Pastoral Care and Wellbeing
Pastoral care and individual attention is a key part of what makes GES unique. As GES has grown, we have retained a small school approach to ensuring that our pupils are not only supported and cared for at every stage of their school life, but also well-prepared for the world beyond GES.
The social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of our pupils is at the heart of everything we do at GES: it is embedded within our formal curriculum, as well as our Core Values and pastoral systems. It can be seen in every area of school life: from the classroom to the playground, and beyond when GES pupils are out and about on trips, visits and tours.
Our curriculum at GES is designed to support our pupils to flourish, not only within the classroom, but outside and beyond and into the future.
Our Lifeskills programme is vital to this and covers the following themes that are revisited and developed every year:
- Lifelong Learning
- Getting On, Good Relationships
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
- Health and Relationships
- Responsible and Inquisitive Citizens
Our curriculum has been developed to incorporate current research into promoting wellbeing and positive outcomes, including: learning about the brain, thoughtfulness, acts of kindness, exercise, meditation, optimism and gratitude. It is supplemented by visits from external speakers, as well as assemblies and a wide range of cross-year and whole-school events.
We aim to provide a solid foundation for each pupil’s success while they are with us and beyond.
At GES, all class teachers and teaching assistants monitor the wellbeing and development of children carefully. As a staff team, we communicate regularly in order to help each and every pupil to flourish.
Pupils are encouraged to share any concerns or worries they may have with any trusted adult within the school community. For parents, the first point of contact will in most cases be their child’s class teacher, while our Head of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing and other members of the senior leadership team are available at any time to support further.
In addition to this, pupils are also able to turn to peer mentors in Year 6 for advice or before approaching an adult. Pupils from across the school volunteer as Play Leaders, and are on hand in the playground to encourage inclusive play. We also regularly make use of buddies, both within and across classes, especially to support the new pupils when they first join us.
GES School Council is a group of pupils from every year group who are elected by their peers to gather and represent their voice, and to make a positive contribution to the life of the school. From the class representatives, a chair is elected on a rotating termly basis.
In addition to this, two secretaries and two treasurers from Year 6 are appointed by the Headmaster to support the work of the School Council.
School Council meetings take place fortnightly and are overseen by our Head of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing. The voice of GES School Council is championed on the Governing Body by our link governor, Mrs Nina Milne.
So far this academic year, GES School Council have already managed to:
- gather ideas on our school charity, the dining hall, homework - and more!
- judge our Anti-Bullying Week poster competition
- make decisions about who uses which playground equipment, where and why
- lead whole-school assemblies
- introduce and lead GES Kindness Week
We are very proud of the contribution of our School Council to the life of our school community. Look out for news of their continued hard work and minutes of our latest meeting on the notice board in GES reception.
On joining GES all children become a member of one of the following houses:
Cook, Hillary, Raleigh or Scott.
Our house system helps to develop teamwork across the school, with every child supporting and being supported by their fellow house members. Co-operation within houses is celebrated in many areas of school life, from the weekly award of the star cup for the house that has earned the most stars, to the wide range of inter-house competitions throughout the year.
House Captains are elected annually from Year 6, with one boy and one girl per house elected to act as role models and leaders for their house for the academic year. As part of their responsibilities, House Captains contribute to the life of the school community through a weekly duty in the dining hall and as Play Leaders in the playground.