Pastoral Care

Good pastoral care is of prime importance. In order for each child to fulfil their potential both academically and socially, the environment in which they operate has to be conducive to this. Students must feel happy and engaged at school, but must be equally disciplined and well-mannered. If a child is to thrive at school, they must be completely at ease with their surroundings.

Our small size is among our greatest strengths. Every individual is known, understood and appreciated: our pupils are never treated as statistics. We pride ourselves on providing excellent pastoral care. Relationships among the pupils and between pupils and staff are excellent. Our aim is to provide a relaxed and informal atmosphere, with a healthy respect for authority. A sense of well-being and belonging underpins all progress in Senior School and we devote time and attention to ensuring that pupils develop the confidence and sense of worth they need to flourish. Where necessary, we provide support to pupils as they steer the tricky waters of teenage life: whether with making or sustaining friendships, making good choices or managing workload, a listening ear and practical advice are always available.

We were very proud that the inspectors who visited us recently noted "the strong sense of family, which permeates the whole school community." (ISI Inspection Report, January 2017)

"The feeling of a cohesive and caring community struck me immediately; every child is valued." Parent

Pastoral Structure

We hold the whole community accountable for looking after each other. The way that we talk to each other, treat each other and understand each other’s needs, is fundamental to the warm atmosphere at the School.

Head of Senior School, John Wilson, leads and oversees the work of a dedicated and dynamic group of form teachers. Our form teachers play a vital role in mentoring, monitoring progress and well-being, guiding and encouraging each pupil, taking a particular interest in all aspects of the individual’s development. 

The form teacher is the first contact for pupils or their parents if any issues arise, pastoral or academic. Every care is taken to ensure that problems, big or small, are resolved sensitively, quickly and effectively. Pupils who wish to do so can have access to a School Counsellor on a weekly basis.

"Your child will never be swallowed up or ignored but recognised, supported and encouraged."  Parent

Behaviour

Our expectations of behaviour are extremely high. Respect for others, for oneself and for the environment are at the heart of our School Code. This sets down clearly all the rules and expected behaviours of our community. A system of rewards and sanctions encourages pupils to understand and develop appropriate behaviour. Weekly sessions of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education with form teachers, supplemented by visiting expert speakers, give pupils opportunities to explore issues connected with well-being, relationships and self-management. We aim to ensure that they have the best possible preparation for young adult life.

"The pupils' high standards of behaviour are underpinned by consistent behaviour management and the respectful relationships established between staff and pupils." ISI Inspection Report, January 2017

Supporting Independence

Senior pupils take up roles of responsibility as House Captains and Prefects and many volunteer to work with younger pupils, developing crucial leadership skills. An elected School Council, with budget to spend and a role in reviewing relevant policies, ensures that students play their part in decision making. Regular surveys and consultations ensure that our pupils' opinions and perspectives are understood and taken into account.

Our focus is on developing independence: we give pupils the opportunity to have a voice in any decisions made regarding their lives, and ensure that they take personal responsibility for their actions and progress wherever possible.

Partnership with Parents 

We are committed to working in partnership with our families to ensure the best possible progress of our students in every area of their development. Form teachers keep in regular contact with parents about any issues affecting behaviour, progress or welfare. Parents are encouraged to communicate promptly with the School when concerns arise and to keep us informed of any matters that may affect a pupil's behaviour, work or well-being.

"The school values effort and good behaviour as highly as academic achievement, which is very important to us as a family." Parent