Just as the school nurses help children with their medical needs, our pastoral care team works tirelessly to ensure the safety, happiness and growth of every child.
We look out for each child as an individual. We notice and act on the more obvious signs that help is needed, as well as carefully investigating more subtle changes in behaviour that may indicate that something is not quite right. We understand that when children are happy, their ability to learn and enjoy school follows.
Supporting the Individual
The support and care of the individual is of primary importance at Westbourne House from the very early years at nursery to our teenagers in Year 8.
We have a carefully structured pastoral care system and at the centre of this is the ethos that all staff play an active role in the wellbeing of the children. More formally, in the younger years (Pre-Nursery to Year 4), the primary support for each individual is his or her key worker or class teacher. Years 5 to 8 are helped and supported by their form teacher. Forms, like our classes, are small in size and every child is very well known and valued. In addition to form teachers, in Years 7 and 8 we also carefully select a personal tutor for each child. They meet on a weekly basis to discuss their academic progress and welfare.
Overseeing the pastoral system are the heads of each year group, the head of pastoral care and ultimately the headmaster.
Wellbeing, character and community
Our carefully planned pastoral programme also helps children to learn important life skills that encourage wellbeing and support the community as a whole.
All children in Years 2 to 8 have weekly Learning4Life lessons, a sector-leading programme that combines of the practical application of strategies to encourage wellbeing and citizenship. We encourage all our pupils to follow the Westbourne Way, a set of guidelines devised by the children that maps out the way our community wants to interact and grow together.
We run Girls On Board and Boys on Board sessions with Years 7 and 8, which involve role playing situations and encourage reflection on behaviour. We are finding that with consideration and guidance, the children are empowered to sort out some of their own problems themselves, which is a very important life skill.
Our emphasis on acts of kindness is a key piece in our pastoral system and all the children have an opportunity to be involved in the kindness committee, a group that comes up with initiatives across the school to spread kindness. We aim to make playtimes more inclusive for all and our Playground Pals in Years 3 and 4, Buddy programme in Year 6, Happy Helpers in Year 7, and Friends in Year 8, are trained to spot and include children that need a friend. Many of our initiatives both create a strong community and build leadership skills.
I feel looked after at school. I have tutor meetings every week and I feel like I can talk to my tutor about anything.”
Pupil in Year 8
Creating a safe and welcoming environment, where everyone is respected and valued, is at the heart of safeguarding. Everyone in our school has a role to play in safeguarding and it is part of our day to day activities.
What is safeguarding?
It’s about making sure an organisation or school is run in a way that actively prevents harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect. It’s also about being ready to respond safely and well if there is a problem.
In education, teachers and other school staff play a very important role in pupil safety and child protection. The terms ‘child protection’ and ‘safeguarding’ are often used synonymously. They are, however, slightly different. Child protection refers specifically to children who may be at a higher-risk of harm. Safeguarding, meanwhile, refers to all children — therefore all pupils in schools.
As a school, we follow the Department for Education safeguarding guidance and understand that our safeguarding role is critical for the safety of our children.
Read our Safeguarding Policies