The Royal’s excellent standard of pastoral care is something that has been judged as outstanding in official inspections over the years, our latest ISI Report being no exception. We have effective mentoring systems in place that, when teamed with a collective focus on five core values of Respect, Community, Trust, Initiative and Risk, account for the excellent behaviour and high levels of self-confidence found among our pupils.
Central to our pastoral care policy is the notion that young people are most likely to succeed if they feel secure in their school environment. We therefore place huge emphasis on making every pupil feel valued and safe, backed up by a raft of additional support mechanisms, including transition days between year groups; the pastoral responsibilities undertaken by Form Tutors, and the helping and mentoring of younger pupils by the Seniors in our vertical House tutor groups.
In the Senior School, pastoral, welfare and disciplinary concerns are directed initially through tutors as a first point of contact, passing on to the Head of House for information or further action. A friendly and supportive relationship is fostered between students and their Form Tutors and Head of House with staff being particularly mindful of the stresses and strains experienced by students in their GCSE and A level years.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to develop close links with Form Tutors and should feel free to inform them of any home factors that may influence a student’s behaviour or progress in School. Communication between Form Tutors and home can be by phone, email or letter. Parents are contacted by either Form Tutors or Head of House at least once a term, and more so if there are any real concerns. Parents Evenings are another opportunity to reinforce these links.
Our Seniors are encouraged to mix socially in the co-educational Social House where day and boarding students can relax together during break times. The house is equipped with indoor sports facilities, music and TV and is very much seen as the students’ own space distinct from the more formal environment of the classroom.
The School’s House System contributes greatly to the quality of our pastoral care with each house headed by a pastoral leader from the teaching staff and pupils competing as a ‘family’. Every Senior and Primary pupil is allocated a house and each house is made up of pupils from all year groups from ages 11-19. Throughout the year, they compete for winning house through house sports, music, science and art. In addition, pupils are awarded house merits for good attendance, hard work, behaviour and attitude, so that individual achievement counts towards the success of a house as a whole.
The Royal’s four houses are:
We have a proactive School Council at the Royal which provides a safe forum for pupils to air their views and discuss any matters concerning them. Boarders also have a similar Boarder’s Forum on a regular basis so their voice can be heard and action taken to improve the quality of experience of each pupil. Student representatives have the opportunity to present the opinions and feedback of their peers to the School’s Senior Leadership Team keeping communication between staff and pupils active and effective.