|Pastoral care at The Royal School underpins all we do. It supports all our pupils academically, socially, culturally, emotionally, physically and spiritually on their journey through secondary education. Our aim is to develop responsible, grounded, caring and empowered young people.
Pastoral care within the academic setting is of an affirmative nature. We constantly support and navigate our students through social interactions, whether it is within the form, year group or wider school community. A horizontal system of forms ensures that students learn to interact with their peers and our vertical school House system ensures that all year groups from Year 7 to Upper Sixth integrate on many levels.
Pastoral care also addresses the cultural needs of our pupils. We acknowledge cultural differences and celebrate our students’ cultural heritage.
A lot of opportunities are here for our students to address their physical needs. We pay particular attention to leading a healthy lifestyle, ensuring that students keep fit, eat healthily, rest well and develop positive relationships.
The spiritual life at our school is very supportive. Our Lay Chaplain and the Chaplaincy team provide spiritual support and guidance in our community.
As a closely-knit community we get to know each pupil and their families really well. We truly value working closely with parents and this engaging and collaborative relationship makes it easier for us to address pupils’ emotional needs. The caring and supportive approach contributes towards building our pupils’ resilience, self-awareness and self-confidence.
We also have a very effective Peer Mentoring scheme, a Head of Pastoral Care, School Counsellor, two school nurses who are also trained as Mental Health First Aiders, Independent Listeners and a Student Support Mentor. We are proud to have such a strong and varied support network. If there is a need, extra support is provided.
Each pupil's Form Tutor is responsible for their welfare and guidance. Form groups are not necessarily the same as teaching groups; pupils may be put into curriculum sets according to ability, progress and option choices. In the Senior School, one of the Form Tutor's most important tasks is to review the Prep Diary each week. The Prep Diary is an important document and we ask Form Tutors and parents to make weekly reference to it and comment when necessary. Written comments by staff or parents about work or behaviour are an aid to monitoring and self-evaluation by the pupil.
Peer Mentoring Programme:
Lower Sixth, Year 10 and Year 7 students take part in a mentoring scheme. Making friends across the year groups creates mutual trust and respect as well as providing support and encouragement. Each Lower Sixth student becomes a mentor to a Year 10 student and one or two Year 7 pupils; the Year 10 student co-mentors the Year 7s. The aim of a mentor is to be a supportive friend and to offer encouragement particularly at the beginning of the GCSE programme for the Year 10 or for the Year 7s to take part in activities and in Inter-house events (which get very competitive!) The mentoring programme is overseen by the Pastoral Team and the Sixth Form Officer chosen to be Head Mentor.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE):
PSHE has a key role in promoting pupils' personal and social development. Senior School pupils will normally have one period of dedicated PSHE per week, but it permeates the whole curriculum. The course encompasses health education, social skills, study skills, careers and citizenship. Various members of the School and the local community contribute to the programme.
The School has two fully qualified nurses who are responsible for pupils' wellbeing. They ensure that any medical issues are dealt with promptly and are in regular contact with the School doctor who visits every Monday during term times.