Pastoral care at St Catherine’s is about caring for the individual student and ensuring that we all effectively meet the personal, wellbeing and academic needs of students and staff in our care. It is our daily commitment to ensure that students are able to thrive in this community in all their endeavours; spiritual, personal and academic.
Living in a community involves respect for one another’s dignity and recognition that we are moving towards a common goal: to create a happy, safe and aspirational educational environment in which we all embrace the call of the Gospel to treat our neighbour as an extension of ourselves. Creating a framework in which the behaviours needed for that kind of learning community to flourish will involve a strong focus on positive relationships, modelling of behaviour from adults, pre-emptive systems, rewards and clear sanctions.
Parents/Carers are key to supporting the development of good conduct and their full engagement is welcomed and expected. It is the expectation that the behaviour of all our students, staff and governors will lean increasingly towards ‘outstanding’ because it is our faith and trust that the grace of the Holy Spirit always calls each person to this. We are called to live in the image and likeness of God and it is the responsibility of the school community to nurture that vocation through its pastoral care.
Use of Student Planners
St Catherine’s issues every student with a planner at the start of each year. The planner is similar to a journal or diary and students use this to jot down short notes about homework and other important pieces of information that are related to their learning and school life. The planner is also the main form of communication between school and home. Parents/carers are able to write a note to the form tutor or class teacher if needed.
Below are some tips for ensuring that all students use the planners effectively:
- Students must have their planner on them at all times.
- Students must place their planner on the desk at the start of their lessons (this will be different for practical lessons)
- Students must have their planner signed every week by their parent/carer
- If a student loses their planner, they will need to purchase a new one.
- The contact section at the front of the planner must be filled in accurately and numbers updated.
- Parents/carers must sign the Home School Agreement and Network Policy which is in the planner.
- Students should never deface their planner. Please keep it in the best condition possible.
Mentoring and Guidance
Helping Students Achieve their Full Potential
School life and changing schools can be a daunting experience for students, academically, emotionally or physically. To ensure that students of all abilities are challenged, stimulated, supported and engaged, we have support services at different levels to work with them. The support may take the form of mentoring.
- Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion - Mrs Cunningham
- Deputy Headteacher (Pastoral) - Mrs Ward
- Mrs Marshman – Pastoral Centre Manager
- Ms Mulroy - Pastoral Mentoring
- Members of the Senior Leadership Team
- Head of Year or Assistant Head of Year
- New Horizons Academy Outreach Service
- Bexley Early Intervention Team - Mr Sean Mayes
The purpose of a learning mentor is to:
- Work directly with identified individuals and groups of students as necessary to help overcome barriers to learning and raise achievement.
- Provide a complimentary and supportive service to all staff in school, working with students and their families whose life circumstances present significant barriers to students’ learning.
- Liaise with parents, appropriate agencies and the wider school community to support all concerned with identified students.
Why do some students need mentoring?
Students of all ability levels can be identified as underachieving because of a wide range of social and emotional factors. These barriers can take the form of low self-esteem, lack of confidence, poor concentration and difficulties in relationships or unmanageable feelings of anger, loss or sadness. They may also affect health, attendance and level of engagement in learning.
The causes can involve a change in family circumstances, bereavement, relationships or adapting to a new environment. Students may need short term support to sort out and make sense of what is happening to them, to reflect on how their actions can be causing problems and to work out ways to make life better.
Students are referred for mentoring through the Head of Year, senior staff, by parents/carers or by self-referral.
What does a mentor do?
Our Learning Mentors liaise closely with teachers and other support professionals, which is an invaluable link between the family and school. The focus, however, is always on supporting the young person or child, helping them to grow, change and become active learners.
Pastoral and Learning mentors seek to:
- Improve academic performance
- Increase self-confidence
- Signpost other support needed.
- Help the student gain experience of the working world
- Broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations.
Mentoring takes place in a meeting room or in the Pastoral Centre and support is provided which is appropriate to the needs of the students using a combination of:
- 1:1 mentoring
- Reflective activities and programmes designed to manage emotions, raise expectations and support coping strategies for school life
- Bereavement Support
- Homework club
- Careers advice and support with Ms Upal, who leads of IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance for Careers)
- Peer Mentoring
- Drop in sessions for wellbeing and encouragement
- Access to specialist support.
We benefits from some additional specialist support and established working relationships with a range of external professionals such as:
- Young Carers
- New Horizons Academy Outreach service
- Bexley Early Intervention Team
- Two counsellors who are employed by the school Ms N D’Aguiar and Ms S Mulroy.
How to Contact us
If your child has identified areas of concern such as attendance, transition, achievement, relationships, bereavement, bullying, being a victim of a crime or experiences other social issues, then please contact Mrs Cunningham (Safeguarding Lead) or Mrs Ward (Deputy Safeguarding Lead) via firstname.lastname@example.org.