Pastoral care is at the heart of all we do at St. Catherine's. We know that girls will face personal and academic challenges as they pass through their teenage years and the pastoral team of their Housemistress / Housemaster and the Tutors are there to support and guide their tutees. We believe in building strong relationships with pupils and parents so that we can work most effectively as a team to ensure the best outcomes for each individual. The house team know their girls very well and so are able to move in to offer support swiftly when need arises. They look after the academic and personal welfare of the girls, ensuring that girls are as happy as they can be, achieving their best academically and developing into the well-rounded individuals who will make a positive difference to the world around them.
When more specialist support may be required to help a pupil through specific emotional challenges, we are fortunate to have the expertise of two Resident Psychologists and two counsellors on hand in school. The Pastoral Team is always there to support our pupils and to see them become the best that they can be.
Mrs Kirsty Meredith
Rev’d Dr Benji McNair Scott, School Chaplain
A very warm welcome to you and your daughter on behalf of myself, the Chaplain. I trust that you and your daughter will find St Catherine's a welcoming and inclusive community, which reflects the Christian tradition at the heart of the school. That rich Christian heritage is embodied by the chapel which is an integral aspect of the girls’ experience here at St Catherine's.
Chapel is central to the life of St. Catherine’s and, paradoxically, it is also a ‘space apart’. Chapel is much valued and alumnae remember it with great affection and gratitude. It is a ‘sacred space’ where quiet, calm, peace and a sense of infinite goodness can be found. It is always open as a place where girls can come and be still and pray if they so choose.
Services in School:
Each week, all girls participate in a chapel service where there is music, singing, prayers, Scripture reading and a short homily. For those who are boarders there is an added Wednesday evening service with a choir, quite often by candlelight. Once a year, each House puts together a Sunday communion service which the girls and their family members attend – these are lovely occasions, stamped with the Houses’ individual mark. Leavers’ Communion in May is also a very special occasion for the Upper Sixth.
As a community we celebrate three holy days: St Catherine's Day, Ash Wednesday and Ascension Day. For the St Catherine's Day and Ash Wednesday we have services for the younger years in the chapel whilst the fifth and sixth forms attend a Communion service in Holy Trinity, Bramley, our local parish church; whilst on Ascension Day the younger years have a service of the Word at Holy Trinity, and there is an voluntary Eucharist service for the fifth form and above in the school chapel. Those boarders in on Sundays also attend the main Sunday morning service at Holy Trinity. Occasional vigils in light of tragedies are held in Chapel when girls and staff will come and be still, and light a candle as a sign of their prayer. Confirmation Services:
Every year we offer the opportunity for those girls who would like to be confirmed in the Church of England to do so. After being prepared by myself, the Bishop of Guildford or the Bishop of Dorking will conduct a confirmation service in chapel – a joyous and special event.
For current parents who would like to know the details about this, please click on the link below which will take you to the community section of our website so you can download the form:Confirmation Details 2023
Support for the community:
Alongside overseeing what occurs in the chapel, part of my vocation here at St Catherine's is to be with and for the community as a Pastor. Therefore, I am at hand to lend a listening ear and provide helpful resources as and when needed both to the girls and the staff.
We also have a prayer group run by current parents to pray for the whole community of St Catherine's. For more details, click here:Prayer Group
Well-being Booklets (produced by one of our 6th form Chapel Prefects)
Each year we have two chapel prefects who help in the running of the chapel. One prefect has put together a number of booklets which focus on common questions and emotions that humans face. The booklets below give you spiritual advice and guidance on how to navigate them.
I trust that you and your daughter will enjoy being part of the St Catherine’s community and I look forward to meeting you both.
Location: The School Medical Centre is situated in the first floor of the main school building adjacent to Bronte boarding house and is available for use by both day girls and boarders.
Surgery opening times:
08:00 - 08:30am Before School
10:05 - 10:25am Morning Break (and 10:35-10:55am on a Monday)
13:00 - 14:15pm Lunch Break
16:10 - 17:00pm After School
20:00 - 21:00pm Evening (boarders surgery)
Medical problems during the school day:
As well as the above opening times, if students are feeling unwell during lessons, they can ask their teachers to be excused and can then be taken to the medical centre for advice.
There is always a member of the team on call and we can be contacted on the School Medical Centre mobile phone if you need to speak to us out of school hours: mobile: 07789 354664 or via e-mail (for non-urgent matters): email@example.com.
Sister Linda Green RGN - Senior Nursing Sister, Sister Dominique Barnett RGN, Sister Maya Garside RGN, Sister Lauretta Pope RGN, Sister Rachel Clark RN BSc
The School Psychologists
When more specialist support may be required to help a pupil through specific emotional challenges, we are fortunate to have the expertise of a Resident Psychologist and two counsellors on hand in school. They work in collaboration with other members of the Pastoral Team to support our pupils and to see them become the best that they can be.
Both Jo & Louise draw on a number of evidence-based therapeutic models in their work with young people and families, including cognitive behavioural therapy, narrative therapy, solution focused therapy, mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy. They work closely with parents of our students, offering information and advice on a range of wellbeing and mental health concerns.
Dr Joanne Taylor
Lead Resident Psychologist
Dr Jo Taylor is the Lead Clinical Psychologist. Jo has also worked in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and has provided teaching on child mental health to primary and secondary schools, and on Psychology training courses.
Dr Louise Fermandel
Resident Clinical Psychologist
Dr Louise Fermandel is the Resident Clinical Psychologist. Louise has worked in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, as part of her previous role she lead an assessment clinic working with young people who presented with neurodevelopmental needs. Louise has also worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, in the Paediatric Rehabilitation service.
"Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to morale."
(Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian Designer)
The Dining Hall is a sociable area, and no phones or electronic devices are allowed in this Hall or the queue. Conversation is the order of the day.
The importance of a well-balanced diet for a student’s overall wellbeing and health is something that St Catherine’s take extremely seriously. Our girls are highly active and require energy to sustain them through their busy school day. This is why all of our food is freshly prepared in School by our wonderful team, led by Dan, Executive Chef Manager, and Luke, Head Chef, of Harrison Catering Services.
At lunch, the girls have a choice of a variety of hot dishes, including a vegetarian option. There is a separate salad bar which is continually evolving to reflect tastes and trends. Any girls with special dietary requirements are catered for and the team ensures that all food offered is balanced nutritionally and is adapted for the age range within the School. Our varied pasta dishes and the weekly roast are always extremely popular and our menus are regularly rotated and updated.
To view our sample menu please click here.
Breakfasts are enjoyed by all boarders and day girls attending early sport fitness sessions in the winter months regularly book in for breakfast, too!
We have launched "Chefs Adopt A School", where our chefs tutor Prep School students over three sessions to teach respect for food, food provenance, nutrition, health and hygiene and cooking as a life skill.
As we are a boarding school, our students rely on the quality of our food and as an international community we encourage the sampling of other’s national cuisine and we celebrate diversity. Examples of some recent dishes enjoyed by the girls included Vegetable Dhansak, Chicken Jambalaya, Chlli Beef Nachos and vegetable Chow Mein. Boarders are invited to help our chefs create their national dishes at themed boarding evenings for all the boarders to enjoy which have become annual events with Boarders from Nigeria and Hong Kong working with our chefs to prepare authentic dishes.
Breakfasts & Suppers
Breakfasts are prepared with the same level of care as lunch and offer boarders a great start to each day and a nutritious evening meal which again offers a vegetarian and a salad option.
At St Catherine’s we believe in giving our students the opportunity to educate their own peers on issues that are important to them, including environmental issues. As a result of our participation in the Guardians of Grub initiative - a UK wide community from across the food service sector whose aim is to reduce food waste - a group of students are currently working with our caterers to collate data aimed at reducing the School’s food waste. We also have initiatives to reduce the impact of our catering on the environment by reducing plastic packaging usage. Plastic food pots have been replaced with glass jars and any disposable items used are made from recycled material.