Alleyn’s School is a 4-18 co-educational, independent day school in Dulwich, London, England.

Senior School Pastoral Care

Academic and operational staff receive regular briefings and training on the ways we can support children as they navigate their way through their time at Alleyn’s and beyond, enabling them to meet the challenges of life at school and life in an exciting multicultural city, head on.

At the heart of our pastoral work is the understanding that every child or young adult is seen as an individual, on their own journey and with their own hopes, ambitions and motivations.

Regardless of age, the challenges they are facing, or the exciting and rewarding experiences they are having, it is our aim that every child feels recognised for who they are, that they feel valued for their contributions to our community and their achievements, and that they are able to flourish in a way that is natural for them.

Our strategy

We adopt two key strategies to enable our pastoral work;

Pastoral care in the senior school; relationbships between staff and students.

1. A proactive, positive and deliberate approach to mental fitness

We encourage all pupils to take agency and ownership over their own mental health. We encourage everyone to seek out positive experiences, to engage in the richness that an Alleyn’s education can bring, to develop strong and positive relationships, to play their part in a community that they recognise as both inclusive and something ‘bigger’ than themselves, and to celebrate their own achievements and those of others.

Pastoral care in the senior school.

2. A personalised, strategic and determined response to pastoral need that is multi-layered and flexible in its design

We support every child at the right level and in the best way we can, and take a restorative approach to this work, recognising that challenges can be complex. We utilise our resources to develop our own team around each child, including parents, to try and enable all pupils to find a way to flourish, despite the challenges they may face as part of growing up or due to unforeseen circumstances.

The pastoral support network for each individual child is extensive, consisting of an array of teaching staff with pastoral specialisms, clinical practitioners and a support network of non-teaching staff with relevant training.

The pastoral structures and systems of the school are deliberate in creating opportunities for positive and uplifting experiences, with an emphasis on developing relationships not just across their own year group but also through the vertical structures of school Houses.

This vertical system allows pupils to develop and grow alongside older and younger children as well as those of their own age. This gives pupils opportunities to build leadership skills, and to contribute to and celebrate their own achievements as well as those of others, resulting in tight communities where Alleyn’s pupils form significant and meaningful bonds with one another.

Parents are a crucial part of our pastoral systems and we work closely with them in support of their child. We support parents in a number of ways; be it in close quarters when facing the most challenging of circumstances, or more broadly through talks and information, where they can hear from members of the school pastoral staff or external experts and have a chance to share their experiences with others.

Pastoral care structure

Our pastoral structures, systems and provision are overseen by the Deputy Head (Pastoral); a member of the School’s Senior Leadership team, who works closely with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to coordinate the school's overarching approach to pastoral care.

Pastoral care is organised through the three Sections of the School: Lower School (Years 7–8), Middle School (Years 9–11) and Upper School (Years 12–13).  Each has its own Head of Section, who is also an Assistant Head, who oversees the pastoral care, working with a dedicated team of Heads of Year, other pastoral leads and an Administrative Assistant.

From Year 9, pupils join a House, which is run by a Head of House. This allows continuity of care from the age of 13-18 and provides communities within our larger school community. Older students take opportunities to lead and guide younger pupils, under the care and supervision of the Head of House and their team of House Tutors. The Head of House serves an important role in our work with children in need of greater pastoral support, providing a regular touchpoint, providing guidance and coaching support which, given their expertise and experience, they are well equipped to do.

Every pupil in the School has a Form Tutor from Year 7 to the final year, Year 13. The Form Tutor (who will change as the pupil progresses through the Lower, Middle and Upper School sections) works under the relevant Heads of Year in the day-to-day management of a pupil’s Alleyn’s experience, lending support as necessary and providing an important first point of contact for a child’s teachers and parents. They may also be connected to a House as a House Tutor.

In addition to the Section, House and form structure, Alleyn’s has a Chaplaincy Team of a Chaplain and Assistant Chaplain, and a team of counsellors who work with children and at times, their families. We also have a dedicated team of nurses who play a key part in the school's pastoral and safeguarding structures, and often serve as the first point of contact for pupils in need of support due to the nature of their important work.

Pastoral care in the senior school.

The Well

We have a dedicated wellbeing centre; ‘The Well’ that houses the nurses and our counselling team and enables them in their important restorative work. It comes equipped with a multi-use room and a meditation space that serve the entire school community, and fulfills our aims of being a mentally fit and healthy school.

Pupil Led Initiatives

Students (Wellbeing Warriors) set the agenda around activities and sessions that run out of these spaces and the surrounding landscaped ‘Coronation Garden’, providing a wide range of regularly scheduled and one-off experiences designed to engage and enthuse, with an emphasis on building great relationships and having fun!

Different groups of students lead on wellbeing initiatives at different times, engaging their peers and others, making mental health and wellbeing at Alleyn’s everyone’s business.


Tutors and Heads of Year

Form tutors serve pupils as their day-to-day point of contact and they are overseen by Heads of Year who work up close with a full cohort of pupils to nudge, guide and steer them to ensure they are making the best of the opportunities available.

Guided by Heads of Year, they support the monitoring and tracking of a pupil's academic progress and welfare, and, with support from specialist staff, teach the PSHE curriculum during dedicated lessons. The tutor will often play a part in the pastoral care of those children in their tutor group and serve as the first point of contact for parents and other academic staff.

Lower School pupils (Years 7 and 8) have the same Form Tutor for two years. Lower school Form Tutors along with their Heads of Year, encourage and support all pupils in making new friends, and through careful and expert pastoral care and guidance, give them the platform from which to engage with and positively contribute to their new school.

Pupils going into Year 9 will join one of eight Houses which form the tutor groups in the Middle School (Years 9-11). They have a discrete Form Tutor in Year 9, who, by working closely with the Head of Year, support pupils as they experience the senior school in its entirety, having left the Lower school behind. In Years 10-11, pupils remain in their House group, with a new Form Tutor who will oversee their progress to GCSE and who works closely with the Heads of Year and Head of House in the pastoral management and support of pupils.

In the Upper School (Years 12-13), pupils are assigned to new tutor groups, which facilitates the integration of pupils joining Alleyn's from other schools as well as offering membership of a new tutor group for existing pupils. Each Upper School tutor group consists of pupils from two of the eight Houses. The pupils' new Form Tutor works in conjunction with the Heads of Year to enable students to make the very best of themselves at this exciting and crucial time in their Alleyn’s education alongside the Heads of House who by now have developed strong, positive relationships with students and their parents having known them since Year 9. That said, a key part of a year 12 tutors role alongside the Heads of House is to engage and enable new joiners to the sixth form in settling in and beginning their Alleyn’s journey.

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