At Bow School we regard Student Wellbeing as an integral part of our responsibility to every student.
Student wellbeing is built on three key areas: Personal Development, Pastoral Care and Safeguarding; threaded through each of these areas is our PSHE curriculum which underpins the work that we do at all levels.
At Bow School pastoral care is not merely a complementary practice; it is policy and practice that is fully integrated throughout the teaching and learning and structural organisation of the school to effectively meet the personal, social (well-being) and academic needs of the students.
Quality pastoral care focuses on the whole student (personal, social, and academic) and it engages all members of the school community as providers of pastoral care.
It actively involves the community in consistent, comprehensive, multi-level activities which incorporate whole-school approaches, class or other group approaches, individual programs (early intervention), and casework.
Our approach to pastoral care means it is everyone’s responsibility and all staff are included in training and subsequent delivery of the various aspects of this ethos.
Whether you consider pastoral care to be in the classroom, on the corridor at lesson-changeovers, in the playground at lunchtime or supervision at the shops ‘over the road’, all staff are aware of their responsibilities in monitoring and supporting students in all scenarios.
Every member of staff is committed to supporting the emotional health and well-being of all our children and their families. We are happy to speak to pupils and parents/carers about any concerns they may have. However, we also have a dedicated Pastoral Care Team, led by Mr Emin (DHT) who is responsible for ‘Inclusion’ within the school.
Regular reviews of a school’s pastoral care policies and practices help the school community to systematically assess their school’s pastoral care resources, strengths, needs, threats and opportunities.
This information has helped us map our pastoral care resources, activities and services against our desired pastoral care and academic outcomes to objectively determine where pastoral care activity can be reduced, redirected and improved.
SUMMARY OF SUPPORT
Each year group is led by a Year Learning Manager (YLM) and has a Year Learning Assistant (YLA) in the team alongside them to ensure that all elements of the school’s vision for pastoral care is being delivered.
In Key Stage 3 all tutor groups have two tutors assigned to them, doubling the care that we offer to each group.
Key Stage 4 tutor groups have one tutor, but are supported by a team of other staff who are able to be called upon to deliver bespoke content such as careers guidance, extra-curricular opportunities, etc.
The rationale behind this split in approach between KS3 and KS4 is that we often find that the younger students need more support in developing and maintaining positive relationships and that two members of staff will facilitate this in a way that is less necessary in KS4.
Bespoke support is provided for students who require 1:1 learning support.
SUPPORTING STUDENTS' MENTAL HEALTH
There is increasing evidence that children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing is a cause for concern, with increasing numbers reporting emotional health issues and seeking support from organisations such as Childline.
Therefore, we teach and promote emotional wellbeing through Safeguarding Drop-Down Days, end of term wellbeing assemblies, form time activities and as part of our planned PSHE curriculum. PSHE education can promote pupils’ wellbeing by developing healthy coping strategies, by developing pupils’ understanding of their own and others’ emotions, and by providing an opportunity to talk openly about these issues (which helps to break down associated stigma). We also offer parent workshops throughout the year on supporting the emotional wellbeing of young people to ensure our Bow families have the strategies they need to support the emotional wellbeing of the young people in their homes.
We believe that emotional well-being should not be viewed as a “topic” that can be delivered in isolation in a series of lessons; instead we focus on the skills, language and understanding needed to promote positive mental health through many different means through the course of a student’s journey at Bow school.
To compliment the support we have in place for the emotional wellbeing of students we have introduced a team of Mental Health Student Ambassadors, Anti Bullying Ambassadors and Peer mentors that are available during breaks and lunch times to offer support to young people that need to talk about their problems. We have also increased our safeguarding external partnerships to help us to remove the stigma around emotional wellbeing and provide students with different avenues they can use to receive support.