St Margarets School pupil using pottery wheel in art lesson

Pastoral

“I feel supported in all my endeavours”

St Margaret’s provides a warm and welcoming environment where every child is encouraged and valued.

At the heart of our pastoral structure is the form teacher or tutor, who know their pupils very well. In the Senior School the Head of Year monitors academic and co-curricular engagement and progress, as well as supporting the pupil’s wellbeing. Our ultimate goal is to ensure every member of our community can identify what makes them thrive, whilst encouraging both social and academic development. Our community provides a sense of security and unity, which in turn supports mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, and ultimately confidence.

If a child encounters difficulty, we aim to provide bespoke and wide-ranging support for them, and the family around them. Working in a triangle between child, home and school is at the heart of our philosophy.

Support Structure

Once a concern has been raised, it is logged and communicated centrally. The Head, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), School Nurse and counsellor are always included in the team, with parents also informed. Solutions are sought to support the pupil in the area of concern. Expertise is shared at the weekly Head of Year meetings.

Wellbeing

Our pastoral support revolves around the pupil’s wellbeing. We facilitate this through tutorials, PSHE, assemblies and also by giving the pupil voice a platform so that the views and needs of our pupil body is central in our thinking.

Health and fitness is considered integral towards wellbeing; pupils are encouraged to take part in an active lifestyle and our Sports Department supports both the competitive sporting talents, as well as sport for fitness and health. Yoga and mindfulness are popular features of co-curricular life here.

“We know that there is always anxiety during exams, which is why we say to our pupils ‘this is how we are going to support you’, and that gives them a sense of ease”

Peer Mentors

St Margaret’s has a long tradition of peer mentoring. Younger pupils enjoy having a Sixth Form student as a peer mentor and the older pupils enjoy sharing the benefit of their experience and understanding with the younger years. This provides an opportunity, not only to build relationships based on empathy and compassion, but also for the older students to guide and help the younger pupils.

Seeking Help

We have both in school and online a ‘WorryBox@StMargaret’s’ which provides a discrete way for pupils to raise a concern about themselves or someone else.

We understand that good pastoral care should evolve, and as our circumstances change and we face new challenges, our support and care for our community will adapt and develop too.

Expert Help

During the pandemic we have all faced new challenges. St Margaret’s has provided support to pupils and families to encourage our community to stay well. We have offered year group sessions with experts including clinical psychologists so that they can raise concerns or questions. Pastoral webinars with experts have also been very popular with our parents.

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“Supported by fantastic pastoral care, our daughters are confident, considerate and courteous with a love of life and learning”