27 September 2023
We live in an ever-changing world, and the challenges that young people face today are very different from the ones faced by previous generations. That is why it is vital that schools keep up with the developments within pastoral care so they can prepare their students for a happy and successful future – and that doesn’t just mean helping them achieve excellent exam results.
Mutual respect and kindness
The well-being of each student is at the heart of everything St Helen’s does, and all their staff are involved in caring for and supporting, their students. Their overriding ethos is one of mutual respect and kindness.
“It is essential to have a genuine interest in each and every girl and their individual paths to success. I always say to the girls there is no straight road to their end goal. Wellbeing is the core of everything. If we look after each other’s mental and physical wellbeing we will be successful in all areas of life.”
Jane Barton, Teacher, Senior School.
To help make pastoral care a focal point, their bespoke Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) programme runs throughout the school, addressing age-appropriate subjects and issues. That might include the basics of sustainability for younger children and discussing topical issues such as the safe use of technology, refugees, and mental health for our older girls.
Their Sixth Form teachers are also trained in using a coaching style of tutoring, called GROW (Goals, Reality, Obstacles, Way Forward), which enables every girl to flourish by taking a more active role in their personal development.
“I feel extremely supported by my GROW coach. I am able to approach them with any issue there is, and they help me find a solution to the problem.”
Diya, Year 12
Liaising regularly with parents
Another important part of this jigsaw puzzle is working in close partnership with parents who have regular opportunities to meet with teachers and tutors.
“I personally think that the success of pastoral care and in turn, the happiness of the pupils and also parents, lies in the genuine involvement, time and effort that staff put in to know their girls, support their emotional needs and when appropriate, to share issues with parents. A pupil cannot achieve her academic potential, no matter what, if genuine pastoral care is not followed through and supported.”
Anita Lam, Teacher, Prep School
The pastoral team organises events for parents such as speakers on topical issues, and opportunities to meet together and share ideas for dealing with the challenges that face young people today. Reputable resources on a range of matters are also shared with parents.
Girls who are happy, confident, and well-prepared for life after school have the greatest opportunity to succeed, no matter what they do in the future.
Registration deadlines for the St Helen’s 2024-25 intake are just around the corner. You can discover more details here about the benefits of a St Helen’s education for your daughter and how you can apply for a place.