Effective pastoral care underpins school life and there is always someone to whom the students can turn for help and advice.
Every adult has a responsibility for students’ welfare and security and there are many layers of care in place. Our Pastoral Care System has a structure based on Houses, which sees Heads of House’s working closely with their Form Tutor Team to ensure that we get to know every student.
Students are individually valued and well-supported. Students see their Form Tutors every morning. Form Tutors have immediate access to information about students’ achievements and any incidents during the day through the school computer system.
Our Pastoral Care System aims to promote our ethos of ‘in harmony’ and ‘achieving excellence’.
We are committed to a positive approach and, whenever possible, praise and rewards are used to motivate and encourage the students. There is a clear code of conduct which students are expected to follow at all times and this is underpinned by appropriate sanctions, as set out in the school’s Behaviour Policy.
Pupils are organised into Vertical Tutor Groups, which contain a mixture of pupils from Year Groups 7-11. The key focus of Vertical Tutoring is to develop high quality learning relationships that bring out the best in all who are engaged in the learning process.
Further benefits of Vertical Tutoring fall into four main areas:
1. Pupils receive more support and recognition at key times, such as making option choices or during exams. Each tutor will only have 4-6 pupils to support, so pupils will get much more attention than in their current tutor group, where everyone has similar needs at the same time. Tutors can also arrange for younger pupils to get advice from older pupils in their tutor group who ‘have been through it recently’.
2. Pupils get more chance to take responsibility for younger pupils. Each house will elect pupils to senior positions of responsibility such as House Captains.
3. More events can be organised to recognise talent and create more fun! The houses are a big feature of school life with Inter-house competitions and charity events.
4. Better relationships. Pupils will get to know people from other year groups in a safe environment, whilst still working with their year group peers in lessons. Positive relationships across the school can be fostered, thus underpinning the school ethos ‘in harmony achieving excellence’.
The school is divided into sub units called 'Houses' and each pupil is allocated to a House at the point of enrolment. The Houses are made up of all students from Year 7 to Year 11. Each student is given a House tie of the House they are a member of. There are 5 houses:
The Houses are named after Universities in order to raise pupil aspirations. Each house is led by one ‘Head of House’. Heads of House are teaching members of staff who are responsible for the attendance, punctuality, achievement, House Assemblies, events and behaviour of all students within their Houses. Heads of House have the support of a Pastoral Support Team in the management of student behaviour, events and out of hours learning.
The following House Competitions take place throughout the year; all competitions give the students the opportunity to win House Points. House Points are added together and the House with the most points at the end of the year wins the overall House Competition. Students quickly form an allegiance to their House with a sense of fun and friendly competition pervades all the House events:
- Five-a-Side Football
- Cross Country
- Sports Day
- University Challenge
Wellbeing, Counselling and Mentoring Team
We have a student Wellbeing Team consisting of counsellors and mentors. The Wellbeing Team operates a range of services, including counselling from a qualified psychotherapist.
Parents should contact Heads of House, in the first instance, if they feel their child would benefit from this service, or any other service provided by the team.
Students may also be referred for counselling or mentoring by members of the school’s staff. in these cases, parents will be contacted and consent will be sought .
E. DanversStudent Experience and Wellbeing Lead
H. LoneArt Psychotherapist
L. AbleChild and Adolescent Psychotherapist
F. MurphySchool Mentor
Pastoral Support Team
The Pastoral Support Team provides support for students who are having behavioural difficulties. They support the Heads of Year with investigating incidents and lead proactive interventions with individuals and groups of students.
Year 12 and 13 pupils are organised into Lower 6th Form and Upper 6th Tutor Groups, so that pupils receive tailored, pastoral and academic support in preparation for their next stage.
See more about our Sixth Form here.
Student Leadership at Valentines High School provides students with a diverse range of opportunities to develop their character, express their views , express their opinions and prepare them for adulthood. The school not only offers a vast amount of opportunities, but the environment for students to develop as leaders. At Valentines, students have the choice of four different strands of leadership responsibilities that they could be involved in: Student Parliament, STARS Youth Travel Ambassadors, Student Learning Consultants and Meet and Greet.
Student Parliament - Valentines High School has a strong Student Parliament team whose job it is to develop and implement changes within the school. In order to achieve this, students conduct student voice surveys from the whole school to collate suggestions on possible changes within their school community. Student Parliament members are elected by their peers in elections conducted in September of each year.
STARS Youth Travel Ambassadors - This is a project run by Transport for London. We have a course leader come into school so that students have the opportunity to create a project to ensure clear communication between students and their transport community. This is a student lead project where they campaign for a project that they focus on for the academic year.
Student Learning Consultants - Student Learning Consultants (SLC) are highly valued students who carry out research projects on a topic they wish to develop in their school. Each SLC starts off with a topic of their choice and sends out a student voice survey. From here, students will gather their findings in a graph and analyse their data. Students will lead a focus group and create target questions to discuss current issues, how they can be improved and what needs improvement. Students will then present all their findings to the Head teacher.
Meet and Greet - Students apply to become an ambassador for Valentines High School. Their job role is to give a tour to visitors around the school and ensure they get to the correct location. This responsibility teaches students to be punctual and confident, while developing their communication skills.
Charity or the act of giving, has had tremendous effects on the success of humanity. Charity does not only create a positive impact on the recipients in the form of goods, materials, money or volunteered time, but also on the donors. Throughout the year, students work with their Head of House and Ms Shelley to organise fund raising activities, for their chosen charity. The House Group that raises the highest donations to charity, each Term, will be positively recognised.
House Groups Charities:
Imperial – RSPCA - The RSPCA is the UK's largest animal welfare charity.
Kings – Barnardo’s - They support children and young people who have been abused and help them feel safe again. And they reach out to children at risk of harm, giving them the long-term support they need.
Birkbeck & St George's – Plan international – Advances children’s rights and equality for girls
Queen Mary - Haven House has supported over 650 families, looking after children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.