At King’s Worcester we understand that success and confidence are derived from happiness, from feeling valued as an individual, and from being allowed to grow and make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. The happiness and well-being of our pupils is at the heart of pastoral care at King’s Worcester.
Our vision for pastoral care is simple: we aim to create a happy and compassionate school where each pupil is given a voice, a place, and a purpose. Our pastoral care is always evolving to ensure that it always provides a nurturing approach, fully integrated and interwoven into the fabric of teaching and learning and into the school’s organisation.
Our extensive pastoral offering ensures that pupils are supported at every step of their life at King’s:
‘This is a school with a heart and soul’, one newly-arrived teacher observed. 'There is a strong sense of community and inclusivity.'
The School’s Aims
Through our focus on the development of the individual, we aim to provide a genuinely caring environment where young people can thrive and develop as inquisitive and engaged members of the King’s community as well as in a wider society. Our ethos emphasises mutual respect, openness, and warmth; it is the depth of relationships within the school that makes the pastoral care at King’s so special.
Our pastoral care, ethos and systems support the school aims:
That all pupils should have a fulfilling experience of school and that they should leave us thoroughly equipped for what lies ahead. This means that they should be balanced and confident individuals, able to enjoy good relationships with others, well qualified through academic achievement and fulfilment of their talents, equipped with a range of life skills, and enriched by a variety of interests and experiences. We also want them to be aware that the best education carries with it a duty of service. This is the ideal, which all strive for and many reach. It is what we believe parents want for their children.
Providing outstanding pastoral support is a very important aspect of life at King’s Worcester: our dedicated and experienced staff is committed to offering help, support, and guidance to every member of our community.
Pastoral Care: Years 7 and 8
At the heart of our pastoral system lies a unique structure of entry into the Lower Years in Years 7 or 8, followed by a well-planned transition into life in one of our nine Houses from Year 9 (which we call Lower Remove) as pupils head into the Middle Years, until the end of their King’s career at school in the Sixth Form.
The Lower Years
Entering the Lower Years is an exciting start to life in the Senior School and one that offers our pupils the opportunity to follow their passions, to develop their interests, and to begin their journey through adolescence in a caring setting. The Lower Years are a vibrant and dynamic part of life at King’s that offer wide-reaching new experiences and a platform for personal development.
Pastoral care in the first two years is focused on the Form, and the Form Tutor is a vital component in ensuring that pupils are happy, well adjusted, and lead balanced and committed lives within school. The Lower Years are led and organised by the Head and Deputy Head of Lower Years, Miss Kate Arnold and Mrs Rachael Worth.
Form Tutors meet with pupils twice daily and are the first port of call for pragmatic, pastoral, and academic matters. Form Tutors develop excellent relationships with their Forms and encourage pupils to make the most of their time at King’s, ensuring that all members of their Form are happy and enjoying their time at school. The Form grouping is the focal point for our Years 7 and 8 pupils as the majority of curriculum lessons are taught in these groups.
We place great importance on the early stages of our pupils’ time at King’s Worcester and the settling-in process begins before term starts with induction days and taster sessions. Upon arriving at King’s, pupils are given time to get to know the school, their Form group, and Form staff, so that they can feel valued as part of the wider school community. Engagement and early communication between the school and parents is welcomed and encouraged and we provide opportunities for parents to meet with teaching and Form staff in the first few weeks of the autumn term.
Pastoral Care: Years 9 to 13
Our House System
A pastoral House comprises between fifteen and twenty pupils from each of Year 9 to Year 13 (Upper Sixth). It is led by a House Tutor, whose role is to oversee the well-being, happiness, and progress of all members of the House, as well as providing opportunities for pupils to forge supportive relationships with other members of the school outside their own year group. Year Group Tutors each take responsibility for a year within the House, reviewing the pupils’ day-to-day academic and personal development as well as their engagement with school life. The Houses engender a sense of belonging, loyalty, and care for others and it is this collaborative mindset that forms the basis of our pastoral support network.
Pupils register in the House each morning with their Year Group Tutor and a certain amount of time each week is spent together as a Tutor group, which helps to create a close-knit community and fosters a sense of value and place within the wider school.
Pupil Well-being Services
The School Chaplain
The School Chaplain, Rev Dr Mark Dorsett, oversees the religious life of the school. He presides over many of the school services in the cathedral as well as running the Chaplaincy Centre. Dr. Dorsett is available for all aspects of care and support. Pupils are encouraged to seek help and advice from members of the school community whom they trust and with whom they feel they can talk.
Health and Well-being Centre
The school employs two fully-qualified nurses in the Health Centre throughout the working week, with one of them on duty at any time. Both nurses can offer advice on health, emotional concerns, and other personal matters and they are also on hand if a pupil is unwell or sustains an injury.
The school’s Counselling Service is in addition to the already well-established provision for pastoral care, guidance, and support for pupils in the school. Our counsellor has been practising for many years, is British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited, and has experience in working with young people and families. She is available to work with pupils when they are experiencing problems or concerns which may be easier to share with someone other than a member of staff. Her training enables her to develop a working relationship with pupils with the aim of facilitating their growth and emotional development. All that is shared by the pupils will be treated in confidence – if the counsellor is concerned for the pupil’s safety or that of others then she abides by the BACP code of ethics which could mean the sharing of relevant information with other agencies to ensure that all children are appropriately safeguarded.
The Peer Support scheme is run to support and encourage pupils throughout the school to develop their confidence, relationships, and resilience.
Our Peer Supporters complete an application process before attending an eight-week training course that covers aspects such as confidentiality, safeguarding, and active listening.
Peer Supporters Mentors run a number of activities, including one-to-one mentoring, Form or House mentoring and lunchtime drop-in sessions.
Learning Skills support can be offered for those who have specific learning difficulties or who face problems with organisation and time management. Pupils can obtain assistance with their subject work or be offered support to help them develop in areas that will enhance their work in the classroom.
Personal, Social, and Health Education
The aim of PSHE at King’s Worcester is to allow pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to live a happy and healthy life in today’s world. The programme is designed to challenge pupils with aspects of moral and social responsibility at each stage of their development so as to offer an environment in which to discuss issues affecting both adolescents and also those in the wider community.
PSHE at King’s helps pupils to realise the nature and consequences of discrimination, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours (including cyber-bullying), use of prejudice-based language, and also how to respond and ask for help. It also aims to support pupils to make responsible, informed decisions related to drugs, alcohol, and sexual consent, to understand the causes, implications and sources of help for mental and physical health problems, and to guide them in their career planning and financial future. It is integral with equipping our pupils for what lies ahead, and to encourage balance and confidence in line with the school’s principles.
This course is central to all aspects of school life – its thinking, planning, teaching, and organisation – and as such has a positive influence on pupils’ learning and relationships throughout the whole school community. Provision of PSHE is explicitly designed to contribute to the process of growing up and the preparation of pupils for responsibility in adult life, by promoting fundamental British values and by passing on enduring, universal values which help to nurture pupils’ integrity and autonomy so that they become responsible and caring citizens capable of contributing to the development of a just society.
It is the role of PSHE at King’s to enable pupils to flourish in their adult life, preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences. It is about helping our pupils to make positive, informed decisions, and keeping them safe and healthy.
The teaching of PSHE is overseen by those directly responsible for the pastoral care of pupils, in consultation with the Head of PSHE. In the Lower Years, pupils are taught by their Form Tutors for one thirty-five minute lesson per week. In Years 9 to 11, as the subject content becomes increasingly complex, pupils are taught on a series of off-timetable days. Tutors then use pastoral time in House to both discuss the content of the days with their tutees and to develop further awareness and understanding through additional curriculum sessions. In the Sixth Form, PSHE is integrated into the Key Skills curriculum, delivered by members of staff as part of a weekly lesson schedule.
Our PSHE programme includes an exciting range of external speakers to focus on specialist topics. Recent guests have included:
- Andrew Wright (Oxford Life Skills): Personal Communication
- Jeff Wood: Mindfulness
- Dr Eleanor Draeger / Jonny Hunt (Going off the Rails): Relationships and Sex Education
- Dave Parvin/Bob Tait and Chip Somers: Drugs and Alcohol
- Rob Higgs: Anti-Bullying
- Karl Hopwood: eSafety
- Emma Cole: HIV
- Wendy Cough: Cancer
- Dr Charlie Easmon/Alicia Drummond/Roots Psychology Group: Mental Health