students huddling up

Pastoral & Wellbeing

Pastoral care involves teaching and providing opportunities for pupils to grow in their self-esteem, confidence and independence of thought. This facilitates the development of their personal, social and emotional intelligence. Whilst building their resilience and perseverance, our pupils live out the ‘Holy Cross Way’ by showing kindness, patience and empathy towards others.

At Holy Cross Prep, pastoral care is about much more than just ‘being nice’ to people; it is about putting a child’s needs at the centre of our school’s operation. We are fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and we recognise that all staff, governors and volunteers have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils at our school; the health, safety and wellbeing of every child in our care will always be of paramount concern.  Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers, has a full and active role to play in safeguarding, both online and in everyday life.

A happy pupil will be an engaged and happy learner. At Holy Cross Prep, girls are happy, safe, involved and able to exceed their potential. They integrate well with each other and any challenges are quickly spotted and resolved. Every class has a special box labelled ‘things I wish my teacher knew’ – the girls utilise these boxes in a variety of ways, including the sharing of worries or concerns, as well as celebrating milestones and achievements.

Our experienced, dedicated and supportive staff ensure that all pupils achieve academically at the highest level of their ability. Staff also make certain that pupils’ mental health has been nurtured and strengthened; by the end of their Holy Cross journey, pupils have the skills and strategies to live a wonderful and flourishing life.

Our approachable staff are able to provide the highest levels of pastoral care, due to our small class sizes, dedicated ‘circle time’, PSHE sessions and a focus on ‘growth mindset’. All girls are known to us individually and we find and nurture their strengths, whether these be academic, musical, sporty or creative. Of equal importance is giving our girls the confidence to ‘have a go’ and take risks, as well as the reassurance that it is okay to get something wrong, as this is how we learn – an essential life skill.

We are also able to offer ‘Drawing and Talking Therapy’, as provided by our Assistant Head Pastoral, for any girls who may need this support. This is a short–term intervention method used in over 5000 schools across the UK, which can benefit children who may have suffered trauma, such as bereavement or separation, or have underlying emotional difficulties. It supports those who are not realising their full potential either academically or socially.

All pupils belong to a school house and compete against the other houses in a variety of events throughout the year. This brings two main benefits; reinforcing positive behaviour by the award of house points, and putting children in vertical age groupings (multi-year) rather than horizontal age groupings (children of the same age). In a mixed age group, children form a family type relationship; the older pupils teaching, supporting and caring for the younger pupils, who learning from and look up to their older peers, promoting a real team ethos.

Girls are given many leadership opportunities, enabling their strong pupil voices to be heard. These roles include our School Council and Eco-Council, as well as House Captains, Digital Leaders and Faith Leaders. One of the most special areas of responsibility at Holy Cross Prep is our ‘Big Girl, Little Girl’ partnership. Every reception girl, on joining the school, is paired with a year 6 girl who will look after and support them. This special relationship lasts all year (and even beyond!).

Pastoral care is at the heart of all we do. This is evident because:

  • Pupils feel safe and supported.
  • Pupils gain important insights about life and the world around them.
  • All staff are fully committed, trained and well-informed about safeguarding and the importance of pastoral welfare and support.
  • Behaviour standards are high, fair and consistent.
  • Opportunities exist to encourage proactive liaisons between parents, outside agencies and the school.
  • All pupil achievements are recognised, valued and celebrated.