.

    Alcohol Education Trust

    Parental advice for teaching young people about alcohol and the law. Includes topics such as parties, festivals and holidays away with friends.

  • Domestic Abuse

    Rape Crisis

    Rape Crisis England & Wales is the umbrella body for a network of independent Rape Crisis Centres.
    We exist to improve services and promote the needs and rights of women and girls who have experienced sexual abuse, rape and all forms of sexual violence. We also work towards the elimination of sexual violence and abuse, raising awareness in the wider community and with government.

    We currently have 39 member Rape Crisis Centres.

    Rape Crisis Centres provide frontline specialist, independent and confidential services for women and girls of all ages who’ve experienced any form of sexual violence, at any time in their lives. This includes counselling and support.

    Home | Rape Crisis England & Wales

    NHS Help After Rape and Sexual Assault

    Advice on options and support available after an assault or rape.

    Help after rape and sexual assault – NHS (

    Herts Sunflower

    Free and confidential support, advice and information for anyone affected by domestic abuse

    08088 088 088

    Herts Sarc

    Free support and practical help to anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse.

  • LGBTQ+ Community


    A charity for LGBTQ people looking for community, support or information

    0300 300 0630


    National LGBTQ+ rights charity

  • Personal Safety

    Hollie Guard is an app recommended to us by the local Police that can provide help and support is you are in an unsafe situation. Unfortunately, there are times when we feel unsafe or are vulnerable when we are out and about and this app can send your location, activate your camera and microphone and alert your emergency contacts if you are ever in a position where you feel you need this support.

    In these situations it is also imperative to call 999 to ask for immediate assistance.

    There have been recent reports of males following and intimidating young women and girls and we ask that if you are ever in a situation where you feel unsafe, you call 999 immediately to ensure that Police can take rapid action.

    Remember that you can also seek help and support from any member of staff at the school.

  • E-Safety


    Reporting online abuse or inappropriate online communication.

    Herts for Learning

    Hertfordshire online safety newsletter for parents.

    Childnet International

    Information for young people on popular sites and services, plus information about mobiles, gaming and social networking. Information for parents on how to keep young people safe online. Includes hot topics such as cyber bullying, sexting and online grooming.

    Think U Know

    Think u know is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. The website gives advice for parents and children about staying safe online.

    Remove a Nude Image Shared Online

    It can be scary finding out a nude image or video of you has been shared online. But Childline can help. Click on the link and follow the steps on the web page to get your image or video removed from the internet.

    Remove a nude image shared online | Childline

    Report Harmful Content

    SWGfL Report Harmful Content

    The RHC button is an asset of SWGfL, a charity working internationally to ensure all benefit from technology, free from harm.

    The button has been developed to offer anyone living in the UK a simple and convenient mechanism for gaining access to reporting routes for commonly used social networking sites, gaming platforms, apps and streaming services alongside trusted online safety advice, help and support. It also provides access to an online mechanism for reporting online harm to the RHC service for those over the age of 13 where an intial report has been made to industry but no action has been taken. RHC will review content in line with a sites’ community standards and act in a mediatory capacity where content goes against these.

    Children under 13 years of age are encouraged to tell an adult that they trust about what has happened and to ask for their help in reporting this going through our how we can help resource together.

    RHC also have advice and links to reporting routes for other online harms people may come across or face, such as impersonation, privacy violations and intimate image abuse.

    The RHC button provides a gateway to the RHC reporting pages, an area of the RHC website offering:

    • links to reporting routes on commonly used sites for 8 types of online harm
    • help, advice and support on what to do if experiencing or witnessing harm online
    • signposting to industry partners reporting forms and the ability to report legal but harmful content directly to RHC for further investigation

  • Careers

    Services for Young People

    Services for Young People Hertfordshire provides youth work projects and programmes, information, advice, guidance, work related learning, outdoor education and support for young people aged 13-19 (to 24 for young people with learning disabilities). For young people leaving care, support is provided to the age of 21.

  • Sleep

    The National Sleep Helpline

    Who do I talk to if I can’t sleep? The National Sleep Helpline can help with your sleep problems.

    If you’d like to talk to us about your sleep, you can call us between 7pm and 9pm, Sunday to Thursday on 03303 530 541.

    National Sleep Helpline – The Sleep Charity

  • Report a Crime

    Report a Crime

    Have you been the victim of any of the following:
    If so, you can report a crime online, without the need to speak to a Police Officer or go to a Police station. It takes around 15 minutes to complete the online form.
    You might not be sure whether reporting a crime to the Police will have an impact, but even if the incident happened some time ago and you think it might be difficult for the Police to do anything now, it will help the Police to build up a picture of the kinds of crimes being committed in different areas. This could lead to a change in the Police presence in an area. This could help keep you and others safer in the future.

    For something that happened in Hertfordshire, please use the link below to report a crime:

    For something that happened in London, please use the link below to report a crime:

  • Parental Alcohol Misuse Resources and Guidance

    Parental Alcohol Misuse Resources and Guidance

    ‘You are not on your own’ is a booklet aimed at 10-14 year olds affected by a parent or carer who drinks too much. It is designed to help children and young people have frank discussions with professionals or trusted adults about a parent’s drinking and is intended to address ways to keep them safe from harm.

    Download a copy here