The happiness, security and personal development of all pupils in our care is at the heart of every decision we make.
Relationships are key to outstanding pastoral care and the combination of our small class sizes and continuous focus on the individual means we know our pupils extremely well. Form teachers and form tutors foster strong connections with pupils to ensure each day is happy, positive and full of purpose. Pastoral teams meet weekly and an individual pastoral leader is assigned to each year group so pupils always know who to speak to if they have any concerns or worries. We work closely with parents to ensure continuity of care and to raise any concerns we may have about issues that could affect their child’s health, wellbeing and engagement with their learning. The sharing of information and ongoing communication with parents, staff and pupils enable us to spot potential problems early, intervene quickly and wherever possible, help pupils reflect on their difficulties and empower them to find the best way forward.
As part of our ongoing commitment to creating a happy and healthy environment in which all pupils can flourish, Claremont’s much loved and well-established House system plays a key part. Affiliation with a House gives pupils a greater sense of belonging and that anything is possible when you call on the collective skills and enthusiasm of a Team with the same aims and values. The House system also enables pupils to mix with other Year Groups, using the wider resource to broaden their outlook, make new friends, celebrate successes, band together for the common good and, of course, enjoy the rewards of healthy House competitions. The ‘Spirit of Claremont’ is truly palpable and it is ever present during the many House fundraisers and competitions held at the Prep and Senior School each year.
Attitude to Learning grades (AtL)are also awarded termly at both the Prep and Senior School and 5 times a year in Pre-Prep. They present a wonderful opportunity to reward pupils for applying the qualities and characteristics they will need throughout life to their studies at Claremont. AtL gradings are another method in which we can identify issues with pupil wellbeing, apply appropriate interventions and measure their impact. They also give pupils a chance to reflect on the part they play in directing their own learning.
Children in the Prep School receive ‘stars’ of recognition for great work and exhibiting characteristics that will endure in life such as creativity, risk taking, collaborative working and time management. Children are awarded coloured badges in our Celebration assemblies for different numbers of ‘stars’ gained, and they wear them with great pride on their blazers. Star tallies begin from scratch at the start of each term, ensuring every pupil is given a chance to shine and get better. The star system steadily builds confidence and levels of self-esteem, and on a daily basis, demonstrates to every child that he or she is valued and can make positive contributions to school life, whatever their level of academic attainment. Everyone responds to incentives. They affect students’ choices and behaviour, raising motivation for learning, showing more interest in lessons and participation in everyday classroom tasks and responsibilities.
At the Senior School, The Claremont Senior League is reward programme that incentivises students to develop their sense of pride and achievement. Being successful makes you happy, proud and self-confident and reward programme does just that by encouraging and rewarding school effort at every level, whether academic or pastoral, individual or community. Students can gain merits or commendations from a variety of means; from excellent work in the class, showing initiative in their Co-Cu programme; being a good friend to a fellow student or simply having 100% attendance. These points are cumulated over each half term with many opportunities for students to win prizes ranging from tickets to the front of the lunch queue to Headteacher commendations in Academic, Pastoral and Co-Curricular categories.
Pastoral care at Claremont is not just a complementary practice: it is an ongoing caring approach that is fully woven into the fabric of all aspects of school life. The quality of relationships within the school and the formal and informal systems that operate together to monitor and promote pupil health and wellbeing means that the focus always remains on the individual and support is readily at hand whenever a pupil needs it.