Good pastoral care is about making children feel at ease so that they can thrive at school. That means making every child feel valued and cared for, which in turn means knowing them well, having good relationships with their families, and offering them the right support.
It starts in the classroom. Our small classes make it possible for teachers to know each child well, spot the smallest changes, and deal with problems quickly. The teachers can also call on additional support, via regular pastoral briefings with Key Stage leaders, Heads of School, and the Principal. Sometimes we might offer one-to-one mentoring for a child, or peer mentoring where children can help each other. Our Learning Support team also offers practical assistance, and is a safe haven for children who need extra comfort.
Family involvement is also encouraged. Every parent is phoned by their child’s teacher in the first week of the school year, and we have ‘Meet the Teacher’ evenings where we establish a strong partnership between school and home and introduce parents to each other. It’s all part of a culture of open communication that makes our pastoral provision more effective.
We then take more subtle steps to make each child feel valued. Our House system, for example, allows us to reward all types of achievement and good behaviour. We run transition sessions to make children feel comfortable moving to a new phase of the school. And we show children they matter by giving them positions of responsibility such as School Council Rep or Prefect.
You can see this reflected in the annual prizes we award. As well as academic prizes, we have cups and shields for courtesy, good manners, enthusiasm, personal development, individual perseverance and maturity. These are the kind of qualities we encourage to make the school a happy place.
If you have any concerns about your child, please contact their Form Teacher or Key Person – by phone, email or face-to-face. We will do everything we can to help.