We believe that it is really important that we work together pastorally and academically to help our children feel encouraged to explore learning. Our pupils are at the centre of everything we do and in the St John’s family, we pride ourselves on knowing every child as an individual: their strengths, their challenges, their friendships and just what makes them tick. I strongly believe that by looking after every aspect of a child’s wellbeing, we can really help them to flourish in their learning, friendships, independence and confidence.
It is really important that we work together pastorally and academically to help our children succeed. Pastorally there are a wide range of people that children can call on for support: their form teacher is always a first port of call, but every member of staff is ready to make time to listen to a child. We are also fortunate to have a school nurse, counsellor and a great learning support department to care for our pupils. We like to be proactive in our care of children, so St John’s uses a system called AS tracking which helps us identify pupils who might need help later. By spotting this early, we can give pupils the tools they need socially and emotionally through assemblies, PSHE lessons and form time.
Academically, teachers are pivotal in ensuring pupils make progress. To help them, we make use of ability tests and performance tests; this helps us spot any child who is already successful but could benefit from more challenging work and also a child who may be experiencing some obstacles to their learning. I am also a big believer in giving pupils the skills they need to succeed and take ownership of their learning. This goes hand in hand with our pastoral work. As part of the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate (PSB), pupils are recognised for their skills in thinking and learning; reviewing and improving; independence; collaboration; communication and leadership. We are also looking forward to introducing lessons about learning where every child can understand about their own unique skillset and learn strategies to help them with areas that they find challenging; this might be getting started on a task; seeing a task through to the end; being flexible when change happens or learning how to communicate effectively with friends. These are all tools that we know will equip our pupils for success, not just at school, but in life too.