Our boarders benefit hugely from the School’s overriding ethos that through the communication and understanding of shared values we can get along well as a community and better ourselves as individuals. This ethos is translated into five fundamental values – not just lived out daily within the boarding houses, but across the School as a whole. These are:
The responsibility of pastoral care falls principally on our house parents who work hard to create a residential environment where the children can work, play and relax free from abuse, harassment, intimidation, teasing and bullying. We advocate equality of opportunity and respect at all times, regardless of ethnicity, faith, culture, gender or disability.
We also instil the notion that everyone has a right to privacy, especially important in a situation where boarders are sharing rooms and living, studying and socialising in close proximity to one another.
In the event that any boarder has concerns, or simply needs some additional adult support, the children are provided with a robust pastoral care network made up of house parents, Head of Key Stage within School, Form Tutors and the school nurses and chaplain, as well as subject teachers and non-teaching assistants.
We have our own medical centre staffed by three qualified nurses who between them provide 24-hour cover. When pupils are ill they report to the nursing sister on duty and can be looked after in the medical centre which has separate dormitories for boys and girls. Our nurses work hard to ensure that the medical centre is a friendly, welcoming place and boarders are able to visit nurses out of school hours even if it’s just for a reassuring chat if they are feeling unsure or homesick.
All boarding students are registered with the local GP surgery and a doctor visits the school once a week. The school nurses take pupils to visit the surgery if necessary and also arrange for the children to have regular dental and opticians appointments.
A qualified counsellor visits the medical centre weekly and pupils can drop in to see her by appointment. There is also a weekly visit from a mobile hairdresser to cut the boarders’ hair when needed.