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Pastoral Care At Conifers: Our Approach Towards Holistic Development

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Your child’s academic studies are important, but it is just one part of their school career. At Conifers School, we believe that time spent in school should be happy, allowing pupils to develop healthy relationships and to become strong, resilient individuals who are prepared for whatever their future has in store. In this post, we’re sharing about our pastoral care and how it works at Conifers School. 

How Does The Pastoral Care Programme Promote Value And Respect As An Individual For All Children?

A pastoral care program promotes individual value and respect by providing personalised support, open communication, and conflict resolution. It fosters inclusivity, celebrates achievements, and addresses mental health. Peer support and anti-bullying measures ensure a respectful and supportive environment, encouraging self-worth and confidence.

The Conifers approach to pastoral care takes a holistic approach, starting with their form teacher and tutor time, but our pastoral care programme is integrated within the time they spend at school. Not only will children attend pastorally focused assemblies, which serve as ways to share information, as well as encouraging ongoing conversation between pupils and teachers, but they will also be able to access support where they need it from the Circle of Care.

We consider our House System an important element of pastoral support for our pupils too, creating a sense of community and strong identity, as well as helping to build their confidence. 

What Is The Personal Social Health And Economic Citizenship Education Curriculum, And How Does It Support Well-Being And Personal Development?

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) is a comprehensive educational programme that focuses on the overall development of pupils outside of their academic studies. It covers a wide range of topics, including personal development, social skills, health education, economic literacy, citizenship, emotional well-being, safety, cultural awareness, ethics, and relationships. 

PSHE equips pupils with essential life skills, helping them make informed decisions, maintain good health, build strong relationships, and to become responsible citizens in a diverse society.

How Does Conifers School Handle Instances Of Student Concern Or Worry?

Our form teachers are central to your child’s pastoral support, and in most instances, they will be your child’s first port of call to talk to if they have concerns. But because our form teachers develop strong working relationships with pupils, in many cases they are able to pick up on issues and encourage children to talk about their concerns. Where a potential issue has been identified, tutors keep a watchful eye and make sure other teachers are aware that they may need to handle a particular child with care.

When a child discloses an issue – whether that is with something at school, with a friend, or at home – we carefully assess what support that child may need. While we work to build trust with our pupils, we ensure they are aware that secrets should not always be kept, and that it may be necessary to bring other parties in to support them with their issues or concerns. However, we do emphasise the importance of keeping their issues private, and that only the people who need to know will know. 

What Is The Conifers Circle Of Care, And How Is It Implemented To Ensure All Children Get The Support They Need?

The Circle of Care is an important element of pastoral support at Conifers; their form teacher isn’t the only person they can approach if they are encountering tough times. We want pupils to feel that Conifers is a safe space for them and so children learn about the Circle of Care even before they start with us. From their first day, we’ll help them to understand that they can speak to anyone within that Circle, and that they can get the support they need.

By helping children understand how to build strong support networks, they understand how to access the help they need when times are tough, but also how to help their peers to get help when they need it. and to have someone listen to them when they need it – and that there isn’t just one place to access that support, but many. Within the school, they can talk to: 

While we hope to be able to support all our pupils with their needs, sometimes problems may require a different approach, and we help them to understand that they can access external agencies such as the NSPCC or the Police, should they need it.

By encouraging children to understand where to access help and support throughout school, we expect this to build their confidence in being able to seek out the support they need as an adult, and to become resilient individuals that can thrive, even when times are tough.

Should you have further questions about our approach to pastoral care, the PSHE programme, or you want to discuss your child’s specific needs, please feel free to get in touch, or visit us for a private tour. 

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