To thrive at school, children need to be supported academically, physically, and emotionally, and this is why an efficient pastoral care system within schools is so important. Pastoral care refers to the system in place in schools to care for children’s overall wellbeing, in conjunction with their academic progress. Here an independent day school in London outlines the importance of effective pastoral support within schools.
Safety and security
To get the most out of their education, children need to know they’re in a safe learning environment and that there are people they can turn to if they’re experiencing any problems. Schools should have specific pastoral care staff in place to help with different aspects of school life, and children will feel safe and secure knowing this safety net is there if they need it. This feeling of security will allow them to focus on their learning and achieve their potential.
A sense of community
An efficient pastoral care system with a school will instil in children a sense of community and belonging. They’ll learn that pastoral staff are available to help any child who is struggling, and that they can be open about any problems or challenges they’re facing. School children should also be encouraged to support their peers, which helps foster a sense of being part of one big family who are there to encourage each other on their learning journey.
Good mental health
A culture of openness and a supportive environment at school will help children feel confident communicating any problems or struggles to staff, rather than bottling up their feelings, which can negatively affect their mental health. Being offered the opportunity to talk to pastoral staff who are non-judgemental and caring will help maintain good mental health in children and prevent problems from feeling insurmountable.
Nipping problems in the bud
Having an effective pastoral care structure in place can help schools identify any issues quickly before they escalate. Schools should have processes and procedures in place to spot if a pupil is struggling academically, emotionally, or physically, and provide appropriate support. The sooner a problem is tackled, the sooner children can focus on their education rather than on an emotional or physical impediment which is preventing them from thriving.
An efficient pastoral care system within schools is important for supporting pupils’ overall wellbeing, which can have a big impact on their academic progress.