Tutoring and Pastoral Care at Bromsgrove School
Pupils first, systems second. Always. But good pastoral care – the kind of pastoral care that really does focus on individual issues rather than offering a one size fits all solution – still needs structure. Bromsgrove uses the house system to foster a sense of community and to ensure tutors and tutees are working to the same ends. This vertical structure (rather than the horizontal form system), means thirteen and eighteen year olds are in continual contact within the house. Older pupils’ own experiences and shared problems can often help a younger pupil as much as the advice of a tutor. Pupils are empowered.
Houseparents and tutors listen, encourage and support. Pastoral care at Bromsgrove is not something that happens when things go wrong: it should be happening every second of the day. Tutor groups are small (averaging eleven pupils to each tutor), relationships are warm and open, and transparency is essential.
Bromsgrove also has a sophisticated and entirely confidential independent counselling service for those who seek it, and the PSHE programme works in conjunction with the School Medical Centre.
Numerous backgrounds and faiths are represented at Bromsgrove, and we teach that nobody has a monopoly on self-expression. The Chapel remains central to the spiritual life of the School, and whether pupils have a faith or not, the Chaplain plays a proactive role in ensuring our community is inclusive and caring. Outside of Chapel, pupils gather once a week for the Headmaster's assembly (known as "Routh") when the news of the week is imparted and any important whole School messages are delivered. This gathering is crucial in establishing the ethos and expectations of the School.
In the Senior School, year groups also meet on weekly basis, and of course the Houses assemble every day. We allow for variation and personality, and we always want our pupils to be challenged, but the values the School upholds are reinforced constantly.
In the Prep School, a caring system sees each pupil allocated a member of the teaching staff as their tutor. The tutor team in each year report to a Head of Year who in turn reports to the Pastoral Deputy. However, systems are secondary to individuals. Pupils are encouraged to air views and feelings, and to raise matters that concern them. Parents should feel involved at every stage of a child’s development, and Bromsgrove prides itself on levels of care and guidance, as well as the links it fosters with parents and guardians.
Smiles are the norm at Bromsgrove Preparatory School. We recognise the fragility of children and respect their needs. The ethos is crucial. Putting others before oneself is key. We insist pupils are self-disciplined and courteous, treating each other with respect and compassion. Expectations are sky high; standards and values are thus maintained.
Founded as a boarding school, Bromsgrove Preparatory School offers its many day pupils the same range of opportunities as their friends who live on site in term time.
Essentially, the breadth of education in all areas reflects the boarding school ethos. The aspiration is that for boarders, the boarding house is a home from home. Resident Houseparents are members of the teaching staff, and they are assisted by housemothers (who oversee the domestic arrangements) and non-resident house tutors. Boarding should be a joy, a confidence builder and a voyage of discovery. Occasional boarding is possible; we are flexible if boarders wish to go home on a Saturday night (most do not), and Sunday programmes are hugely varied.
And day pupils get all the benefits – except the bed of course. It is not simply the excellent teacher/pupil ratio one expects in a first class boarding school. There is so much more. A team of dedicated nurses under control of the School Doctor provides on site medical care in the School’s Health Centre; high quality varied food from chefs preparing three good meals a day (not a reheated import) is standard; and there are staff on hand twenty four hours a day, seven days per week.
Pre-Prep & Pre-School
At Bromsgrove Pre-Preparatory we strive to ensure that every child feels happy, secure and confident; our primary aim is that every member of our school community feels valued and respected. The children in our care are encouraged to think for themselves and to develop self-control, independence and a sense of achievement through their learning. The relationships which they establish with adults and other children are central to their learning and happiness.
We aim to teach children to act in a thoughtful and empathic way. These qualities are encouraged through the ‘Golden Rules’ that are established from Nursery to the end of Key Stage 1. Assemblies and Class Circle Time reinforce these expectations. Each week there is an Awards Assembly when a child from each class is rewarded for an academic or non-academic achievement; for effort, for being caring and for all aspects of good work and behaviour. ‘Golden Time’ takes place each week and is an activity that children earn for politeness, kindness, good manners and effort in work.
Children from Reception to Year 2 are divided into three Houses. The children are awarded housepoints for good work and effort in their work as well as for helpfulness, kindness and thoughtfulness. Each week the House that has earned the most housepoints is awarded the Housepoint Trophy in the whole school Awards Assembly where we celebrate individual and group achievements.
We are committed to helping children to learn these important interpersonal skills alongside their academic skills. We therefore place great emphasis on their personal and social development.
There are two formal Parents Evenings each year as well as an informal open afternoon. Written reports are sent home at the end of the Summer Term. The Pre-Preparatory School operates an ‘open door’ policy, so that parents can talk with staff, at convenient times, about any aspect of their child’s academic progress and welfare.
Bromsgrove Pre-Preparatory provides a happy, safe and nurturing environment in which every child’s achievements are celebrated and valued.
Special Educational Needs (SEND)
The learning support department supports those pupils with academic weaknesses and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD). It aims to ensure the full integration of any pupil with SpLD into the whole life of the School and the achievement of maximum potential. Bromsgrove’s aim is not to draw attention to any problem but to enable the pupil to build strategies which will lead to success.
The department carries out screening of pupils in order to inform subject teachers. Also, it identifies the extent of any suspected SpLD and updates documentation required for exam concessions. The department takes referrals for testing from parents, teachers and individual pupils. Specialist remedial tuition is provided by three teachers, where appropriate, at extra cost to parents. This tuition may be on a one to one basis or in small groups. The aim of this tuition is to focus on improving literacy and numeracy skills as well as helping with study skills, so that the pupil becomes an independent learner. All teaching staff have access to SpLD information.
At Bromsgrove School we are committed to ensuring that our curriculum, extra-curricular program and facilities are accessible for all our students, staff and visitors. We pride ourselves on being able to provide a rich and stimulating environment for students, and take great care to meet the needs and support the aspirations of those with special educational needs. Bromsgrove School adheres to the requirement of the Equality Act 2010 to make “reasonable adjustment” in order to fully meet the needs of any prospective or current student. It is the School’s mission that our motto “flair, discipline and academic rigour” is applicable to all at Bromsgrove.
SEN currently catered for at Bromsgrove
We currently have students attending the school with the following SEN:
• Asperger’s Syndrome
• Non-Verbal Learning Disorder
• Emotional needs
• Mental Health needs
• Limited mobility
• Hearing impairment
• Vision impairment
• A range of medical needs
All teaching staff are trained to support the above needs and this training is regularly updated through INSET and CPD. Teachers work in close contact with the Curriculum Support departments of all three sites, in order to ensure that students, both with identifiable needs and those who simply require a little additional support, are able to thrive both academically and pastorally.
Accessibility of Facilities
We are constantly updating and changing our site and these changes provide our pupils, staff and visitors with an increasingly accessible landscape. Some of our buildings are, however, listed and these may be of limited accessibility for those with restricted mobility. Due to the size of our campus, we are confident that, should the need arise, we would be able to cater for a student who uses a wheelchair or other mobility aid.
Local Authority Assistance
For information on the local offer for Worcestershire, please visit www.worcestershirelocaloffer.org.uk