Pastoral care within a school is essentially the system that ensures all children are progressing both on an academic and personal level. Members of staff within a pastoral care department have varying responsibilities with regards to a child’s physical health, emotional wellbeing, and overall development and they keep in close contact with parents. I have teamed up with an independent school in the West Midlands to explore the importance of pastoral care in detail.
Firstly, here are a few elements of pastoral care to help with your understanding of what it actually is:
- Form tutors, who maintain regular contact with parents and meet with their group of students at least once a day, allowing them to monitor progress
- Senior staff members, who deal with severe cases of bullying through appropriate punishment
- School counsellors, who meet with students who are struggling with mental health, friendship issues or problems at home
- House systems, which encourage community spirit and teamwork, boosting positive peer relationships
Without a robust pastoral care system in place, it will be difficult for school staff to spot signs of bullying, difficulties with academic progression, or any other issues pupils may face. Most schools have policies in place to safeguard children against these types of problems. Students are encouraged to be compassionate towards one another, helping them develop strong relationships and consequently journey through their education as happily as possible.
The sense of support, safety and friendship within a school highlights a sense of community. Sometimes older students have the opportunity to guide younger pupils through things like tutoring or buddy systems, or even communal activities such as sports day. Community spirit and general safety allows children to focus on their learning and make the most of their time at school, rather than worrying about friendship problems etc. Having that sense of support from teachers and other students will help boost their self-esteem and enable them to reach their full potential.