Pastoral care in Boarding
Children are given responsibility to help promote independence. We run a dormitory tidy competition which encourages children to keep their own space tidy. A prize is awarded to the children with the tidiest room that week. The boys and girls who consistently have the tidiest dormitories all term are allowed to choose a trip of their choice. We also have a stars and stripes system that rewards the children for good behaviour and expediently completing their tasks. Every 5th star the children get a small prize. Children take responsibility for taking their own laundry down with them every evening. They are guided by a rota which tells them which pieces of laundry are due for a wash that day. In addition all children are responsible for changing their own sheets and placing them in the laundry. The Gap Tutors monitor that this is done and help the younger boarders if they need it.
Each child is also given their own personal locker in which to keep valuables and personal possessions. Children are reminded that any personal items are their own responsibility.
Dorms in the second half of term are allocated by a mixture of the child’s preference and consideration of pastoral issues. Although for some children the process of changing dormitories can feel difficult initially, they usually settle down and find that the new dormitory arrangements work well and promote new friendships.
We understand that home sickness is a perfectly normal side of boarding and have a comprehensive pastoral system to help children who are missing home. Various strategies are put in place and the children are surrounded by a strong support network. We have also found that advice from older children can prove invaluable when children are feeling vulnerable. Each child is also allocated a gap student tutor who meets with them every week. The gap student can then raise any problems with senior house staff.
We endeavour to make sure the children feel safe and happy whilst they grow and develop to become more responsible young people.