Induction of new pupils
A one-day induction course is held every July for pupils entering Year 7 in the following September. The Head of Lower School is responsible for organising this. In addition the housemaster of the Old Vicarage invites all new boarding parents and their children to a barbeque in early June which is combined with a tour of the boarding house. Parents of pupils entering Year 7 are invited to an information evening in June, a coffee morning and tours of the School.
Pupils entering Years 8 -11 are, wherever possible, invited to spend a day in School and, if feasible, new boarders are encouraged to spend a night in the appropriate boarding house.
New pupils are allocated a specific pupil to look after them in the first few weeks. This will be someone who is in their tutor group, and if possible in the same classroom sets. It is the responsibility of the Heads of School to organise and monitor this.
At the start of Year 7 all pupils are placed in a tutor group numbering about 18 pupils. Allocation of pupils takes into account existing friendships and social mix.
The tutor meets the tutor group twice daily for registration; in addition, there are two extended tutor periods a week. In Years 7-11, the PSHE programme is taught by a dedicated team of PSHE teachers to tutor groups, giving pupils further opportunities for personal development.
The tutor must hold a one-to-one meeting with each of his/her tutees every term where personal targets are to be set and discussed. These meetings and targets are logged in the pupils’ school organisers. The Heads of Lower and Middle School are responsible for monitoring the one-to-one interview programmes.
Liaison with parents
Formal communication with parents on pupils’ progress takes place routinely at parents' evenings every year, via half-term grade cards and the end of term report. Any matters causing concern during the term can be communicated by letter or telephone at any time. The Heads of Lower and Middle School and the Deputy Head Academic must be informed prior to any meeting taking place with parents on an academic matter; the Deputy Head must be informed if it is a pastoral issue. The School encourages its teaching staff to have frequent formal and informal contact with parents.
Opportunities for personal development
We offer many opportunities to pupils at all levels to develop their leadership and organisational skills through holding positions of responsibility in Houses, at sporting and charity events and during extra- curricular activities.
There is a School Council which gives the opportunity for representatives from each year to contribute to the organisation and life of the School and to participate in democratic decision making. The Council meets regularly each term.
The Boarders’ Food Committee, chaired by the Assistant Head of Boarding and Pastoral Care, Sarah Shanks, encourages pupil participation and provides a platform for pertinent issues to be raised.
There is also a Charity Committee, drawing its members from across the School age range. This meets regularly to discuss pupil involvement in fundraising for good causes and to make decisions regarding which charities the School supports.