Student Support

Student Counsellor

The Student Counselling Service

Here at St Katherine’s School, we are committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to discuss and explore issues that are concerning them. Adolescence is a time of significant physical, biological and psychological change, which impacts on emotional and mental well-being and can in turn affect home and school life. Counselling supports the emotional health of students that underpins academic achievement and facilitates the building and management of helpful relationships in the school environment.

Counselling offers a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment to have some time and space to explore and make sense of some of the upsets, difficulties and problems that students may be experiencing. Sometimes it may be simply ‘the need to be heard’.

Counselling can help with: depression, anxiety, panic, bullying, study pressures, relationship and family problems, loneliness, low self-esteem, eating disorders, self-harm, grief and bereavement, anger, trauma, phobia, a change of attitude or finding a new direction in life.

The Counselling Room

The counselling room is located in Engage; it also has a pleasant waiting area which is often a quiet space for reflection and process.

The service runs on a self-referral basis only. This means that only students themselves can agree to/ask for counselling. They cannot be made to attend by teachers or family. It is essential that this is a decision made by the student. Student self-referral forms are available from tutors, the student support office and the visitor’s reception. To post the forms back, there is a red post box, marked ‘Counselling Forms’ located in the student support office reception.

Students can also e-mail the service directly to arrange an appointment: counselling@stkaths.org.uk or send a text to 07800 813 742.

Counselling is available Wednesday to Friday and sessions are held during Periods 1-5. Different times are allotted each week so as not to miss the same subjects and to cause as little disruption to timetables as possible. During lunchtimes there is also a drop-in counselling service for which no appointment is necessary. The counselling service also runs regular self-help groups for students experiencing similar difficulties such as exam stress or low self-esteem. All sessions are confidential and each student is made clear the boundaries of this at the beginning of the counselling relationship.

Here are some comments made by students who have accessed the Student Counselling Service:

“At first I found it difficult to talk about my feelings but I managed to break through that barrier. It now feels as if a large weight has been removed from my shoulders.”
 “The counselling improved my relationships with my family. I feel like a more confident person because the Counsellor helped explain my feelings.”
“It’s very helpful because I could talk about anything and know that the counsellor wouldn’t tell anyone unless they thought I was in danger.”

Please find below some frequently asked questions about the counselling service and a referral form that students can download and either email back to the counselling service (counselling@stkaths.org.uk) or post in the red post box by student support:

A word from the Student Counsellor:

“Hi, I am Leigh the Student Counsellor here at St Katherine’s School.
At certain times in our lives, most of us could do with talking to someone about how we’re feeling. Speaking with friends or family can be helpful, but sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who is more separate.
Whatever you’d like to talk about, no matter how big or small it feels to you, I am here to listen and offer support.”
LEIGH FENTON – STUDENT COUNSELLOR

Student Counsellor - Information for Parents & Carers

What is counselling?

We all have times when it feels hard to speak to those closest to us. Often this can be because we don’t want to worry those we love best, or because we want help thinking things through with someone else outside of the family. Counselling gives someone an opportunity to talk in confidence about things that are of concern.

What does a Counsellor do?

Counsellors are trained to listen without judging and to help people make sense of their thoughts and feelings. The Counsellor will not be judging you or your child, but looking to help them find their way through whatever is troubling them.

Who are the Counsellors?

Leigh Fenton is a professionally qualified and experienced Counsellor. She receives regular and confidential supervision of her work to ensure the quality of her practice.

Why have a Counsellor in school?

A school based service brings counselling to young people in a place that is familiar, safe and secure. If young people are able to receive emotional support from a qualified professional they will have greater opportunity to fulfil their potential.

When, where and for how long?

Counselling may be for a few sessions, or longer term. It is reviewed regularly between the counsellor and student. We have a dedicated private room available and sessions last for 40-50 minutes (depending on the circumstances). Appointment times are varied so that time is not lost from any one subject.

How are referrals made to the counselling service?

A student can self-refer by filling in a short form; they can also email or text the counselling service. Alternatively they can speak to their Head of Year, Tutor or any teacher who will pass the message on to the Counsellors.

Is it confidential?

A key feature of our service is that information discussed in the counselling session is treated confidentially. Counselling is a time when it’s ok to talk about concerns without fear of them being discussed elsewhere. This includes not discussing the work with parents, unless the young person requests or gives consent for this. This can be hard for parents to accept at times, but ensuring the confidentiality of the work is crucial for establishing trust so that young people feel confident to speak openly and freely about what is concerning them.

If a student appears to be at risk of significant harm, the Counsellor would immediately speak to Mr Southon, the Child Protection Designated Teacher, who would then decide the appropriate course of action and contact the student’s parents.

Student Counsellor - Information for Students

What is counselling?

At certain times in our lives, most of us could do with talking to someone about how we’re feeling. Speaking with friends or family can be helpful, but sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who is more separate.

A Counsellor is someone who will listen to you very carefully, who will not judge you or tell you what to do.

Counselling is about helping you to work things out for yourself, making decisions and choices and helping you to look at things differently. It can help you to feel better about yourself.

What kind of things do people talk about in counselling?

People talk about whatever matters to them and is worrying them. It could be lots of different things, including: family issues, parents, friendships, anxiety, loneliness, bullying, relationships, school issues, guilt, worry, self-esteem, confidence, anger, sadness, fear, bereavement, body image, self-harm, and lots more.

What happens in a counselling session?

You can meet the Counsellor to find out if counselling is right for you. You can ask questions and see how you feel.

Then if you decide you would like to come back, we can book in some weekly sessions.

Counseling is voluntary – you will never be made to attend if you don’t want to. You have the choice to come or not. Whatever you decide will be OK.

Will the Counsellor tell anyone what I talk about?

No. What you talk about is confidential. That means it’s between you and the Counsellor. It’s your time and your space to be with someone who is there for you and nobody else.

The Counsellor will keep confidentiality unless you are at serious risk of harm, which will be explained in your first session.

You do not need to tell anyone that you are coming to counselling, not your teacher, Tutor, Head of Year or even your parents, if you do not want them to know.

How can I see the Counsellor?

If you think you would like to come for a chat then you can contact us in the following ways:

  • Email: counselling@stkaths.org.uk
  • Text: 07800 813 742
  • Pick up a referral form from outside student support
  • Speak to your Head of Year, Tutor or a Teacher
  • Pop in and see us in our room, which is just off the MFL social area, through door 31.

School Nurse

Your health and wellbeing is really important, particularly during your years at secondary school, so we offer a confidential school nurse service to all students.

The school nurse, Katherine Maleham, is in school every Tuesday and available for appointments between 10.45am and 1.05pm. Just ask Mrs Grocock in Student Support to book an appointment for you.
Alternatively, you can drop-in without an appointment during Tuesday lunchtimes between 1.25pm and 2.05pm.

The nurse can give you confidential advice and support on all sorts of health concerns including:

  • healthy eating and healthy weight
  • changes to your body
  • if you feel sad, angry or anxious
  • relationship problems
  • drinking alcohol, smoking or taking drugs
  • sexual health advice: STF testing, pregnancy testing and free condoms (C-cards)
  • anything else that may be troubling you

Any information you tell the nurse will be confidential. However if you say anything that may be harmful to your or others she will need to take steps to keep you safe.

Useful links and numbers

No Worries – Young Person’s Confidential Health Service  or 01934 425718
School Nursing team (North Somerset Community Partnership)  01934 419339
Bristol Sexual Health or call  0117 342 69 44
Talk to Frank or call 0800 77 66 00
Patient.co.uk
NHS Worth Talking About
NHS No Worries Confidential

School Counsellor

Adolescence can be a very difficult time that can sometimes affect emotional and mental well-being. Counselling offers a warm, safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment to have some time and space to explore and make sense of some of the difficulties and problems that you may be experiencing.

Counselling can help with a wide range of problems, from depression to panic, bullying to relationship and family problems, eating disorders to anger.  Whatever you are struggling with, please go and see the school counsellor to get some help.

The counselling room is located in the Inclusion and Achievement Base; it also has a pleasant waiting area which is often a quiet space for reflection.

The service runs on a ‘self-referral’ basis only. This means that only students themselves can ask for counselling. They cannot be made to attend by teachers or family. ‘Student self-referral Forms’ are available from tutors; the Student Support Office and the Visitor’s Reception. To post the forms back, there is a red post-box, marked ‘Counselling Forms’ located in the Student Support Office Reception.  Students can also e-mail the service directly to arrange an appointment: counselling@stkaths.org.uk  or send a text to 07800 813 742

Counselling is available Monday to Wednesday and sessions are held during Periods 1-5. Different times are allotted each week so that you don’t always miss the same subjects and to cause as little disruption to timetables as possible. During lunchtimes there is a ‘Drop-in Counselling Service’. The sessions are confidential and each student is made clear the boundaries of this at the beginning of the counselling relationship.

FAQs  Parents & Carers
FAQs Students
Student self-referral form

Useful websites

If you would like to talk to someone outside of school try these helplines and websites.

ChildLine www.childline.org.uk
Tel: 0800 1111 (everyday, day or night)
Get Connected www.getconnected.org.uk
Tel: 0808 808 4994 (everyday, 1pm-11pm)
Confidential help line and information for young people.
Young Minds www.youngminds.org.uk
Information about emotional issues young people can go through.
The Site www.thesite.org
Information and advice about loads of issues like relationships, school, health, self-harm, friends, etc.
Kooth

https://www.kooth.com/

Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people 

Off the Record

https://www.otrbristol.org.uk/

A Mental health social movement by and for young people aged 11-18 living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire