Wednesday 03 July 2019
First class pastoral care and student wellbeing will be at the heart of the new One School/Two Colleges model of secondary education.
This week the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture will submit proposals for the capital developments necessary to deliver the new model of secondary education, which was agreed by the States last year. The Committee will request that its proposals be debated by the States on the 4th of September.
Ahead of the publication of the policy letter, the Committee is releasing further details about its plans for first class pastoral care and student wellbeing and how they will contribute to the overall ambition of 'Opportunity and Excellence for all Students'.
The Committee is working with its senior advisors and school leaders to develop a package of measures to ensure that the 11-18 School does everything possible to meet the individual needs of all students. They include:
- students working in small groups or 1:1 where this is felt to be the most appropriate environment;
- purpose-built bases at both Colleges to support students with social and communication difficulties;
- clear policies for a calm and safe learning environment;
- facilities at both Colleges to allow students to meet services in mental health, youth justice, etc.; and
- a 'schools within a school' model of vertical multi-year tutor groups.
Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:
"As well as providing students with the best possible facilities and the widest range of subject choices, it is vital that they are well supported emotionally and understood as individuals. This is at the heart of the plans we are developing with our professional staff. We are very confident that in terms of students' pastoral care and wellbeing the size and set up of the two new Colleges, operating as a single School, will allow us to provide every student with the very best available in some parts of the current education model. Many students will have access to better facilities and more support than they do currently.
The new Colleges will adopt a 'schools within a school model'. This will provide students with the curricular and extra-curricular benefits possible in a larger school without losing, and in many respects improving, pastoral support and wellbeing."
School houses and tutor groups:In each College students will belong to one of six houses and each house will be divided into tutor groups of 14-15 students - significantly smaller than the average size of tutor groups currently. Tutor groups will meet on a daily basis and tutors will monitor the wellbeing, social development and academic progress of students in their group. The tutor will be the link between school and home and will act as the first point of contact for parents.
Tutor groups will be vertically structured. This means that each group will contain students from all year groups, building on the successful model for tutoring introduced at La Mare de Carteret High School. Vertical tutoring is associated with creating an environment of care and support and a strong sense of belonging within the tutor group. As each tutor has only two or three new students each year (when new Year 7 students enter secondary school), they are better able to support each student through transition to a new school and to ensure that their students' individual needs or concerns are addressed.
Health and wellbeing: Policies promoting student health and wellbeing are already established within existing schools and these will be further embedded into the two new Colleges. Clear policies will be in place to ensure a calm and safe learning environment in which any unkindness or bullying is addressed swiftly and appropriately and to direct additional support to students who need it. Smaller tutor groups will assist children who need to talk to their tutor.
Students with special educational needs:Planning for the new 11-18 School and two Colleges has included thinking about how best to provide for students with special educational needs. Students will be supported in the classroom where possible, but there will also be provision to allow children to work 1:1 or in small groups where this is felt to be the most appropriate environment. At each College there will be a base for students who have difficulties with social communication and language, including autism, which will assist them in transferring successfully to secondary school with their peers. Substantially more space will be allocated to these bases than the existing base at St Sampson's High School, allowing for greater flexibility to meet students' needs in small group spaces, quiet 1:1 areas and sensory zones.
Multi-agency working:The Committee is working with the Committee for Health and Social Care to develop facilities at each College which can be used by other professionals - for example, school nurses and mental health and youth justice professionals. This will provide easier access to such services for students and their families, reducing the time lost to education in attending appointments during school hours and allowing for closer multi-agency working.