We recognise the enormous change that our students undergo as they pass through the School. They enter as children and leave us as young women, ready to embrace and contribute to all that the world has to offer. We consider that supporting students in becoming people with a good understanding of themselves and the ability to self-manage is key. Our core values of support and kindness, nurture and celebration of success encourage students to gain a sense of perspective, value what they have and seek to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
We allow students the space to explore their individuality in an environment which is big enough to celebrate a wide range of personalities and interests but is small enough to know, to care and to spot when someone is having a good or bad day. Our pastoral support networks are strong with every member of staff playing a role; from the Director of Students, who has overall pastoral responsibility, the friendly face at Reception and smiling catering staff serving a hearty meal at lunchtime to the Chaplain and counsellors who provide safe spaces to talk through the trickier things.
Form tutors and Heads of Section
Form tutors and support tutors are at the heart of the pastoral system and see their students on a daily basis. Their role is get to know your daughter so that they have an understanding of her world, what she likes to do, what she finds more challenging, celebrate her successes and support her in learning from her mistakes. The form tutoring team stay the same throughout a section so that there is consistency of support. In addition, the Heads of Section also have oversight of academic progress and work with form tutors in encouraging self-reflection and a solution-focused approach to issues.
The Health Centre provides a high level of first aid care, together with supporting students with more chronic conditions such as severe allergies. In addition, many of the staff are first aid trained and the PE staff also have additional head injuries training.
Food and environment
As you get to know us, you will quickly realise that food is a very important part of the culture here. The catering team know that providing outstanding food encourages students to take that break in the middle of the day and share a meal, rather than eating in a rush and getting on their phone.
Equally, Housekeeping and Estates know how much the students value their environment and the attractive places created for them to relax and chat during breaks. The culture is of community and connectedness.
The students themselves provide support to one another, not only through friendship but also through peer mentoring. The Student Support Team is a group of Lower Sixth students who provide peer support, especially for younger students joining the school. Every form in Middle and Lower School has a Sixth Form student allocated to them. They act as additional support figures for the younger students and will often chat individually outside the class setting.
Spiritual and counselling
In addition to the pastoral support of the teaching team we have a Chaplain and two school counsellors, all adding different professional expertise as required.
While students are encouraged to draw on and build their own coping mechanisms, there are times when more help is needed and actively asking for support is encouraged.
A culture of respect and equality
We work closely with Abingdon School in many different respects and both schools are committed to the personal development and wellbeing of our students in the widest possible sense. We promote a culture of mutual respect and equality; we celebrate diversity and we work together to support and nurture the students in our care and to share best practice in order to establish a community in which students from both schools can navigate and enjoy their teenage years and develop positive relationships. Read our joint statement with Abingdon School on sexual harassment and misogyny.