At The King’s Academy we have an exceptionally caring and experienced team of Pastoral Heads led by Mr Wiecek, our Senior Vice Principal, who look after students in the Junior Academy (Years 7, 8 and 9) and Senior Academy (Years 10, 11 and Sixth Form). We are always pleased to welcome students and help them to sort out problems and difficulties they are facing, ranging from minor issues such as replacing a broken hair bobble through to serious emotional problems. Ms Gray, the Academy’s Child Protection Officer, is part of the pastoral team.
The pastoral staff are well-supported by more than 48 form tutors and attached tutors who work with our students on a daily basis. Whenever a problem is urgent they will refer them to a member of the pastoral team.
Alongside supporting and caring for students we seek to recognise when students do well by awarding merits, postcards and other commendations. It is not uncommon for students to receive merits when they have acted significantly to help others or gone well beyond the call of duty. Recognition is also given for excellent attendance.
A significant part of demonstrating care for our students involves helping our students to stay on ‘the straight and narrow’, not just in terms of discipline when they slip up, but, importantly, by showing them how to avoid doing things that get them into trouble in the first place. Form tutors and assembly speakers take time each week to talk through issues affecting the way students conduct themselves towards others, whether in school or at home.
Normally, if there is a problem, the first port of call for parents would be the form tutor. In circumstances where the issue is urgent or more serious, however, we encourage contact directly with pastoral staff. Likewise, we seek to communicate with parents as quickly as possible when we become aware of a problem, since we believe that the primary responsibility for children lies with their parents.
Sometimes, students fall out with each other in a way which they find hard to resolve without extra support. Form Tutors and Pastoral Heads are always happy to help work through these issues, with some of the strongest friendships in school having emerged after an initial breakdown of relationship has been resolved through this form of mediation.
If a student suffers from a chronic illness we look for ways to support them, either by providing work at home or helping them catch up once they return. Students who have been injured often use the Study Support Centre as a refuge at break times or at the beginning of the day.
Along with support from staff, we encourage students to look after each other and, if they see a situation affecting another student which they are unable to resolve themselves, to bring it to the attention of member of staff.