Preparatory | Student Experience
Every member of staff shares responsibility for pastoral care at St George’s Preparatory. We pride ourselves upon the quality of our care and upon the lengths to which we will go to provide the essential support that all our children deserve. “Family and Fellowship” is more than just one of our core values here at St George’s, we pride ourselves on being an intimate family school where all our pupils are accepted and safe.
Class Teachers provide the first line of pastoral care, ably assisted by all other staff. Once the children are older and are taught by more specialist teachers instead of class teachers they are then supported by their house parents. All three of our Houses have an allocated House mom and dad.
“Mentor Groups”, was initiated this year to further assist both the emotional development and pastoral care of our boys and girls, these sessions being timetabled into the school day. Members of our staff including academic staff, administration, catering and estate staff in managerial roles, mentor/assist in leading smaller groups of children from Grade 4-7, in an informal gathering 4 to 5 times a term. These groups are of mixed age and gender and responsibility is given Grade 7’s to assist in leading the groups with the following in mind:
- To create smaller families/groups within the larger St George’s Prep Community
- To engender caring and open relationships within our own groups, where it is safe to speak one’s mind
- To create a space where all pupils may find voice and not be afraid to challenge in a caring and respectful environment
- To cultivate and nurture the St George’s five Core Values
- To create a space where difficult/sensitive issues can be addressed in a non-threatening smaller environment
- To encourage a feeling of belonging and a sense of ownership to the group, not only when you meet, BUT on a daily basis in all areas of school life
- To listen more than you may speak at times
- To create leadership opportunities
- Anything else that will add value to the groups and all its members- it really is an informal arena to develop Emotional Intelligence.
Whilst often a central theme is the starting point of discussions that take place, a non-prescriptive approach and flexibility is also key, as often leading questions may alter the course of our meetings. Our five Core Values are the initial topics discussed.
We strongly believe that every pupil at the school has the potential to lead, whether it is being a mother or father one day or the next Bill Gates or South African president! Leadership certainly has changed from the autocratic style of command and control that many an adult today was subjected to. John Quincy Adams the sixth President of the United States (1825–1829) eloquently said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” We would like to encourage all our boys and girls to know that their greatest attribute and tool to create positive change is “voice”. This, sometimes, is a difficult concept for Preparatory School children to grasp, as there is a fine line that needs to be carefully watched. If dealt with respectfully, children certainly can add value to all kinds of circumstances by being allowed to express their opinions.
Like with any initiative, we have no doubt that only time will tell of its impact, it certainly does seem to be a popular time with our pupils and we look forward to further time together to see where it may lead us all!
It certainly is our hope here at the Prep that the worst possible punishment our pupils should receive is the disappointment they experience when they have let a member of staff or adult down.
We are also very proud of our strong Learning Support Department who are available to assist all our boys and girls and ensure that thorough corrective processes are in place for all our pupils and that the very best recommendations are made to assist them to reach their potential and to allow them to be the very best they can be!