We pride ourselves on providing a warm and friendly atmosphere for both our pupils and parents. Children fulfil their potential when they are happy and confident and we look to promote this ethos in every day school life through our club system, close pastoral care and wellbeing services.
We aim to equip our pupils with self-confidence, an awareness of their own emotions and resilience as they move on to the next step on their academic journey in Year 9 and beyond.
Every pupil in the Prep School is assigned to a Club and the Club President oversees their pastoral care. All pupils will also have a form tutor who will be the first contact for minor pastoral and academic concerns. Our Clubs and Club Presidents are as follows:
- Jaguars – Mrs C L Whitaker
- Tigers – Miss S C Allan
- Wolves – Mr B J Russell
- Lions – Mr S J Whitby
- Bears – Mr P W Dennis
- Panthers – Mr W Richardson
The vertical structure of the Club system means that pupils of all ages integrate with one another and older pupils can share their experiences and help and support our younger pupils. Children are appointed a guardian from within the Club to look after them when joining the Prep School.
Each Club has a girl and a boy Club Captain but all senior pupils will take the lead in a number of activities as we are keen to encourage initiative and a sense of responsibility.
Pupils may from time to time experience difficulties which seem to them to be insoluble. These may be related to family worries, breakdown or loss of a relationship, feelings of isolation, loneliness or depression, stress or anxiety or behavioural problems. In these circumstances the School's Wellbeing Manager and counselling service, which are designed to complement the strengths of the pastoral system, provide an opportunity for pupils to address their concerns in a calm and neutral environment.
Pupils are only given access to a counsellor when both the parents and the pupil concerned consider that support of this kind may prove beneficial. While the School does not refer pupils without the consent of parents, it does, in appropriate circumstances, suggest that counselling should be considered as a possible course of action. In certain circumstances, the counsellor may recommend that a pupil should be referred to another agency. Such a recommendation would be made to parents.
The Wellbeing staff regularly hold presentations and talks for pupils across the school, handling issues such as internet safety, bullying and mental health. Presentations are also held for parents to help with their own stress handling and aid them in their child’s welfare.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) helps pupils to learn about themselves and nurtures their emotional intelligence, enabling them to work well with others. Life skills are about reading other people’s emotions, encouraging pupils to know their own emotions and being able to become proficient in a range of social competencies. A sense of belonging in the family and within peers is more easily achieved if self-awareness and self-belief are nurtured together with learning to tune into and relate to the feelings of others. Emotional intelligence is also a critical skill in career and education success.
Pupils in Years 4 and 6 are introduced to Philosophy through Life Skills where they start to have a greater philosophical understanding through questioning and extended discussion. Pupils in Year 6 also experience the ‘Fiver Challenge’ in which pupils use their entrepreneurial skills to turn £5 into as much profit as they can within the month of June. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 take part in a carousel of activities which includes ‘Internet safety’, ‘personal relationships’, ‘finance’ and ‘community’.
Within PSHCE we also use our school medical team to present topics such as puberty and our wellbeing managers also support the programme through advice in individual lessons, and coming to talk to whole year groups and parents.
All pupils have a weekly life skills lesson and these can often be flexible depending upon topics which are prevalent in society at that time; for example, the election.