In the Senior School, Pastoral Care is organised via four Houses (Brearley, Findlay, Montefiore and Paget) under the guidance of the Senior Tutor, who leads a team of Housemasters and their House Tutors.
Every pupil in the Senior School is a member of one of the four Houses. Each House is home to boys and girls across the full age range of the Senior School. Pupils quickly develop a sense of pride in and loyalty to their House which manifests itself in healthy rivalry and keen competition as the Houses vie for the title of House Champions; the winners are announced at Prize Giving at the end of the Academic Year.
Vertical House groups
The House is, however, much more than this. Within each House, there are four vertical House groups for pupils in Senior 7 to 10, each with two, or sometimes three, tutors; all staff are involved in the pastoral care of our pupils. The House group meets each morning for Registration at the start of the School day. Here, important notices are given out and this time is also used for the Tutors to spend time with individuals or small groups of pupils discussing pertinent issues, helping them with problems, or encouraging them in their learning or other activities.
The House group also spends time together each Thursday morning either in House Muster or House Assembly. On these occasions the Sixth-Form pupils join the younger pupils and can act as role models and peer mentors. It is always particularly pleasing to see pupils of all ages mixing happily and comfortably around School, participating together in co-curricular activities, lining up for and eating lunch together, participating in competition together and, crucially, looking out for and caring for each other.
The pupils in Senior 7 to 10 remain in the same House Group for four years, so strong relationships are built between the Housemaster, House Tutors, pupils and their families. The fact that the age groups are mixed in the House groups allows the House Tutor team to focus on particular small groups of pupils in any given year group at crucial times in the year. For example, in September new pupils can receive more attention as they settle in because there will be five or six of them in a House Group with two or three tutors.
Pupils in Pre-Sixth (PVI) are tutored in small groups made up of boys and girls from the same House. The pupils therefore build a strong relationship with their House Tutor, a member of academic staff who has a particular interest in the personal development of young adults. Whilst the House Tutor oversees the social, personal and academic progress of the pupils, he or she is particularly instrumental in assisting the pupils to make sensible and appropriate subject choices for their Sixth-Form studies. The Deputy Head of Sixth has a role in the pastoral care of the Pre-Sixth pupils as they prepare for Sixth Form life and the relevant Housemaster maintains a pastoral interest in the pupils, as strong relationships with the pupil and his or her family have been built up over the preceding years.
Personal and Social Development
Pupils in Senior 7 to PVI follow the Tutorial Programme. This incorporates, among other things, sex and relationship education, drug and alcohol awareness, anti-bullying sessions, personal safety learning and a development of a child’s awareness of his or her place in the local, national and global community and the difference he or she can make. This programme is supported by wide-ranging weekly Assembly topics, ad hoc presentations and House Tutor input though the year. There is also considerable coverage of these areas of development in the pupils’ academic lessons.
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School runs a series of evenings for parents through the academic year. These include:
- Drugs Information Evening;
- Digital Parenting (covering issues such as E-Safety, Cyberbullying, Phishing and ‘Stranger-Danger’)
- Eating Disorders Information Evening;
- Helping Your Child to Learn.
These are very popular evenings that dovetail well with the Tutorial Programme for pupils.
School also communicates with parents on a variety of issues through its Parent Portal. Information is offered, for example, on matters of personal safety in relation to developments in ‘smart phone’ technology.
Pupils in Senior 7 and 8 learn to prepare and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is always pleasing to hear from home when a pupil has prepared a meal for the family. One recent innovation was a two week session entitled ‘Mash’. The pupils made a variety of different mash recipes (yes, there is a variety) the first week, then used their mash to make a Shepherd’s Pie the second week. This got a big ‘thumbs up’ from all the pupils. The School has a modern, bespoke teaching kitchen with several grills, ovens and hobs. The wonderful smell emanating from the kitchen is always a distraction to those arriving for music lessons in the music corridor around the corner. There is a popular Cookery Club and the competitive House Cookery competition each year to support the cookery teaching.
The School Nurse
The School Nurse is present during School hours and is based in the Medical Suite. In the event of an emergency, parents or carers will be contacted immediately but the nurse will accompany a pupil to hospital if parents cannot be contacted.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
Ibstock Place School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. All members of staff undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Criminal Records Bureau.