Pastoral Care

A home from home

At Stonyhurst, the wellbeing and care of our children is at the heart of everything we do. We look after our pupils as if they were our own and nurture them to ensure they reach their full potential academically, socially, emotionally, physically and creatively. By nurturing each pupil, we aim to ensure every individual within the school community, leads a happy and fulfilled life.  

The Tutor and Class Teachers are central figures in a pupil’s life at St Mary's Hall. They provide emotional support and guidance on a variety of topics as well as being a true source of inspiration. 

Food at SMH

The area in which Stonyhurst is situated is famous for its high quality culinary restaurants, and this continues at Stonyhurst.

Heads of Playroom

In Years 7 and 8 the Head of Playroom along with the Assistant Head (pastoral) care for each Playroom (year group). It is the Head of Playroom’s responsibility to oversee the progress of the whole year and support and guide the Tutors with individual pupils and issues. The Playroom Heads have overall responsibility for the wellbeing and pastoral life of the pupils and meet weekly with the tutors to discuss individual and emerging issues. All pupils at St Mary’s Hall complete weekly self-evaluations which help the tutors and Heads of Playroom to support individuals in a timely manner. They are involved in the more serious issues of discipline but also the fun side too. All tutors and Heads of Playroom meet regularly with the Assistant Head (pastoral) weekly in order to ensure continuity of approach across the school.

Class Teachers and Tutors

In the lower half of the school (Pre-Prep, Prep and Elements) the Class Teacher will support and advise pupils throughout their first few years. In Years 7 and 8 (Figures and Rudiments) pupils will be assigned a Tutor. Tutors keep records of attendance and academic progress for each pupil in the group, and they are also aware of individual circumstances and needs. The Tutor will operate with the support of other specialists, such as the Health Centre, the Lay Chaplain, the School Counsellor, the SENco and the wider Pastoral Team. We continue to provide support for the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND or EAL, to ensure that all are included fully in the life of the school. Both Class Teachers and Tutors (Years 7 and 8) work closely alongside the Assistant Head (pastoral).

Excellent, warm relationships within the setting enable children to develop their own positive relationships. They feel happy, safe and secure within the setting and behave well.

ISI Report

Happiness and Wellbeing

Our extensive grounds provide a wonderful space for children to play in during their break-times (known as ‘Rec.’ at Stonyhurst). The Pre-Prep children have their own separate outdoor play area and new woodland classroom, perfect for exploration and for nurturing creativity and firing the imagination.

Inside the building, the children can relax in their Playroom, a large, comfortable common room, where they can spend time with friends, enjoy a book or play a game of table-tennis. Day pupils and boarders alike benefit from this ‘home-from-home’ environment, and from the close care and guidance of the staff in their Playroom. The Playroom setting is invaluable – helping establish and strengthen the bonds of friendships within a peer group. Each individual has a true sense of belonging within the Stonyhurst family.

Playroom System

Our unique Playroom system provides an outstanding quality of pastoral care, where the pupils bond as a year group (Playroom) and remain together as they move from Playroom to Playroom every year.

The strength of their friendships they create within their Playroom is palpable, as is their support for and understanding of one another. As a group, they learn to respect one another’s differences, face challenges together and delight in one another’s success. They have the support to grow in personal and academic confidence, to step beyond their comfort zone without fear, and to contribute to the community both within and beyond Stonyhurst itself.


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Parental Support

For professional parents with an extended working day, it is comforting to know that there is always someone there for your child and a broad range of relevant and exciting activities for children to enjoy after school. Flexi-boarding or occasional boarding are also very popular options, perhaps when family life is a little more hectic than usual, to share a special occasion with their boarding friends or simply as a treat.



Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall Chapel



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Chaplaincy Support

The Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall school Chaplain can be found in the Emmaus Centre next to the School Chapel, or in the school at break times (known as ‘Rec’). The Chaplain arranges Tutor Group Masses, confessions and other services within and across the Playrooms.

We teach the importance of spirituality, promote daily prayer, stress the need for gratitude, especially for God’s gifts, and encourage students to empathise with the needs of others.  We also introduce students to forms of spiritual reflection inspired by St Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

With Christ at the centre of our caring, supportive and prayerful community of pupils, staff and parents, we know our children as individuals, provide for their specific needs and help them to grow with the long-term goal of becoming well-rounded 'men and women for others' in the Ignatian tradition.



Additional Support

There are many people to whom pupils can turn for advice, support and understanding throughout the years that they spend at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall. You can find their contact details on the Key Contacts page.

We aim to ensure that all pupils feel able to confide and discuss any matters with Stonyhurst staff members. However, in the event that pupils or parents wish to seek support or confide in someone from an external organisation, we have compiled a list of useful numbers and web addresses below.


Organisation  Contact details
The National Children’s Rights Director, Roger Morgan

0800 528 0731

Childhood Bereavement Network

020 7843 6309

Childline – National helpline for children

0800 11 11

Citizens’ Advice Bureau
National Youth Advocacy Service

0800 61 61 01


08457 90 90 90

Independent School’s Inspectorate

0207 600 0100

Teachers know their pupils extremely well and relationships are excellent.

ISI Report

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