Putting pastoral care and mental health first
Choosing a primary school is one of the most important decisions parents will make for their child. With so many aspects to consider what should parents base their criteria on? Should it be academics and exam results, class size, inspection reports or extra-curricular provision? It can be so hard and confusing for parents to be able to make the right choice.
Children and young people’s mental health has never been so high on the public agenda. With so much in the media about child mental health, anxiety and the range of pressures and dangers that children can face shouldn’t the pastoral care on offer at the school be paramount.
Pastoral care is becoming more and more crucial in primary schools and in choosing a school for their child the first question parents should be asking is how the school environment supports the emotional well-being of its pupils.
Outstanding pastoral care is not merely a complimentary practice but should be embedded in the ethos of the school and on visiting a school should be palpable. It should be inextricably linked to every strand of the child’s school experience from teaching and learning to relationships and inform the overall culture of the school.
Data on trends in child mental health is startling, with one in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds having at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017 (NHS Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2017), pastoral care has never been so important. At Lincoln Minster Preparatory we pride ourselves on our ethos and our pastoral care is our primary responsibility.
From “Mindful Monsters” at Pre-Prep to our “Well-being Log” at Prep, our Buddy Bench, School Council, focus on values, role of the Form Tutor, knowledge of our pupils and their families, the school is fully committed to its role and doesn’t see its role in isolation but as a partnership with parents.