Pastoral Care and Welfare
The aims of Pastoral Care are indistinguishable from the aims of the school. Similarly, the aims of the school cannot be separated into those which are "pastoral" and those which have no pastoral strand. Much the same is true of the staff of the school; the teaching and the non-teaching staff work together and share important roles in the success of pastoral care. The focus of all school policy and action is the student - her growth, her circumstances, the development of her abilities and interests, and the recognition and celebration of her achievements.
Students are placed in form groups on entry to the school in Year 7. Each new Year 7 Form meets on the induction afternoon in July of Year 6, when time is spent with the Form Tutor in the prospective form room. There are thirty students in each form. Year 7 is based in Lady's Close, though some lessons take place daily in the other parts of the school. This arrangement eases transition from the smaller primary environment into this large and busy secondary school. Students stay in the same form group throughout the years of compulsory schooling. The school encourages students to prepare for the responsibilities of adult life by taking on various responsibilities in school. In the Sixth Form, tutor groups have just over twenty students.
There are Heads of each Year, who lead teams of Tutors, and themselves form a working group under the Deputy Headteacher responsible for pastoral care, Ms Tai. An Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Edwards, is Head of Sixth Form. As a general principle, Heads of Year stay with their year groups and Tutors with their Forms. This helps to ensure continuity of care for each girl in a strong, supportive social group, and to develop the team of Tutors and their Head of Year as an informed, effective pastoral group. Staff development, through shared management of change, is thus built into the system.
The school keeps in close touch with parents and aims to ensure effective communication takes place between home and school.
The expertise of support agencies, such as the Local Authority’s Children’s Services and School Attendance Improvement Officer, Chessbrook Education Support Centre, and Educational Psychology Service, is used regularly and effectively.