Pastoral care at Sevenoaks focuses on the individual.
Pastoral care is at the heart of Sevenoaks School. The primary aim of our system is to ensure that every pupil feels individually valued and supported. Each student is tutored in a small group who meet every day; this enables the tutor to know them extremely well and to support and guide them, and it enables friendships to flourish. All this we believe contributes to the particularly happy atmosphere at Sevenoaks and our values of compassion, open-mindedness and trust.
There’s always somewhere to go and someone to listen to you. Whether it’s a teacher or a nurse in the Health Centre, someone is always willing to give up their time no matter how big or small the issue.
Millie, Year 11
Sevenoaks School is a community of over 1000 pupils and over 300 staff. In such a large school it is important that every pupil is individually monitored and supported and we believe that our tutor system achieves this.
Tutor groups are small and meet every morning. There is administration to be done of course – registration, reading of the bulletin and so on – but much of the time is spent discussing current affairs, PSHE issues, chatting with the tutors and one another, and most importantly, enabling the tutor to see individual pupils regularly to discuss academic progress and any problems (both in and out of the classroom) that the pupils may have.
Some Sixth Form students volunteer to be trained as Peer Mentors and they are then attached to tutor groups in the Lower and Middle School. They regularly visit to share their experiences and act as a friendly ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’.
Pastoral care is not restricted to the tutor group meeting in the morning, however. Tutors and Divisional Heads are available to pupils at other times to talk and offer advice. Pupils seek them out as well as talking to their subject teachers about things that are worrying them. The Peer Mentors also offer support for day-to-day worries about issues such as friendships or work issues.
The Health Centre is open every school day and the nurses are there to deal with illness and injuries, but also to listen when pupils need someone to talk to privately or confidentially. There is a School Counsellor who can be contacted for an appointment. The Pastoral Deputy Head is also someone that pupils can turn to for help. In our experience pupils also share problems with their friends and are incredibly supportive of each other.
It is testimony to the success of the system that both the full inspection report and the boarding inspection report repeatedly emphasised the exceptionally happy atmosphere amongst the pupil body. We are very proud of that.
For more information, please see our pastoral care FAQ.
Deputy Head Pastoral: Miss Helen Tebayhpt@sevenoaksschool.org