The ability to make every child feel they truly belong and that they are part of a cherished community is one of King’s greatest strengths. The power of the King’s community flows from a number of elements. The most immediately apparent is the uplifting presence of the Cathedral, which, for everyone at King’s, provides a marvellous sense of continuity with past generations of scholars and tutors that is profoundly reassuring and inspiring.
Our renowned pastoral system plays an active part in every aspect of school life. Each pupil has a personal tutor with whom they have daily contact and regular one-to-one meetings to review progress and talk through any difficulties.
Tutors are a natural first contact for pupils and work in close partnership with parents to resolve any concerns. Tutors are supported by the Head of Year who is in turn guided by the Deputy Head (Pastoral) – who oversees the entire pastoral system.
Other sources of help include the School Nurses who are always on-hand to advise on health or well-being issues; along with the School GP and our trained Well-Being Mentor, who are always available should the need arise. Pupils can also talk to one of our Peer Mentors – a specially trained Sixth Former who has the advantage of being closer in age to the young person seeking support.
In addition, the Chaplaincy Team are available for our pupils to talk to every lunchtime in the Chaplaincy Centre.
A constantly evolving PSHE programme supports our pastoral care. Delivered by specialist teachers and reinforced by tutors, pupils are engaged in lively debate around issues facing young people today.
Community cohesion is also greatly assisted by our thriving House System, which enables pupils to get to know each other across the school. Laud, Serlo and Wheeler Houses contend throughout the year in events including drama, music, sport and debating, as well as striving to win the end of term Academic Cup. Competition is fierce, but fair and friendly, with pupils developing a real passion for their House.
The pupils themselves provide an equally valuable element of community support. The nature of our school population and small class sizes enable strong and lasting friendships to form rapidly. These give tremendous assistance as pupils move through the school and, inevitably, direct their focus towards exams.
Early intervention and signposting are essential to the effectiveness of supporting a pupil who is experiencing difficulties. The School has developed good links with outside agencies, and referrals can be made should more in depth support be necessary.
The ultimate aim of a strong community is to help its members flourish, and we are proud that King’s inclusive and nurturing environment does exactly that.
We are fortunate enough to enjoy one of the finest school chapels in the world; the Cathedral is central physically and spiritually to life at King’s.
Our School began within the confines of the Cathedral, and the building remains, literally and metaphorically, at the very heart of school life being used daily by both the Senior and Junior Schools for chapel and services. While the style of worship at King’s is firmly in the Christian tradition, the spiritual dimension to school life recognises the multi-faith nature of our broad community. A wide range of contemporary and topical issues are broached during chapel, and often provide the opportunity for our pupils to present their own ideas, whilst practising their public speaking skills.
The Cathedral is ever present in the lives of our pupils, offering a centre of calm in busy times and marking special occasions during their school careers. When pupils join us in the Senior School they are welcomed in the Cathedral at a service for new pupils, and when our Sixth Formers end their time at King’s we bid them a fond farewell at the Leavers Eucharist, held in the Quire.
All children have their ups and downs and most have to cope with challenges from time to time.
Pupils in need of additional support to help them deal with difficulties which affect their emotional well-being or hinders their academic progress can access one-to-one support with our Well-Being Mentor.
This is a confidential service that aims to provide the opportunity to talk with an independent person. These sessions often help children to use their intellectual and emotional resources and can enable them to develop some resilience to cope with and adapt to changes in their lives.
Referrals to this support are confidential and will be made by our in-house pastoral team in partnership with the pupils, who in turn would always have the final say as to whether they wish to take up the support. Sessions take place during the school day, last for up to an hour, and are available on a weekly basis.
Our Welfare Centre has an open door policy for pupils, with the School Nurses providing first aid and a listening ear.
The Welfare Centre is vital to the wider pastoral system and forms an integral part of the support network provided in school. Break and lunchtime supervisors (who are First Aid qualified) monitor playground areas alongside the duty teachers and prefects.
The Welfare Supervisor is supported by local GP Dr Iain Jarvis who has been the school's medical officer for several years. He holds a short "drop-in" surgery once a week on the school site.
StoriesIn the making