One of the most important factors for parents when choosing a school is the quality of pastoral care and at Kirkstone, this pervades all aspects of school life. Small class sizes mean that all pupils are well known and there are very effective relationships between staff and pupils. Every teacher understands that they have a responsibility for the personal and social well being and development of each pupil and all members of staff offer extra-curricular activities.
In the Junior School, the Form Tutor plays an essential role in looking after their pupils. The Tutor not only monitors and tracks academic progress, but will also monitor pupils’ social development, encouraging the taking on of responsibilities and engagement in the wider aspects of school life.
In Senior School the Head of Pastoral Care oversees the work of the Tutors and she, like the Headmistress, is available for pupils every break time and lunch time.
Tutors track the academic progress of their tutees, but they are also responsible for tracking the social progress of each pupil. Progress Review meetings are held several times a year between the Tutor and pupils when work and extra-curricular involvement will be discussed.
All pupils are actively encouraged to take on responsibilities. They may become an Ambassador showing visitors around school; join the Hospitality Team catering for events; join School Council or take on the role of Prefect in Year 11. The specific responsibilities of prefects change each year as we consider how each member of the appointed team can play to their strengths.
‘All around the school, pupils display exemplary behaviour’
Discipline in school is excellent because we foster mutual tolerance and respect. Pupils want to learn and they are clear about expectations in terms of how they treat each other. There is zero tolerance of any form of bullying behaviour and any incident is dealt with swiftly and firmly. This policy also relates to misuse of social networking sites, mobile phones etc irrespective of whether the cyber bullying has taken place in school or at home.
The school has a system of House points in Junior School for good work and behaviour and Merits and Debits in Senior School. We recognise success in a multitude of ways, but when the need arises sanctions are also given. Parents are always informed through the pupil planner is a Merit of Debit has been issued.
The programme of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education is relevant to pupils’ ages and experiences and lessons are complimented by designated PSHE days.