At Alderman Knight School, sitting alongside our education provision, is a holistic approach to support pupil’s pastoral care as well as their Personal Social Development. Personal Social Development (PSD) is a core curriculum subject and it has considerable curriculum time on the timetable and it is promoted through the ethos of the whole school. All staff encourages, supports, and challenges all pupils to achieve their full potential, to develop self-esteem and resilience and to understand their own place in their wider community, as well as developing themselves in areas such as communication and interaction, social emotional and mental health needs to name a few. The school deploys a range of support strategies and approaches as needed by individual pupils in order to help and support them. In the latest Ofsted report, it was recognised that this approach was key to the pupils at Alderman Knight School:
“Pupils make very strong progress in their personal development and behaviour. Once pupils have settled into the school they quickly respond to the high expectations, skillful teaching and supportive environment to make sustained progress.” (Ofsted, 2019)
Alderman Knight School has been awarded the Mental Health Champions award for its recognition and work in supporting pupils and the staff mental well-being. The quality assurance group for the award noted that emotional health and well-being is not just a ‘bolt on’ at Alderman Knight School, but is at the heart of the school environment as well as the community and important to everyone. Mental health and well-being are clearly embedded in all aspects of school life at Alderman Knight School, and this was noticeable not only for the children but for the staff as well.
In the school’s latest Ofsted visit, the inspectors recognised the importance that the pastoral aspect of school makes on the development of pupils:
“Pupils show excellent attitudes to learning and enjoy their lessons. Behaviour in lessons and during social times is excellent. Both the tutor and pastoral support teams provide strong support to pupils to help them manage any difficulties they have.” (Ofsted, 2019)
Tutor Team staff provide the constant day to day all-round support for our pupils and these are made up of the child’s form tutor and teaching assistants which are the first point of contact for parents. There is also a Pastoral Support Team who work alongside tutor teams in the provision they make for pupils PSD as well as working with pupils on a more individualised basis if needed. The invaluable support that the team provides was acknowledged in the latest Ofsted visit:
“The pastoral support team is available throughout the day to support pupils who are finding things hard. This enables pupils to have a consistently high level of support from the same group of staff when they need it.” (Ofsted, 2019)