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Pastoral Care

Safeguarding provision was highly praised in the ISI Boarding Welfare Inspection in December 2015.

Developing the individual within a warm, supportive school community is central to our core values. Fostering the capacity to cope with the demands of 21st century living, while encouraging pupils to understand themselves and develop emotional resilience is what we aim for through our extensive pastoral programme. Our pastoral programme is a dynamic one. We are continually developing it, working with external experts and monitoring recommendations and guidance in pastoral care to ensure that Canford is a safe, secure and caring school environment for all who live and work here.

Canford prides itself upon its warm, supportive community, large enough to offer a wealth of opportunity, but small enough for everyone to be known and valued.  In addition to full medical provision plus onsite counselling through our Health Centre, our pastoral care includes caring Housemasters and Housemistresses, good food, understanding when things go wrong, guidance and support.

Good communication within the triangle of child, parent and school is the backbone of our pastoral ethos.  This holistic approach encourages everyone to work together to bring out the best in each individual.

Each house team led by the Housemaster or Housemistress and including tutors, matrons and domestic staff cares deeply about the pupils they look after.  Formal and informal systems operate side by side to ensure that support is readily available when a child needs it.

The pupils have a wide range of adults they can approach and who will have concern for them. Some pupils will find they talk best to matron, others to their Housemaster or Housemistress, tutor or health centre nurses. We have trained counsellors available if pupils are worried about something in particular, and pupils often find them particularly accessible.  Some prefer to talk to the Chaplain, as in addition to both formal and informal chapel services, societies and events, the work of the chaplaincy in our pastoral care is wide ranging and includes involvement in the wider life of the school. We like to think that it would be hard for a pupil not to find someone he or she finds it easy to talk to.

A full evenings and weekends programme runs to ensure that there is no time to feel lonely or homesick, particularly in the younger years.  Please follow the link below to find out more about the range of activities we offer.

Peer Mentoring

We recognise that often young people prefer to talk to someone their own age about their concerns, and in 2014 we introduced a peer mentoring programme. Each year a group of Sixth Formers receive training by RELATE in listening skills, empathy and trust. Pupils in the lower school can contact any of these mentors direct by email and arrange to talk to them privately about any issues. A member of staff meets regularly with the group to discuss particular issues raised, and advise on further steps where needed.

Tutor System

The tutor programme is based around time dedicated for listening, monitoring, supporting and guiding. The unique iCAN profile which was introduced in 2014 is an online system which encourages every pupil to reflect on his or her experiences and to set targets for further involvement, while making links between the different sectors of their Canford learning. The development of the profile is discussed regularly in tutor time and becomes a useful element in the UCAS application process for those considering higher education. More dedicated staff and time for tutor/pupil meetings in houses have been allocated, which has enabled the provision of more effective and helpful advice and guidance on a regular basis. Communication plays a fundamental part in the success of our tutoring programme.

Pupil Voice

Giving the opportunity to ‘have your say’ is an important part of the development of leadership skills and growth in confidence. A number of new committees whose members include representatives from across all year groups meet regularly. The School Council, led by the Heads of School, is a forum for pupil representatives from all years to discuss school related issues, while the Food Committee discusses latest menus and suggestions with catering staff at least twice a term. A Social Committee is responsible for organising social events across the school, and there are regular assemblies by School and House Prefects to give feedback to pupils on school matters. There are also many societies where pupils can have a voice. The Global Forum offers the chance to discuss and debate topical global issues, while the school weekly newspaper ‘This Week’ allows for journalistic freedom of speech, created and edited by a group of Sixth Formers overseen by a member of the English department.

External Speaker Programme

Fostering the capacity to cope, acquiring skills for life, developing emotional resilience and managing achievements and disappointments are key elements of our internal PSME programme. External expertise is very helpful on complicated subjects surrounding teenage well-being and in 2014 we established an external speaker talks programme for pupils, staff and parents.

Highlights have included Karl Hopwood on E-Safety, Dick Moore and Jeremy Thomas on Mental Health and Bob Tait of Drugs Education UK on Drug Awareness.