Pastoral care lies at the heart of Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong. We strive to ensure that each individual within our school feels valued, has a purpose and belongs within our community.

How do we focus on wellbeing?

Our House system is central to our pastoral support in school, creating a sense of community, identity and belonging. When a family joins our school, they are allocated one of our four Houses and each child is allocated a class buddy to support them in their transition. Throughout the school year, children engage in a range of transition programs to help build resilience in coping with change.

 The school community partakes in a range of House competitions and challenges throughout the year with each challenge promoting a strand of wellbeing. A detailed PSHCE program is run throughout school, engaging our students in understanding a healthy lifestyle, as well as promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness. During home time in primary and House tutor time in secondary, students engage activities which focus on wellbeing.  

We are a UNICEF ‘Rights Respecting School’, which forms our community values in primary and helps our students to gain a greater understanding of the IB ‘Attitudes of Learning’ as they transition through the school to secondary. Student voice and leadership has a strong focus in all areas of the school, with wellbeing selected as one of our key portfolios. These initiatives encourages our students to take responsibility for contributing positively within our community.


At NAIS HK, we understand the importance of maintaining strong relationships and bonds of trust between students, staff and parents. Through establishing robust relationships between home and school, we are able to quickly identify any needs our students may have.  Each child has a class teacher / tutor, Head of House and Head of School, that activity monitors their wellbeing, as well as specialist teachers who are able to identify learning and language needs.  

During times of online learning, regular one-to-one and class wellbeing calls are given to students. This helps to continue the connection between our students and their trusted adults at school. 

We also use a range of internal and external surveys that allow us to carefully track and monitor levels of wellbeing across the school. Pastoral teams meet regularly to discuss this information and, if necessary, we adapt our pastoral programmes to meet the needs of different cohorts of students.


Wellbeing is a wide term to describe who we experience health and happiness. Most people understand that it includes mental and physical health, emotional and physical safety, but it is also about our sense of belonging, our purpose, our achievement and success.

Wellbeing is a wide ranging concept and there are debates on how many aspects of wellbeing there are. Generally, there are at least five major fields of wellbeing:

  • Emotional wellbeing – the ability to be resilient, manage one’s emotions and generate emotions that lead to good feelings
  • Physical wellbeing – the ability to improve the functioning of one’s body through healthy eating and good exercise habits
  • Social wellbeing – the ability to communicate, develop meaningful relationships with others and create one’s own emotional support network
  • Occupational wellbeing – the ability to pursue one’s own interests, beliefs and values in order to gain meaning and happiness in life and professional enrichment
  • Societal wellbeing – the ability to participate in an active community or culture.

Overall, wellbeing depends some functioning in all of these areas, but importantly as Hargreaves and Shirley (2018) say, “Having meaning and purpose is integral to people’s sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing involves far more than happiness, and accomplishments go far beyond test success.”



Wellbeing is important at school because schools are essential role in supporting students to make healthy lifestyle choices and helping them to understand the effects of their choices on their health and wellbeing. 

Childhood and are crucial periods in the development of long-term learning, behaviours, neural pathways, and attitudes  towards personal wellbeing and lifestyle choices. The social and emotional space that schools can provide for students to try out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that they are learning help them build resilience and set patterns for how they will manage their mental, emotional and physical health throughout their lives.

Schools provide students with reliable unbiased information to deepen their understanding of life choices they face. Providing students with the intellectual skills required to reflect critically on these choices and on the influences that society has on them is especially important as peer pressure, advertising, social media and family and cultural values all apply pressure on young people’s decision making.

Wellbeing and academic achievement and directly linked, and the feed each other reciprocally. For example, physical activity is associated with improved learning and greater concentration. Strong, supportive relationships give students the emotional support to step out of their ‘comfort zone’ and explore new ideas and ways of thinking. Positive emotions are also associated with the development of flexibility and adaptability, openness to other cultures and beliefs, self-efficacy and tolerance, central to our school’s value of Respect. 


We understand that everyone is an individual and therefore, support must be personalised. There is always someone to listen and each student has a team of adults to support them in school. Students are encouraged to identify at least one adult in school, that they feel comfortable to ask support from. 

As well as individual mentoring, peer support groups are run to encourage connections of support within peer groups. 

In addition to this support, we also have onsite counsellors through our partnership with Monash University. Students are referred to Ms. Procter (Primary) and Mr. Scrivener (Secondary) by a teacher or students may approach them themselves if they would like to reach out to someone for a little support.


When trying to promote young people’s wellbeing in school we are constantly faces with multi-faceted nature of wellbeing. With different aspects of wellbeing, all of which need to be promoted, where do we begin? It is not possible to improve students’ wellbeing single interventions or activities, rather it takes the development of a ‘culture’ of wellbeing throughout the whole school and the active involvement of everyone, to teach, model and support the culture in everything we do.

Sometimes this may even appear to conflict with other school priorities, such as academic standards. After all, unreasonably high expectations, testing or an over-emphasis on academic performance may actually undermine student wellbeing.

However, our school does have the freedom to make the changes to school life which might most benefit student wellbeing, including formal examinations and tests, the content of curricula, the length of the school day or the physical school environment.

We don’t have control over the out-of-school influences on student wellbeing. What happens in the home and the family, local communities or social media can have as much, if not more, influence on student wellbeing as anything in school. However, we hope that the learning school and home have provided will give each student a firm foundation to make the right and most healthy of choices. 

Developing wellbeing in students is made easier when school staff themselves have a positive sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing at work is strongly related workload, quality of professional relationships, level of autonomy, clarity about one’s role, availability of support and the opportunity to be involved in changes which affect one’s professional life. Our school works hard to provide a workplace that provides as much as it can for it staff, however difficult this may seem.

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing | NAIS Hong Kong - Promo With Collage - OE 6


There’s always a world of learning beyond the classroom at NAIS Hong Kong. No matter what your child’s personal interests may be, we’ll nourish their curiosity with hands-on activities and inspiring adventures. And at every step of the journey, they’ll build their confidence.