Pastoral and well-being
When students join us in Year 5 and 6 our main priority is their happiness and emotional well-being. Junior Department teachers are at the heart of the pastoral system for students and will be there to provide guidance as they settle into the routines of a new school. They help support students as they get to grips with new bus journeys, navigate friendships, manage homework expectations and choose which extracurricular opportunities to engage in.
Our wider pastoral network is strong and has the best interests of students at its heart. While the Director of Students has overall pastoral responsibility, every member of staff has a role to play including the Chaplain, school counsellors and Health Centre team. We also have a team of Sixth Form student assistants who act as excellent role models for Junior students and offer them a listening ear at lunchtimes.
When they join the School, all students automatically become part of the whole school House system which helps foster a real sense of community and belonging from the very beginning. This enables Juniors to interact with older students and participate in competitions and events, including Sports Day and House Music. Junior students have the opportunity also to take up various leadership roles, such as form leaders and School Council representatives.
Once students have gained their place in Years 5 or 6, they are guaranteed entry into Year 7. The Junior Department is therefore uniquely positioned to help facilitate a smooth transition between the junior and senior stages of school life. Juniors are given support and guidance to develop a growing sense of independence, both in terms of organisational skills and in taking more responsibility for their own learning. Our students really benefit from spending these one or two years developing these skills before making the smooth transition into the senior school.