Pastoral Care is a real strength across the Prep School and every child is known and understood. Happiness, security and confidence are paramount for each child to achieve, learn and succeed. Everything grows from these secure foundations.
We are creating the solid foundations of a ‘Pastoral School’ by developing individual Learning Behaviours from Nursery upwards; promoting the language and behaviour associated with ‘Growth Mindsets’ and by introducing elements of Mindfulness. This process forms the basis for a broad curriculum, tailored, where appropriate, to individual needs.
The pastoral structure is a support network which looks after the children and the staff:
- Form Tutors – look after small classes and genuinely know their pupils. Communication between home and school is frequent and supportive. Form time each morning and extended Form Periods once a week enable a strong link between the pupils and the Form Tutor. An online Pastoral Folder tracks the social progress, rewards, sanctions and achievements of each child.
- Houses – provide a second layer of pastoral support. Vertical integration from Reception to Year 6 means children across the age groups and the year groups mix and get to know each other. The youngest look up to the older children as role models and the older children look after the juniors. Each House has a Captain and Vice Captain who help to organise events and each class has a Form Captain and Vice Captain, all gradually taking on roles and responsibilities as they move through the school. Each House also has teachers helping give leadership.
- The Buddy System – provides immediate support for any new pupil joining the school and at playtime to ensure there is always a friend at hand. Year 5 pupils become playground buddies for Reception and KS1 pupils who love to play with the older children! Each day, on a rota, they will be on hand in Holly Hedge to help the young Preps and be a ‘listening-ear’. When new children join the school, the Form Tutor assigns two buddies from the class to look after them, guide them and help them to settle quickly.
- Prefects – in Year 6 are led by a Head Boy or Girl and a Deputy. The Prefects have a variety of roles and responsibilities but the key pastoral task is to set a good example and be role models for the Prep School. Sometimes children find it easier to talk to the older children about worries or concerns: broad issues are raised by Prefects at School Council and ‘personal’ or individual issues are passed immediately to the Form Tutors and thus into the pastoral network.