St Davids College

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Safeguarding & Pastoral Care: The pillars of our philosophy

Published: 30.08.2022 ( a year ago )

At St David’s College pastoral care and safeguarding our pupil's education is at the top of our agenda.

Our team of carefully selected dedicated teachers and professionals form an inclusive community and is fully committed to our pupil’s mental health, wellbeing, and broader personal development. We cultivate an environment and culture that supports the physical, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development of every student.

Established in 1965, St David’s College is an independent co-educational day and boarding school for children aged 9 to 19. Quality pastoral care is fully integrated throughout the teaching, learning, and assessment of our school and embedded in the school’s ethos, culture and DNA so that children’s needs and interests come first.

As our founder John Mayor envisioned, the school has developed a unique, pupil-centric, truly holistic approach to learning and teaching. This is a successful way of teaching the most able academics as well as those with complex barriers to learning. It focuses on the whole student (personal, social and academic) and actively involves the whole-school community in nurturing and supporting self-efficacy, healthy risk-taking, negotiation, reflection and empowerment. This involves building positive self-esteem, emotional intelligence, identity and goal-setting so that each individual can fulfil their own potential.

It is important that schools create an atmosphere in which young people can feel secure and achieve, especially as the success of a school’s pastoral care provision is linked to optimal learning and development outcomes. We pride ourselves of having achieved this goals with a well stablished pastoral care department that works hand in hand with all the staff and teachers across the school so all our pupils can feel safe and at home in our familiar environment and reduced size classes.

As a boarding school, we take specific measures regarding our boarding pupils. Children in a boarding setting have less of the incidental opportunity to speak with the adult world than the normative experience of a child living full time at home. This may mean they have less chance to speak about those things which concern them. Our boarding environment works hard to catch smaller pastoral concerns before they turn into larger, more serious issues.

Finding the ideal ratio of scheduled activity to free time for socialising and relaxing with friends is crucial in the boarding community. Numerous chances abound in school life, and the days are busy with preparation, instruction in and out of the classroom, and extracurricular activities. With no daily journey to school to allow for breaks, the days for boarders can be full-on from the moment they wake up until they go to night.

Time to chill out and time to catch up with family on the phone or by video call is essential to our boarders’ wellbeing. An important component contributing to wellbeing is the ability to be resilient and this is something we aim to engender in our children both in the classroom and all other areas of school life.

By this we mean a willingness to seek alternative ways of doing things when one comes up against an obstacle and to “Never Give Up”.

It goes without saying that we provide a ‘home from home’ but it is being there for the boarders, to celebrate their successes as well as helping them through the difficult moments too that makes the difference. We are a family here at St Davis College with the majority of staff working in the boarding house either during the week or at weekends. This means that, along with our house parents and Support Assistants who all live on site, there are always lots of staff in the house and there’s always someone to talk to.

To know more about the wellbeing of our pupils, take a look at our Pastoral Care, or read our last blog post about it.