Pastoral Care

At St Christopher’s, pastoral care is at the heart of our school ethos and is vitally important to everyone who works within the school community.

We pride ourselves as a ‘No Outsiders’ school where everyone is welcome in our school; ‘no one is the same, but everyone is equal.’

In the first instance, pastoral care is the responsibility of the class teacher but is overseen by our Assistant Head (Pastoral).

Houses

All pupils are placed in one of four houses when they join us in Reception and remain in this House until they leave in Year 6.

Our four houses, Johnson (blue), Blyton (red), Campbell (green) and Hillary (yellow), are supervised by an assigned member of staff and are named after a famous person who has some connection in history with St Christopher’s. These Houses provide an additional sense of belonging to all our pupils as a member of a ‘whole school team’.

At the beginning of each academic year, Year 6 children are invited to apply to become House Captain by presenting a short speech in a House assembly; they are then democratically voted for by all members of their House to represent the House for that year.
Their responsibilities are to assist the House Leader but also to be a positive role model for the younger children as well as delivering a Reading at the annual school Carol Service in St George’s Church.

House Meetings are held twice a half term, enabling members across the school community, including teachers who are also assigned to a House, to come together to share themes, celebrate occasions as well as each other. These are run by the staff House Leader but often feature children within the House.

Support is given by House members, along with their mascots and banners, at sporting events such as Sports Day, Swimming Gala and the inter House sports competitions held termly within the Year group PE sessions. Every child participates in these events and proudly wears their coloured House Top to represent their House.

The results of these events, combining both Pre-Prep and Prep school results, are announced in assembly and the winning House is awarded the sports cup for that term.

Background to House names

Blyton

Named after the children’s author Enid Blyton. Enid was a pupil at The Hall School, which merged with St. Christopher’s, and was Head Girl from 1913-1914. She can be seen in several photographs currently on display in the school. According to her daughter who visited the school in the late 1990s, the St. Clare’s books are based on her mother’s time at St. Christopher’s.

Campbell

Thomas Campbell was a visitor to the private home which stood where the school is now situated, during the Napoleonic period. It is alleged that he composed his famous poem Ye Mariners of England whilst sitting in the grounds under a tulip tree . This tree is still a feature of the Pre Prep playground.

Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary was an acquaintance of a member of staff at the school, and shortly after returning from his journey to the summit of Mount Everest, he called into the school to visit the staff and pupils.

Johnson

Dr. Samuel Johnson, the creator of the first dictionary, is reported to have stayed at the private house that now forms the front building of our school.

The Houses represent characters from History who achieved within their own field and can be used as inspiration for the pupils. The inclusion of a woman is particularly important, as for many years St. Christopher’s was a girls’ school.

Rewards

Character Counters

At the centre of our pastoral care system are our school Character Values: Common Sense, Honesty, Ambition, Respect, Adaptability, Creativity, Teamwork, Enthusiasm and Resilience.

Character counters, in respective House colours, are awarded by any adult member of the school community on a regular basis for these core qualities. These counters are placed in ‘House Jars’ located in every classroom and are collected on a weekly basis by the House Captains. The counters are then placed in ‘House Tubes’ which are visibly accessible to the whole school. At the end of each term, the House that has received the most counters enjoys a reward, decided by all the House members, House Captain and House Leader. Rewards can range from coming to school in their own clothes, to a film afternoon with popcorn.

Weekly Class Award

Each week, the Head Teacher hosts a ‘Celebration Assembly’ whereby a child in each class is chosen to receive the Head’s sticker for representing our Character Values or for something particularly special that they have achieved as a personal goal that week.

In addition to this, each class teacher nominates a ‘Character Champion’ from their class who has represented our Character Values throughout that term. These children are celebrated in the final assembly of each term; their parents receive a copy of the nomination report written by the class teacher which is also read out by the respective Head of Department.

Merits

Merits are awarded to children by any member of staff as an acknowledgement of something specific that a child has done or achieved at school.

When Merits are awarded, they take into account each child’s ability and are rewarded for individual excellence; for something that reflects their own personal best.

These Merits are collected and stamped in the child’s school planner. At the end of each term, the highest merit earner from each year group is invited to a special lunch with the Headteacher.

Sanctions

Whilst the behaviour at St Christopher’s is excellent, there are occasions where sanctions are necessary to impose. We have comprehensive sanctions systems in place for both the Pre Prep and Prep School; these are printed in the school planners for pupils and parents to refer to and are also displayed in each classroom.

School Council

St Christopher’s believes that every pupil has a voice that has the right to be heard. To this end, the school has a School Council which meets once every half term and is overseen by the Assistant Head Pastoral.

Representatives are democratically elected termly from each class (Reception to Year 6) and the Head and Deputy of School also attend meetings. We welcome ‘guest’ representatives from classes to our meetings and all representatives feed back the information to their class as well as asking for their opinions or ideas to bring to the next meeting with the support of their class teachers.

Action plans for mini projects are discussed in the meetings and progress charts are published on our School Council noticeboard in the corridor for everyone in the school community to see.

A School Council suggestions box is also available for anyone to post their ideas into.

Year 6 Responsibilities

As a rite of passage once they reach the top of the Prep School, our Year 6 cohort are rewarded with responsibilities to assist members of staff but also to act as positive role models for the younger children at all times. These roles include monitors for the library, dining hall, Music and Drama departments, First Aid, Orchestra and Choir as well as being tour guides for our prospective parents.

A Head and Deputy of School for the academic year are also democratically elected in the same way as the House Captains from the Year 6 cohort. Their roles include assisting the Head Teacher and Assistant heads with various duties, delivering a reading at the annual Carol Service and a speech at the Year 6 Leavers’ Celebration Evening in July as well as representing the school in the wider community such as laying the wreath on Remembrance Day at the War memorial and speaking to prospective parents about their experiences.

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing support also plays an integral part of our pastoral care system. We have a qualified Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing lead who supports the children either on a one to one basis or as a group where deemed necessary. We also have a ‘Snug’; a calm, cosy space where teachers are able to take children for some ‘quiet time’ or children can visit our newly refurbished library at lunchtimes as an alternative to the playground. We have factored into our whole school timetable quiet reading sessions after lunch on a Monday to Thursday and a sketchbook session every Friday. Teachers also participate in these sessions as role models for our children.  Our ongoing assessment includes using the PASS online GL Assessment to help inform any areas where children may require additional pastoral support. Our aim is for our children to leave St Christopher’s as positive, resilient, respectful, well motivated, proud, brave young people ready to face the challenges of the wider world.

Open Mornings

Our next open event:

Tuesday 19th March from 10.30-12.00am

Wednesday 1st May from 10.30-12.00am

Thursday 23rd May from 10.30-12.00am

Tuesday 11th June from 10.30-12.00am

Please book in for one of our Open Mornings. There will be a talk from the Head, a tour by current pupils and a chance to chat over coffee with governors, staff and other parents.

Find out more

The Reception and 7+ Assessment

We are taking applications for places in our Reception classes and Year 3 classes for September 2024,

For further details please contact our Admissions Registrar via admissions@stchristophersthehall