Pupils’ high levels of self-belief are nurtured by a very supportive form tutor and house system that provide an individual focus and enable friendships to develop within and across year groups.
At Walthamstow Hall we approach the care of our pupils in a positive way, reinforcing our philosophy and ethos. Assemblies, Form Time, the PSHEE programme and the way in which pupils are treated on a day-to-day basis all contribute to a secure and caring learning environment where great emphasis is placed on the welfare and well-being of all pupils.
The Pastoral Team
In Early Years each girl is allocated a Key Worker within their first few weeks at the School. The Key Worker is usually the pupil’s Early Years teacher and their role is to help ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs.
From Year 1 to Year 6 the pastoral care of each pupil is overseen by their Form Teacher whom they will see every day at School.
Both Key Workers and Form Teachers play a vital role in communicating with parents. They are readily available to see parents about their daughter’s progress or welfare. They will also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate. A parent’s first point of contact should be the Form Teacher and then either the Head of Pre Prep or the Deputy Head.
The Deputy Head and, ultimately, the Head of the Junior School, have overall responsibility for pastoral care and are both always available for consultation.
Pupils are also encouraged to speak freely and openly to any member of staff if they have any concerns. Staff respond to girls in a sympathetic and concerned way, offering advice, support, guidance and reassurance when required.
Staff are on duty before the start of the School day, at break and lunchtimes and supervise different areas of the School, including lunches in the Dining Hall. Full supervision continues during the co-curricular activities such as clubs held during and after School and a member of the Senior Management Team is always on duty until 6.00pm.
Positive behaviour is nurtured throughout the School and reinforced by some simple Golden Rules which pupils are encouraged to follow at all times:
- We are gentle
- We are kind and helpful
- We listen
- We are honest
- We work hard
- We look after our property
- We must all show respect for others by listening, thinking and speaking with care and by being responsible for our actions to ensure that we are happy and safe at School.
Rewards and Sanctions
Our approach to both rewards and sanctions reflects and supports the School’s ethos. We seek to reward and celebrate each girl’s successes, talents and endeavours. Rewards are designed to recognise both achievement and effort and encourage leadership, diligence, initiative and good behaviour as well as a sense of responsibility to each other in the School community. We try to place the emphasis on achievements rather than failings, with thanks, praise and encouragement wherever possible. Our approach is positive, reinforcing good behaviour and standards.
Rewards can take the form of praise, stickers, merit certificates, merit badges and House points. House points are awarded for outstanding work or effort as well as good manners, helpfulness or special contributions, and they are entered in the Contact Book/Pupil Planner by members of staff. House points are collated each week and merit badges and certificates awarded as appropriate. If pupils gain a number of merit badges over the year they go on to receive Bronze, Silver and Gold stars and a Head Teacher’s Award/ The House Cup is awarded to the House with the most House points.
Sanctions, if necessary, are seen as regrettable and are intended to be proportionate and appropriate, fair and consistent. None of the School’s punishments will be degrading or humiliating.
We expect good manners, consideration and honesty throughout the School between peers, younger and older girls and pupils and staff.
Any form of bullying behaviour, such a physical or verbal aggression, or exclusion, is unacceptable here. We are fortunate that it is rare in our community but we realise that however strong our support of the School’s ethos and organisation there will, from time to time, be incidents that require our action. Pupils are told that they should report such behaviour, which we wish to stop quickly. This is a topic regularly visited in PSHEE lessons, and Circle Time is frequently used to allow pupils to air their feelings and opinions.
It is unusual in our setting for girls not to respond to teachers’ advice, however, we would make written observations or behaviour and inform parents of repeated unacceptable behaviour.
The PSHEE Programme
PSHEE is the acronym for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education.
Through our PSHEE programme we aim to:
- promote girls’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
- build confidence and responsibility in preparation for the opportunities and experiences of life
- help pupils to establish a healthy and safe lifestyle
- teach respect for the differences between people
- foster good relationships with others
- build pupil awareness of important environmental issues
- prepare girls to play an active role as citizens
It is important that the programme should:
- value the contribution of all
- challenge stereotypical views
- allow diversity and commonality to be appreciated
- encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own actions
The PSHEE programme is delivered primarily by Form Tutors. Other staff, who have particular areas of expertise, will also lead Form or Year Group sessions. Outside speakers are involved on a regular basis, for example the Kent County Constabulary speak about Citizenship. The School Nurses support Health education.
The School Council has an important status and is a long-standing tradition at the School. The council meets every month under the chairmanship of the Library Leader. It consists of the Head Girl and Deputy Head Girls and representatives chosen from every form. Meetings are formal with minutes taken and shared with every form. All pupils are invited to put forward proposals for items for discussion.
E-Safety and Electronic Devices
Girls in Years 3 – 6 are appointed to represent their forms on the Internet Safety Committee. The Committee meets twice a year with the Computing Subject leader and Deputy Head. The girls discuss ways in which they can encourage their peers to stay safe online.
Pupils are not allowed to have mobile phones with them in School. Girls are also not allowed to have E-Readers, like Kindles, in School.
Any pupil feeling unwell during School hours will be taken to the dedicated First Aid Room where a First Aider will decide on the most appropriate course of action. If more than basic first aid is required the full-time School Nurses, based at the Senior School site are consulted. Every effort is made to contact parents in the instance that their daughter is not well enough to return to lessons.
We ask that pupils remain at home until they are recovered from an illness. In the case of vomiting, girls should not attend School for at least 24 – 48 hours after being sick.