How we help your child
We believe it is the right of every child to feel happy and secure. Along with high quality teaching, we are also dedicated to providing excellent pastoral care. Families appreciate the warmth of relationships between teachers, pupils and their parents, which ensures that your son or daughter will be known as an individual.
Form tutors are primarily responsible for the pastoral care of pupils in their form. Pupils see their form tutors every morning and afternoon at registration and can ask about any uncertainties, however small they may seem. Form tutors take the time to get to know each child individually and discuss with parents any difficulties that may arise.
Heads of Year and Heads of Section
Form tutors work closely with the Heads of Year and Heads of Section who have overall responsibility for the pastoral care of each child in their year group/section and ensure appropriate support as children progress through the school. Our Heads of Year and Heads of Section are:
Lower School (First to Third Year)
Head of First Year – Mrs Suttle
Head of Second Year – Miss Withington
Head of Third Year – Dr Zanda (Assistant Head of Second Year – Mr Breffit)
Head of Lower School – Mrs Lawson
Middle School (Fourth and Fifth Year)
Head of Fourth Year – Mrs Grey
Head of Fifth Year – Mr Clarke
Head of Middle School – Mrs Smith
Head of Lower Sixth – Mrs Ashton
Head of Upper Sixth – Mrs Britton
Head of Sixth Form – Mr Stone
Assemblies and Form Periods
Each week, each year group usually has two assemblies and three form periods or three assemblies and two form periods.
Form periods are extended registration times and are used to cover pastoral curriculum topics in addition to those being covered in Life Studies lessons (please see the links below). Form periods for the first years are particularly aimed at ensuring pupils settle in and become confident in their new environment.
Middle School and Sixth Form pupils usually meet together for a weekly assembly, with Lower School pupils meeting together later in the week. Assembly speakers include the Headmaster, Deputy Heads, Heads of Section/Year, other members of staff and visiting speakers. These assemblies regularly include a Christian hymn and prayer. The Deputy Head (Pastoral) and the School Chaplain work closely with a team of Sixth Form pupils who lead Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish faith assemblies.
Each year group also usually has its own assembly on a fortnightly basis, led by the Head of Year or Head of Section. There are also weekly House assemblies (see below).
Lower School Friends
Starting at a new school can sometimes be a daunting prospect. The Lower School Friends scheme is run by Lower Sixth pupils who give their time to help First Year pupils settle into their new environment. A small number of Lower Sixth pupils are attached to each First Year form and they visit the forms regularly, helping First Year pupils to find their way around in the first few weeks and reassuring or advising them as they settle into school life.
Lower School Friends also work with Second Year forms, again visiting the forms regularly and helping and advising pupils.
Pupils benefit from the support of two full-time school nurses, Mrs Ward and Mrs Kenny. The school nurses build good communication links between staff, pupils and parents to make sure all pupils are well cared for as individuals.
The school nurses are responsible for developing protocols and care plans for the administering of medicines in school and the management of existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.
The school nurses work in partnership with teaching staff to deliver and advise on pastoral curriculum topics such as body image.
The pastoral care provided by the pastoral team and nurses is additionally supported by counsellors from Beacon Counselling in Stockport who are available in school to support pupils on a one-to-one basis on a range of pastoral matters.
Every pupil is assigned to one of the school’s four Houses: Arden, Nicholson, Warren and Vernon. The Houses have a family atmosphere, with pupils from all year groups meeting each week for their House’s assembly. There are regular inter-House competitions and everyone can take part, either as a player in a team or as a supporter. These competitions give pupils the opportunity to work as a team and to exercise responsibility and organisational skills.
Liaison between Parents and School
Pupils receive regular effort grades and reports and there are parents’ evenings for each year group. In addition, there are information evenings at the start of the academic year for parents of particular year groups. The First Year Information Evening allows parents to meet their son’s or daughter’s Form Tutor, the Head of First Year and the Head of Lower School. The Fourth Year Information Evening provides parents with vital information as their son or daughter embarks on their GCSE courses and the Sixth Form Information Evening covers A-level and university application information. The pastoral team also organise parent information evenings with speakers from external agencies covering subjects such as drugs and alcohol.
If at any time there are concerns about your son’s or daughter’s progress you can expect members of the pastoral team or teaching staff to contact you. We also encourage parents to contact us should they have any concerns about their son’s or daughter’s progress. The Form Tutor or Subject Teacher would usually be the initial point of contact for parents but Heads of Year/Section and Heads of Department can be contacted as necessary. Members of staff can easily be contacted by phone or by email.
Mrs Jo White (Deputy Head – Pastoral)