In years 7, 8 & 9 pupils are organised according to year groups and there are typically four parallel forms. Most of the class teaching is by forms in these years, although setting is implemented in Maths, English and Science.
From Year 10 pupils are no longer taught in forms as they have now chosen their own unique set of GCSE courses.
Each pupil is a member of one of three Houses (Castlemaine, Essex and Raleigh) and there are regular House and inter-House activities and competitions. A pupil transferring from our Preparatory School into the Senior School will remain in the same House, as will siblings. House competition is principally of a sporting nature; however Chess, Music, Drama and Debating currently flourish. House meetings are held fortnightly. All members of teaching staff are assigned to a House, and offer support to the Head of House with House activities.
The Tutor System
Each pupil in the Senior School has a form tutor, and this member of staff is responsible for monitoring the pupils’ progress and welfare throughout the year. It is hoped that pupils and their form tutors will develop a relationship with each other so that successes can be celebrated together and problems or concerns that arise can be resolved. Form tutor comments on reports will reflect a close understanding of how a pupil is faring. Tutor groups meet daily at morning registration.
Pupils will tend to stay with the same tutor in Years 10/11 and Lower/Upper Sixth. In the Senior School Lower Years some changes may occur in composition of a group and of Tutor as deemed appropriate. Account is taken of group dynamics and any further pupil intake into the School. Account is also taken of the PSHE programme in the Senior School which is run by specialist staff.
The first line of communication for parents is to the form tutor or Head of Year. Please contact the School office to leave a message for them (voicemail) or request an appointment. The relevant member of staff will endeavour to return your call the same day (other commitments permitting).
Whole School Chaplain
Victoria Ikwuemesi is our whole School Chaplain. The fundamental role of a School Chaplain is to offer pastoral and spiritual support wherever appropriate, to pupils and staff. The Chaplain can be a valuable independent listening ear, helping staff and pupils. This confidential support helps everyone, of all faiths and beliefs, to share concerns or personal issues that they may not be willing to express to others.
Senior School Counsellor
As a School we recognize the importance of mental health, particularly during the teenage years, and therefore offer pupils the opportunity for individual counselling with a qualified counsellor. The service is led by Mrs Carolyn Varney and can be initiated by a pupil self-referring, at the enquiry of a parent or because a member of staff has identified that it would be beneficial.
In today’s culture it is not unusual during the teenage years for a period of counselling to be helpful. The counselling provides a place where the pupil can talk about whatever is on their mind and causing them stress. For example, relationships with their family or friends, worrying feelings and emotions or upsetting memories. It is now much better understood how emotional issues can impact a pupil’s ability to focus on their work and get the most out of life.
The counselling service is discrete and endeavours to minimise any impact on the pupil’s learning by working (as far as possible) around their academic timetable, providing confidentiality (within safeguarding limits) between the pupil and the counsellor. This confidentiality is important to create a safe place for the pupil to talk about whatever is on their mind. The school bears the cost of up to three counselling sessions, after which the parents are asked to contribute.
For more information about the counselling service please contact Carolyn Varney.
Please see the link below for information regarding online safety.