Saturday 30 May 2020

Why is Pastoral Care so Important in Schools?

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Pastoral care for children in a school setting is something that is very important, in fact having good pastoral care within a school setting can affect the attitude and atmosphere of the entire school. It can therefore also make the experience of school so much more enjoyable for all students. 

This subject has been explored more by an independent girls' school below and offers more of an insight into how pastoral care works, why it is so important and how it effects our children. Of course most schools will claim (and strive to) have the well-being of their pupils as one of the most important elements of their community, but what are they doing to prove this? 

Pastoral care can be defined as the responsibility a school has to helping children develop on a spiritual and emotional level; their active expression of concern for the progression and welfare of each child. Essentially, it’s the emphasis on establishing an environment and culture that strengthens the physical, social, academic, mental and spiritual growth of every student. Pastoral care in schools can be deemed ‘successful’ when students feel that they are in safe hands. 

Pastoral care encourages children to succeed in all areas of their education and personal development and endorses the government framework published in 2004 called Every Child Matters. The framework highlights some key elements of supporting the development of pupils: being healthy, staying safe, having fun and reaching their academic potential. With that in mind, excellent pastoral care is so much more than students being kind to one another, it’s about the school creating an environment where the child’s needs are at the forefront of its operation. 

Ultimately, the true mark of great pastoral care is that pupils learn how to instinctively care for themselves and for others all throughout life and take these skills with them even once they have left school. They will leave school with an understanding of not only how to keep both themselves and others safe but will also be able to comprehend the value in making a positive contribution to society and living their lives with powerful principles. 

Of course, all schools will have varying methods when it comes to their policy and practice of assisting the growth of its pupils’ personal development and creating a robust pastoral support system within its community. However, when a school concentrates on establishing an atmosphere in which young people can feel safe, children will prosper and eventually reach their full potential. When visiting or deciding on a school for your child do not be afraid to ask about pastoral care, their methods and practises and how this works within their school.

Do you think it is important for schools to offer good pastoral care? How do you think schools could do better at this? 


*This is a collaborative post.**

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