At Bishop Wordsworth’s School we strive to create a caring and supportive environment in which boys can thrive – academically and socially.
Pastoral Support Officer: Mrs Elizabeth Jacobs
The main school is divided into two ‘sections’:
Lower School (Years 7 and 8)
Middle School (Years 9, 10 and 11)
Each section is led by a ‘Head of School' (a member of the Senior Management Team) and at least one assistant; they and their teams of tutors are responsible for the day to day pastoral care of boys in their section. Generally, a boy who joins the School in Year 7 will have one tutor for time in Lower School (Years 7 and 8). They then progress into Middle School, where they have a different tutor who remains with them throughout Years 9, 10 and 11.
In Years 7 – 10 we report to parents three times a year – two reports are grade reports, the third a written report which follows the annual assessments held in the summer. In Year 11 there is a grade report in the autumn and a full written report after their Prelim exams (‘mocks’) towards the end of January.
There is one formal Parents’ Evening per academic year for the parents of each year group, and there are also informal ‘Tutor Teas’ (usually held relatively early in the year) which are an opportunity for parents to meet their son's tutors. In addition, parents who have serious concerns about any aspects of their sons’ school lives are encouraged to contact either their sons’ tutors or the appropriate Section Heat at the earliest opportunity. There is also a Pastoral Support Officer for Years 7 – 11 who can be contacted about any concerns that parents may have. All the Pastoral Offices operate an ‘open door policy’ – as far as is practical, boys and their parents are able to access the Section Head/ Assistant/Pastoral Support Officer very readily in order to discuss immediate concerns.
Information Evenings are held at the end of each key stage of a boy’s education – the purpose of these is to explain arrangements for the next phase.
Boys are encouraged from the start to take responsibility for their own learning – for example, they are expected to maintain homework diaries in order to help them to plan ahead and keep to deadlines. Tutorial lessons include time for reflection upon academic and social progress, and there is an increasing emphasis upon target setting.
Academic monitoring is conducted by 'Heads of Academic Departments' and by 'Heads of Sections': pupil progress reviews are a regular feature of Staff Meetings. Boys who are making good progress/improving will have their efforts acknowledged in a variety of ways – for example, by the reward of ‘Head Master Distinctions’ and by being seen personally by either the Headmaster or their Head of Section. Underperforming boys may be placed on daily report as a means of monitoring progress closely and focussing on targets for improvement.
In Years 7 – 8 boys spend a period a week with their tutors following a tutorial programme which includes Study Skills, Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE), Careers Education and Target Setting. Elements of this continue in the Middle and Upper Schools. Increasing emphasis is placed on Careers Guidance provided by Connexions: Lifetime Careers, Wiltshire and an independent impartial careers adviser.
School Rules are few and emphasise concern for and toleration of others. In general the School expects boys to exercise a high level of self-discipline and where a punishment is necessary, the emphasis will be upon proportionality and making the offender take responsibility for the consequences of his actions. The School Council enables boys to express views on issues of concern to them, and the prefectorial and mentoring systems encourage more senior boys to become actively involved in helping others. The School’s Charity Committee (run by senior boys) is very active in fundraising for both local and national/ international causes.
Other sources of pastoral support within the school include the Learning Support Manager (SENCo) and the Chaplain.