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☰ Why superb pastoral care is at the heart of our school

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Headteacher Blog

Why superb pastoral care is at the heart of our school

Posted on: 07 Feb 2019 by Weston Green School

In school, I have the privilege of witnessing the incredible steps our children make each and every day in their learning - both academically and in their growth as people. Watching the children change, develop and grow within our care is a joy and it is important that as a school we not only support this but provide the opportunities, challenge and recognition to enable them to become the responsible, resilient, thoughtful and confident young people they are as they leave us at Year 6.

It is crucial, now more than ever, that our school places such a high emphasis on its effective pastoral care and nurturing environment. Given that the premise of the job of a school is to best prepare children for the rigours and challenges of tomorrow, it follows that the care and attention that he or she receives along the way will lay the foundations for future success.

Being an effective teacher has never required a greater skill-set than in recent years. Teachers are not only knowledgeable about their subjects, but they are motivators, evaluators and, increasingly, counsellors. We need to teach resilience and nurture self-esteem alongside quadratic equations, the imperfect tense and fronted adverbial clauses. Therefore, having strong pastoral care provision in place is, in our opinion, a non-negotiable of any successful school.

My view and that of many researchers is that children learn best when they are happy and confident in their surroundings. At Weston Green, children’s wellbeing is high on our agenda. So how do we make this happen? How do we help our children to be happy, learn well and achieve?

Firstly, pastoral care is an integrated and essential part of our school life: an emphasis by all on the development of each child’s confidence and self-esteem from the very first day of school. Our small class sizes lead naturally to a climate of mutual trust and support and class teachers, in particular, play a pivotal role in creating an atmosphere of warmth and openness where children feel secure, well looked after and highly valued.

By focusing on the individual, we enable each child to flourish and grow at their own pace. Strong, supportive relationships are built between adults and children alike, helping the children to reach their full potential, both personally and academically. Throughout their time with us our staff remain trusted, approachable adults whom any child can turn to. At regular points children are mentored and have a chance to talk about themselves, their feelings and their relationships to support them as they change and grow as individuals.

At Weston Green, no child is the same as another. We encourage each child in our care to discover their hidden talents and new-found abilities by providing them with an enviable range of opportunities, both in and out of the classroom, from computing to chess, story writing to cooking, orchestra to hockey.

Our children’s wellbeing matters to us as much as it does to their parents. Only if a child is happy and confident in our environment will he or she make the most of the doors that are opened to them and leave us with the self-respect to become all that they want to be, the resilience to withstand the pressures of modern life and the strength to face the challenges that come their way, head-on.

Mrs. Evans

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