We believe that quality care is vital when nurturing positive, resilient students who demonstrate respect and regard for others in today’s global society.
To achieve this outcome, we encourage staff and families to work together by maintaining a vision of responsibility and positivity as the basis of our attitudes, words and actions. In so doing, we achieve positive growth and enhance the development of all around us.
In the Junior School we have a strong focus on personal needs of security, safety, physical and emotional health – all of which are prerequisites for a successful education. The wellbeing of our students, along with the provision of a world class education, underpins all that we do at the College. It is a matter of integrity and social responsibility, as well as an educational necessity that all College policies and practices include the principles of pastoral care.
Supporting our efforts is the growing body of scientific evidence on the causal factors around wellbeing. Having a better understanding of how to increase the likelihood of happiness with life, and how to channel the emotional pains of set-backs en route, are the skills that can substantially improve an individual's progress in school and in life.
Previous research has shown, for example, that becoming involved in challenging and absorbing activities is important to a person’s ability to cope better with life. As a successful independent school which focuses on an 'all-round' education, Somerset College offers its students a wide range of such activities both within and beyond the classroom. Some of the strengths we wish to engender in our students are physical health, positive relationships, perspective and resilience, engagement, the world (sustainability), creativity, meaning and purpose. In addition, we aim to foster a love of life-long learning. These qualities are also reflected in the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile, which is embedded in the College’s curriculum.
The first point of call in the Junior School for pastoral care is the student’s Class Teacher. Supporting these class teachers are subject specialists, the Learning Support Co-ordinator, Primary Years Programme Co-ordinator and the Head of Junior School. The Junior School also engages the support of visiting psychologists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists. At all times, we seek to provide resources and direction for students and families to help them to deal with issues or problems which may arise in their child’s life. We believe the involvement of many specialists provides a comprehensive team approach to ensure the best outcomes for students.
We encourage communication through the student’s diary or email, while always welcoming opportunities for discussion through interviews. For new students to the College, we are aware this may be a time of increased anxiety so we have in place a strong orientation support system to help students as they find their own special path at Somerset.
As a College community, it is our goal to develop positive, resilient students through an exceptional pastoral care programme.