In order to achieve our aim of being a Happy and Successful School, in that order, we provide pastoral care of the very highest standard. As one of the key strands of our Strategic Vision 2017 -2022, the further development of our pastoral care is of paramount importance to us, and will ensure that we have a provision that is recognised for its excellence and effectiveness both regionally and nationally.
Every child in the Junior School is valued; their personal development nurtured in and out of the classroom. The staff to pupil ratio is impressive, which means that every child benefits form individual attention. This is no more in evidence of this than in the Infants where class sizes average around 14, enabling Teachers and Teaching Assistants to really get to know the children on a one to one basis. Class sizes remain small throughout the Junior School and as a result our children benefit immensely from the associated high levels of pastoral care.
Our Pastoral Curriculum, which is built around our Learning Tree made up of key values, traits and thinking skills, ensures that children grow up not only feeling valued as individuals but able to value the contribution of others. As part of our bespoke Connected Curriculum, the Pastoral Curriculum ensures that children are cared for and that they care for others.
Our Pastoral Care programme is in place to support pupils who may need, for whatever reason, focused support and care from the staff, including our school counselors, who are based in our modern Health and Wellbeing Centre. We work closely with parents in these cases to provide structured, connected and effective support.
Our children learn in a happy, collaborative and supportive environment and because of this are much more likely to be successful, whatever their strengths and interests may be.
“What is education? Education is a vision of what it is that our children will need if they are going to flourish in the world as we predict it will be: that is to say, in their world not ours. What knowledge and skills, what attitudes and values will stand them in good stead as they embark on life in a globalised and digitalised future?” (Guy Claxton Visiting Professor in Psychology and Education at Bristol University, 2015)
We live in a world of constant and accelerating change. It is our belief that we must prepare our children to be effective and lifelong learners and help them as they meet the demands of the 21st Century.
From the moment our children enter the classroom we are committed to ensuring that they are learning and developing the skills, knowledge and understanding that they need to be happy and successful, both today and in the future.
As a school, we have embarked on a journey to develop and embrace important values, traits and learning skills that we strongly believe are vital for life in the 21st Century.
At the heart of this exciting new Pastoral Curriculum we have The Learning Tree (please see overleaf), which you will soon see around the school as the curriculum is introduced to the children. The tree is made up of the values, thinking skills and traits and symbolises the children’s growth as they move up through the School
Values – Underpinning everything we do are the roots of the tree and they represent the six core values of: freedom of thought, responsibility, respect, courage, trust and patience. These values have been chosen as they reflect our school aims and ethos.
Learning Skills – As the children become familiar with these values they will also be introduced to the six lifelong Learning Skills that we believe are crucial in enabling our children to succeed here, in our Senior School, Sixth Form and beyond to 25. They are represented by the branches of the Learning Tree which are symbolic of the children’s skills; branching out and growing on their journey through the Junior School. We will encourage the children, through their learning, to be making links, be decision makers and risk takers, work cooperatively, be reflective and show perseverance.
Traits – To enable our pupils to understand and adopt the key values and develop the thinking skills, we will build on their innate traits of empathy, curiosity and imagination. Through our Connected Curriculum we endeavour to ignite curiosity, stimulate imagination and nurture empathy as our children develop as bright, confident, respectful individuals, each contributing and making a difference to the positive atmosphere that exists here.
Our younger children will be familiarised with these values, learning skills and traits through stories and characters that will be introduced during assemblies and PSHE lessons, written by local author Chris Connaughton. As they become more aware of the vocabulary associated with our Pastoral Curriculum, they will also be able to identify the values and skills through exciting and enriching opportunities provided by our Connected Curriculum.
We also look forward to working in partnership with you our parents so that you can support your child’s learning by reinforcing the values, traits and skills at home.