Student Support

Pastoral Care
Our sincere aim is to provide a welcoming, positive and caring environment that promotes the personal, social, emotional and physical wellbeing of all students. This also extends to respect and courtesy for all staff, parents and visitors. We believe it is essential that the whole community models respectful and caring behavior and attitudes.

A healthy academic mind is supported by an environment that helps students to be reflective and caring in their actions whilst developing the emotional skills necessary for success. Resilience, motivation and self-worth are promoted. Students should exhibit a pride in their school and have expectations of learning in a safe environment. Outside of the classroom we can also be proud of and value the success of our young people.

In particular, we aim to foster a respect for and understanding of different spiritual and cultural perspectives in support of developing a positive moral character and interpersonal skills. In effect, a strong Pastoral structure supports and enhances a strong academic one.

The Tutorial System

Form Tutors
The pastoral care of all students is centred on the Form Tutors. They are led and supported by Grade Leaders and the VP Student Affairs. The Form Tutor is the key point of contact for students, parents and other teachers often acting as an advocate on behalf of the student.

Whilst the subject teachers are the focus for the academic development of students within their subjects, Form Tutors provide an overview of all the subjects that students take and can draw together specific strengths and issues that a student might have across the school whilst tracking their progress. Tutors meet their Tutor Group every morning for registration and discussion building a rapport and trust. Tutors help to recognize issues and deal with them before they become too serious, and encourage students to take responsibility for their actions: for example, if a student needs to talk to a teacher about a piece of work.

The Form Tutor is the first person that parents should speak to if you have a concern about your child that is not specifically academic (when you should talk to the subject teacher first). Tutors will consult with the Grade Leader to offer solutions to issues.

 

Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education (PSHCE)
Every week students will participate in a PSCHE lesson led by their Tutor. This is essentially a Life Skills program that will introduce students to vital topics for their age group. For example, students will consider the environment, friendship, conflict resolution, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional resilience, the economy, study skills, revision techniques, careers education, writing a CV, applying to university and so on. Ren Wen aphorisms will be introduced as appropriate.

 

Student Leadership
We aim to offer leadership opportunities for Secondary students by encouraging mature behavior and developing cross-age student relationship. The student ‘voice’ is important for the School to hear also. Opportunities the School aim to develop are:

  • Student Council: All Tutor Groups will elect 2 students to represent them on a council that will meet with teachers to discuss issues. This will involve organising various events.
  • Student Ambassadors: Students will have the chance to represent the school in public forums.
  • Service Activities: Students will be involved in responsible work with the community that makes a difference to people’s lives
  • Learning Centre Leaders: Students will have the chance to organize and contribute to the work of the Learning Centre
  • Student Mentors: Students will have the opportunity to undertake special training to become mentors academically and socially within the school.
  • Sports and Music Leaders: Students will have the opportunity to serve on sports and music councils to help and advise teachers.
  • International Award: Students will have the opportunity to participate in this international scheme which is a considerable personal achievement highly valued by universities and employers.

 

The Student Counsellor
Adolescence can be a stressful and overwhelming time. Students may have worries or concerns that are difficult to sort out on their own. The word counselling has many different meanings for different groups. At Tzu Chi the Student Counsellor’s role is to provide students with collaborative, safe, non-judgmental and confidential counselling. The Counsellor will help students work through a problem to find a solution. Concerns may be emotional, behavioural, academic or interpersonal.

The Counsellor is a trained professional and offers a chance for students to help understand themselves better, their own personal values and the role their values play in decision making. The Counsellor is available to work with parents and often will have family meetings if and when necessary.

Students are able to contact the Counsellor by visiting the Counselling Office on the fourth floor and making an appointment. Confidentiality is important in counselling and the Counsellor works to establish trust with the students and will not judge them. During their first session the Counsellor will always advise students about the limits of confidentiality regarding what the student says to them, or if the student is in danger of hurting themselves or others.