In brief, what is the ethos of pastoral care?
Collaborative and supportive. We believe in individual care and small tutor groups which encourage daily interaction with the tutor, providing continuity but with opportunities to change and grow throughout a pupil’s school career. The pastoral system provides a sense of progression with increasing responsibilities and freedoms in a safe, welcoming environment.
How does this differ from other schools?
We believe in broad integration and that students need to feel that they are part of the whole school. We provide specialist guidance at different levels, and targeted support, with students having role models in the years above. The level of integration is stronger as a result.
What are the benefits of our tutor approach?
A tutor will know their tutees really well, and will possess specialist skills with this age group. In the Lower School, the mixed tutor groups enable Year 8 pupils to sensibly guide the new Year 7s. The same applies in the Upper School with mixed Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth groups. In the Middle School our single-year tutor groups work best for this age group and provide opportunities for tutors to focus on key issues.
How do you allocate children to a house or tutor group?
At entry, we deliberately mix pupils from different backgrounds and with different interests, so our houses and tutor groups are not known for certain ‘types’ or cliques. All students will have a similar experience. We regularly check with new students to ensure they have settled in, and it becomes almost impossible to spot the new students from the ‘old’ after a few days!
What communication should we expect from a tutor?
Regular dialogue (phone/email/face-to-face) is possible if you have any concerns at any time.
In the first week of the Michaelmas term we hold a social function for parents to meet tutors and other parents. For Years 7, 9 and Lower Sixth we provide written subject and tutor feedback on progress and happiness during their first four weeks. Parents’ Evenings are held every year.
What role does the Divisional Head play in pastoral care?
The Divisional Heads have an overview of issues and can ensure consistency of tutoring and rewards and sanctions. They create sense of community through regular assemblies and all have many years’ experience of guiding tutors and pupils.
What disciplinary action does the school take for various issues?
Action ranges from a telling off to detentions; Friday afternoon detention is the least serious, Saturday evening more serious, and suspension is most serious. Clear guidelines for each sanction are found in our behaviour policy. The behaviour policy is designed to ensure that the student understands why the misbehaviour is damaging, and time is spent in many cases exploring the reason why the misbehaviour occurred in the first instance.