Pastoral care of the individual child lies at the centre of all we do. We take pride in nurturing a genuine school community with the safety, happiness and wellbeing of every child at its heart.
Our tutor groups lie at the heart of our pupils’ experiences at Winchester House. Small groups of children are cared for by dedicated tutors who are the first point of call for pupils, parents and staff should issues arise. Tutors look after the wellbeing of their tutees, meeting with them several times a day to check in, celebrate what’s going well, assist with any struggles they may have and help with day-to-day matters, too.
Children can visit our Wellbeing Mentor to talk about feelings and share any worries they may have. Based in ‘The Cupboard’, a cosy room located between the School Office and Chapel, our wellbeing mentor listens and supports pupils. The door is always open should someone need a chat.
The Winchester House ‘Circle of Support’ is a booklet that outlines different people, opportunities and resources for supporting children and procedures that have been put into place.
For our younger children, colourful ‘Buddy Benches’ can be found in the playgrounds. When a child wishes to be included in games but might be feeling alone or nervous about joining in, they can sit on the bench so the other children can identify and include them. Staff and children always keep an eye out for anyone using these benches so no-one is ever without a buddy!
Our Peer Mediation programme teaches children strategies to deal with conflict and coping mechanisms for low level disagreements. Through discussions, role plays and video clips children are encouraged to talk about problems and how problems can be overcome. The life skills they learn here will help them both at WHS and beyond. Some children in Years 6, 7 and 8 have also been selected as Peer Mediators. Their job is to be visible in the playground and be available to help mediate any minor quarrels amongst younger children. Their aim is not to solve issues, but purely to create a calm situation so the children involved can find a positive solution.
Famously known as Sister Wendy, our school nurse is a registered nurse with 32 years of nursing experience. Having worked in a variety of hospital and community settings including 14 years as a Practice Nurse and five years in school nursing, she is well-placed to support children. Wendy is supported by a very experienced team of first aid trained Matrons. The medical team liaise closely with the Houseparents and pastoral team.
A team of staff meet weekly to discuss our pupils’ wellbeing. The team is comprised of staff from across all walks of school life that proactively identify any issues as early as possible and put in place strategies to help any children who may be struggling.
Groups of pupils of all ages make up the two councils at school, which act as a voice of the pupil body. Through regular meetings, pupils have the chance to feed back their suggestions of school improvements to members of the Leadership Group. Our pupils are always buzzing with good ideas and have influenced key areas of the school such as food choices, playground equipment and our behaviour policy.