Nurturing happy, confident children
We take the responsibility of caring for all our children extremely seriously. We work to ensure there is a nurturing atmosphere in which each child feels cared for and important. This is achieved both formally through our Pastoral system and informally through the positive relationships the children are encouraged to build with each other and all the adults at the school.
The St Andrew’s Prep Nursery boasts a team of qualified and experienced Nursery staff who are passionate and hold the strong belief that each child is unique and capable of great achievements. We have a holistic approach and provide enriching activities for all age groups allowing every child to be curious, explore, discover and take risks in a safe environment. We work to ensure that there is a nurturing atmosphere in which each child feels safe, cared for and important. This is achieved through our Pastoral Care and the positive relationships the children are helped to build with each other and all the adults at the school.
Every child within the Nursery is allocated a Key Person. The Key Person Approach promotes a reciprocal relationship between the member of staff, the child and their family. This provides the child with a sense of security so that they feel confident to explore their world and form further relationships. The role of the Key Person is to know a child and to support their sense of identity and individuality. They need to be aware of their individual child’s and family’s needs, preferences and development. Key Persons are also responsible for the planning and assessment of their children. During weekly staff meetings, any pastoral matters that may arise concerning children are shared between staff, ensuring the individual children’s needs are met. This information is shared with parents on a regular basis.
Staff believe that each child should have a ‘voice’. The children are encouraged and given opportunities to express themselves with confidence individually, as well as in a group.
We strive to ensure that children are happy, supported in their learning and sufficiently challenged by their work. Children are encouraged and helped to give of their best within a structured framework of friendly discipline. The focal person for each child and parent is the Class Teacher who teaches the children most subjects and also takes the leading pastoral role. Class Teachers work closely with the Head of Department to ensure children’s wellbeing is monitored.
The St Andrew’s key values are followed in the Pre-Prep, as they are in the rest of the school. These reflect the moral code that informs the culture of the classroom. To positively encourage the keeping of values, kindness, courtesy and good manners, the Pre-Prep department awards patches during the weekly Celebration Assembly. The children are given these in the colour of their House set, to engender a sense of being part of a team and they are added to the display board situated in the Close Hall. We use Privilege Time to support our rewards and sanctions strategy.
Within the timetable there is time allocated for ‘Circle Time’ where the children engage in whole class discussion about positive and negative feelings and how the actions of others affect their own emotions. We also follow the Jigsaw programme of study to further develop an understanding of themselves and their relationships with others, during the PSHE lessons.
'The contribution of arrangements for pastoral care is excellent.'
Pastoral Care at St Andrew’s is pro-active rather than reactionary and every child is cared for. The Head of Pastoral Care oversees the school’s Welfare Management Team which prioritises the wellbeing of every child.
Children in Years 3 and 4, who make up the Junior Department, continue to have a Class Teacher in a similar fashion to the Pre-Prep and that Class Teacher, with the support of the Head of Juniors, will take principal responsibility for the pastoral care of their children. From Year 5, children are looked after by their Form Tutor. The tutor system forms a vital link between the family and the school. The role of the Form Tutor is to encourage their tutees in academic and pastoral matters, so parents can be confident that there is a dedicated adult who takes a personal interest in their child’s wellbeing. Form Teachers and Tutors are readily available to talk to you about any aspects of school life.
Years 5 and 6 are called the Middles and Years 7 and 8 are called the Seniors. Each area is looked after by a Head of Department who champions pastoral care in those year groups. Assemblies are held for each area of the school as well as for the whole school to celebrate success, address pastoral issues and also to remind pupils of the school’s values.
Heads of Department coordinate their teams of tutors and feed in to the Head of Pastoral Care who oversees the school’s tutoring provision. This process is augmented through a comprehensive PSHE scheme of work and our very own Mind Matters programme. With growing social pressures on young people, we developed the Mind Matters programme as a way of educating the children how to form opinions properly, how to substantiate ideas, how to self-reflect without over-analysing, how to listen and value other opinions, how to think critically and how to be aware of the wider community. In other words, we want to expand the minds of every pupil so that they become more resilient, more compassionate and better listeners.
If a child has a concern or a problem, each of the staff above is available for them to speak to as well as the School Nurse, the Housemaster or the Headmaster. The school also offers both a School Listener and an Independent Listener service. Mrs Piper, our School Listener, is available twice a week and Jorj Kowszun, a reader and the Safeguarding Officer at St John’s Church, Meads can be contacted by email, telephone or he will visit the school if needed. Jorj visits the boarders termly for breakfast and to check on their wellbeing.
Ultimately, the happiness of every child is crucial to the success of the pastoral care at St Andrew’s.