"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
At St Edmund’s we pride ourselves on offering exceptional pastoral care to our students where we put the pupil at the very heart of every decision taken. We understand that every child is unique and that they all have different needs, which is why we provide a safe and supportive environment that allows each individual to thrive. Such an environment is necessary for the holistic development of students, not just academically, but also socially and emotionally.
Pastoral Care in our Senior School is overseen by the Deputy Head (Senior Pastoral). However, on a day-to-day basis, the Form Takers, Tutors and teachers are the first port of call. Relationships between our pupils and staff are warm and open; staff instil in every young person the mantra that by encouraging positivity and commitment, they can believe that everything is possible if you give it a go and work hard. St. Edmund’s provides a community which is caring and where everybody feels comfortable and safe.
Through our comprehensive pastoral care programme, we aim to create a community where everyone feels included, respected and valued. Our students are encouraged to express themselves freely, without fear of judgement or reprisal, fostering an atmosphere of trust and openness.
By investing in our students' well-being, we believe that they will not only achieve their academic goals but also become confident and compassionate individuals who are ready to make a positive impact on the world.
During our recent ISI Inspection Report the inspectors commented:
“The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.”
"....this is because of the focus given to encouraging self-confidence by the school’s leadership and the support provided by dedicated pastoral and academic staff."
"Pupils’ personal development has been enhanced … through individualised, innovative and effective pastoral care."
FORM TAKERS AND TUTORS
Each pupil is assigned a Tutor and a Form Taker. Pupils learn about citizenship, personal, social, health and economic topics through weekly sessions with their Form Taker, as well as during Friday afternoon activity sessions.
A pupil's Tutor is the main point of contact for both the pupil and parents at school. Pupils meet twice a week with their Tutor in a small group of around 8 -10 children. During this time the Tutor will ensure that everything is going well, discuss academic and pastoral matters as well as review and set targets for their tutees.
There is a wide range of staff to support the children in the Senior School. Tutors are the primary lead for the wellbeing of their particular pupils and this is supported by the Health Centre, the Head of Academic Support, as well as the Assistant Heads in the Senior School. The pastoral provision in the Senior School is overseen by the Deputy Head (Senior Pastoral).
In the Senior school there are three houses – Oak, Martlet and Rose. These are named after the symbols from our surrounding counties of Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. Our reward system is linked into the House system and there is a healthy competition to be the best House each term and even more so to be the best House at the end of the academic year. There are a variety of challenges and competitions, both academic and non-academic, which feed into the House system.
The House is a vertical model meaning that children in Form 11 will work with pupils in Forms 9 and 10 within the various House meetings and events.
LEADERSHIP ROLES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Senior pupils are appointed to take on leadership roles as ‘Heads of School’ but also as ‘Heads of Houses. Senior school council meetings are held every half-term and pupils from each form are voted in to represent their form in these meetings. Minutes are taken and shared at the highest level of the school. This allows the pupils to have a great deal of say within the direction of the Senior School and Houses. Pupils in the Senior School also have the opportunity to be a mentor for younger children. We base some elements of our activities programme to allow the senior children to support our lower prep and nursery children. They deliver such initiatives as road safety lessons, paired reading, as well as devising fun sports activities.
At St. Edmund's Senior School, we strongly believe in the importance of PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education) in preparing our students for the challenges of adulthood. Our PSHE program, based on the Jigsaw PSHE framework, is designed to equip our seniors with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate life with confidence. Through engaging activities and discussions, we empower our students to make informed decisions, build meaningful relationships, and understand themselves better.
At the senior level, we address significant topics in PSHE such as mental health, sex and relationships, financial planning, personal safety, self-identity and well-being. Our experienced teachers create a supportive environment where students can openly discuss these subjects, fostering self-awareness and empathy. We encourage critical thinking and help students develop a mature perspective on the world around them.
Throughout the year, we invite accomplished individuals from various fields to engage with our students, sharing their personal stories and insights. These speakers bring a wealth of knowledge and diverse perspectives, emphasising the importance of PSHE teaching in shaping successful and fulfilling lives. These engaging sessions provide valuable opportunities for our seniors to reflect on their own journeys, discover new possibilities, and develop a greater understanding of the world around them.
As a school we are very aware of the pressures that our young people are under, so it is important that the environment around them is a happy and healthy one and that they feel safe and secure, both physically and mentally.
The wellbeing of your child is imperative and school life can influence many dimensions of this. At St. Edmund’s we not only provide a good academic and physical education but also endeavour to nurture and support your child through the social and emotional aspects of life. Whether this be playground friendships, new challenges or family matters. We believe that every pupil has the right to be heard and that this allows them to feel understood. If your child is thriving emotionally, they are able to thrive in the other aspects of their life too.
Even as our school grows we are able to really get to know your children. There is a whole school approach to wellbeing at St. Edmund’s from Mr Walliker and the web of pastoral support, from Heads of Years and Tutors, to academic, sports and support staff. Staff are quickly attuned to when a child seems to be struggling and we meet regularly to share concerns and recommend interventions. This approach is supported through our PSHE programme, music, drama and sporting events, as well as community activities. We have a dedicated Health Centre which is integral to our pastoral provision and can provide a safe haven when pupils feel they need time and space to process their emotions. In addition, we offer a counselling service for pupils who may wish to talk with a trained professional who can help to support them.
We have a dedicated ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) team of three to support the emotional needs of our pupils. We deliver individualised support programmes to meet the emotional needs of our pupils. We recognise that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are addressed.
We aim to make a difference through our consistent approach and sessions are provided with regularity in a welcoming space in the main school building, in order to enable continuity of support. We liaise regularly with our teachers in order to discuss progress and check whether new skills are being transferred to class. As part of our role pupils are helped to find their own solutions rather than us telling them what to do!
As we recognise that St. Edmund’s is a community encompassing pupils, parents and staff who all need support at times, we have recently signed up to The Wellbeing Hub (The Wellbeing Hub - Parents & Carers - Teen Tips) for our Form 7 to 11 pupils. This offers a plethora of useful resources, webinars and access to helpful information for our pupils, parents and staff.
We hope that through this school community approach we will provide the children with the opportunities to be responsible for their own wellbeing and recognise when they need support.