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Pastoral Care in Practice

It’s been another busy week for the pastoral team with huge excitement from the secondary students at having their lockers allocated.

Alison Fox Post 2

It has taken longer than usual to arrange so that we can ensure students are not interacting with other year groups. The lockers have been arranged into zones and students given specific time slots to ensure their safety. I know that some of them may find the new system restrictive but please remind them that it’s for their safety and if they have suggestions to improve the system then I’d love to hear from them.

Most students were able to complete the PASS test (pupil attitude to self and school) this week. When we process the data collected from this, we hope to be able to identify barriers to learning as well as any vulnerable students. The more information we have, the better able we are to support our students in reaching their potential.
This week also sees the launch of our online wellbeing café for parents which is taking place every Friday at 10am via zoom. I look forward to using this as an informal way of getting to know the parent body a little better as well as sharing solutions to any common concerns that you are facing. Please feel free to “join” us even if there’s nothing specific that you want to talk about.
The Year 9 students have enjoyed being back at school the last three weeks. Many had missed interacting with their friends and teachers and have stepped up to the new challenges such as social distancing and wearing masks. They are already interested in discussing their options for IGCSE and thinking about their future choices. Those students who are joining lesson virtually have been engaging with activities online and sometimes can be heard contributing to class discussions via Teams.
Some quotes from our Year 11 students remind us that while we are pleased to be back in school again it isn’t always straight forward for everyone:

“Coming back to school after coronavirus and the summer break made me feel like it was first day of school again. I was more than happy to come back as I was missing just being in school. It also felt weird and scary in many ways as I didn’t know how school was going to work now” Annika S Yr 11.

“I really like the fact that I can regularly see and talk to my friends, also contact with the teacher in school are things I missed during virtual learning.  The positive side of Virtual learning is that I find it easier to do extra work after school, also there is no travel time”. Pascal B Yr11.

"Being back at school after we had  virtual learning for a few months feels different. In many ways I enjoy being in school more then learning through my laptop. So far last week I enjoyed school a lot, even though there are many new rules due to covid19 which are not all easy to follow. In terms of my goals and ambitions I try to focus on them but sometimes it’s hard because so many things are happening right now and its not easy." Yr 11

In pastoral time this week we are beginning to learn about international sign languages day which takes place on Wednesday 23rd September. Year 8 students have been learning how to greet each other and have simple conversations using British Sign Language. While everyone wears masks in public there’s an extra barrier to those who rely on lip reading to communicate so it’s even more important to find ways to be inclusive in how we interact with people. I’ve been really impressed with the enthusiasm that Year 8 students have given to the challenge!

Alex Hands

Deputy Head Pastoral