Across the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, we are wholeheartedly committed to providing the highest standard of pastoral care to all of our students and staff, and this is even more important whilst we are at home without our usual support networks. In the pandemic we launched our Online Wellbeing Hub, where you can access information relating to all the Pastoral Care that is available, including Wellbeing and Counselling as well as many external resources.
We are very proud of the young men that pass through Warwick School. It is our aim to support and guide the boys during their years with us, allowing them to develop into responsible, resilient and compassionate men of character who are determined to make a positive contribution wherever they find themselves in the future. Pastoral care at Warwick School is baked into the fabric of the school and informs way we do everything. From our powerful tutoring structure, to our wellbeing facilities, to our vibrant Pupil Voice and peer-to-peer support, we are committed to providing the right kind of care for every pupil, their families, and our wider school community – 365 days a year.
Structures of support
The bedrock of pastoral care at the school is the close relationship between staff and the pupils. This begins with the Form Tutor and extends to Heads and Assistant Heads of Section, as well as Senior Staff, who know the boys well and who are committed to their growth and welfare. Boys meets with their Form Tutor every day and this gives an opportunity for difficulties to be discussed and achievement to be celebrated. Tutors are well supported by the Heads and Assistant Heads of Section who provide oversight and guidance in each Section.
Our tutor structure complements each year group as boys progress through the Senior School. Tutors are given specific training in pastoral issues so they are better able to identify issues and deal with lower level concerns. Each boy is able to lean on a Head of Section and their supporting Assistant Heads of Section who are highly trained and equipped to support in all manner of circumstances. In the Lower School (Year 7 and leaning down into incoming Year 6), emphasis is on integration and learning to adapt to the rhythm of a varied and exciting school career. In the Middle School (Year 8 and 9), we look to develop pupils’ curiosity and creativity, nurturing their confidence to broaden their horizons. By Upper School and Sixth Form, we are working side by side with young men who are exploring the world around them and preparing for their futures, and inevitably life after Warwick School. Warwick School dedicates 10 hours per fortnight, per Assistant Head of Section, to supporting boys with their wellbeing and meeting with boys and their parents on a regular basis. We also have specific support for our boarders, with dedicated house parents and a whole range of additional support for those who live on-site.
Our vibrant vertical House system gives boys an automatic sense of community, identity, camaraderie, and most importantly FUN while mixing with other year groups and broadening their horizons. Running adjacent to the tutor system, House events such as SportsFest and House Shout are where we see our boys let loose and embrace being themselves. For a selective school with excellent teaching and results, we know how important it is for pupils to have an outlet – for their wellbeing and their wider development as confident, but not arrogant, young people. Pupils stay with their Heads of House throughout their time at Warwick, meaning they really get to know them as they move up the school.
Starting in Year 7
Moving up to Senior School is a big step for both pupils and their parents. Before boys even start with us, we are embarking on a varied and structured system of pastoral support. We hold multiple events and activities to bring parents and boys into the school before the start of term, and during the first few weeks and months of their time at Warwick, to demystify the process and create a welcoming, genuine door’s-always-open environment. We have dedicated Year 7-only tutors with no more than 12 boys to any one tutor, ensuring that each child and their family build a trusting relationship with at least one key member of staff at this crucial time. While a great natural relationship between pupil and tutor is built and nurtured, we also make a conscious and welcomed effort to bring mum and dad into the Warwick family too – with regular online parents’ evenings, Meet the Tutor events, progress reports, and our excellently-attended Mothers & Sons event (with a mirrored Fathers & sons event in Year 8). We understand the importance of truly feeling at home in the school community, and take our responsibility to make every boy feel welcomed and not overawed in a larger school such as Warwick very seriously.
In Spring 2022 our Wellbeing Hub launched on the school site, and it offers a space where pupils can get support when they are in crisis. Featuring a sensory room, a multi-faith prayer space, therapy spaces, individual enclosed work spaces, and a communal space for drop-in sessions with peer mentors, this is a welcoming and important new development in our pastoral offering.
Person centered, needs based
Our Mental Health Provision, housed within the Wellbeing Hub, takes a Person Centred, needs-led approach – our focus is to provide each pupil with the right level of support at the right time. It is a graduated response to need - we assess the needs of the pupil, plan the appropriate support, ensure this support is provided, and then review how successful it has been in meeting the pupil’s needs. Within this system, we employ a wide range of different mental health professionals: CBT Counsellors; Life coaches; Play Therapist; Art Therapist; ASC Specialist; Educational Psychologist.
We have a suite of interventions for our young people with Social, Emotional, Mental Health Needs. These include CBT Counselling, Educational Psychology, Person Centred Creative Therapy, Social Communication Specialist Support and Holistic Life Coaching. Because we are Person Centred and needs led, so there is no requirement for a diagnosis or fees payable for support. Our young people are referred to our senior mental health lead by staff, parents or self-referral and are then triaged into three levels – universal, targeted and high need. We look at our young people holistically and parents are supported to seek specialist clinical support, if necessary.
For example: we had a young person who previously accessed our counselling service having been referred for low mood and levels of motivation. He was seen for a long period of time but there were no tangible differences in his presentation. He was referred to our new wellbeing protocol, was assessed as requiring a targeted provision of access to 1:1 therapeutic intervention from our educational psychologist and his parents were supported to arrange an appointment with their GP. The young person was later found to be highly vitamin deficient, which led to him feeling fatigued, lethargic and generally low in motivation. He was prescribed medication and after 8 weeks of 1:1 support from our educational psychologist, is now more able to engage with his studies.
A young person’s needs are reassessed every 6-12 weeks as part of the graduated response. If initially assessed as targeted, they then move down to universal support which is often an assigned mentor or safe space should they become distressed in school or require a listening service. If a young person’s needs increase in severity, the Head of Academic Support and SEND would meet with the parents with a view to starting an application for an Education Health and Care Plan.
Our peer support provision utilises a powerful programme of training, Pupil Voice, stereotype-busting, and mentoring to equip pupils with skills and resilience for understanding themselves and the world around them. Our prefects are trained via The Diana Award to become ambassadors for anti-bullying, and our older boys regularly facilitate our youngest pupils and their parents to promote great communication at home and in school. Our Pupil Voice team have worked with their King’s High counterparts to introduce Pastoral Weeks, with focuses on anti-racism, anti-bullying, mental health, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ and disability inclusivity throughout the year. These weeks form a focus for PSHEE classes, assemblies, form discussions, classroom activities, and after-school talks and events, to name a few. They are a great opportunity for pupils to share their experiences, discuss their differences, and develop their understanding of others and the world around them.
The Warwick Way
In addition, Warwick School is always looking for new ways to develop our pastoral provision and to bake it even further into the DNA of the school. Our rugby coaches are busting sporting stereotypes with the Brave Minds charity; Beyond Equality join us on site for dedicated workshops for Year 11 to 12 pupils on rethinking masculinity, building healthy relationships, and championing gender equality. Our pastoral staff are applying the Protective Behaviours programme to build pupils’ self-esteem, resilience, and engage them with their right to feel safe. Beyond this, there are numerous other people who are responsible for the care and wellbeing of the boys. The Medical Centre provides expert support, and, at the heart of the school, is the Chapel, which the boys visit once a week.
Warwick School is a large boys school, with a long history and a big responsibility to our pupils and our community. We have radically rethought our pastoral care provision in the past year and reacted to the changing world that we all now live in, and one where young people could be easily left behind in an academically challenging environment. We nurture and support every pupil and their families to deal with what they are experiencing, and in turn develop their wider understanding of the world and their place in it. Our purpose is to inspire and nurture every pupil to thrive in the world, both now and in the future – the Warwick Way, and are always working towards an even more inclusive, responsible pastoral care system.
Designated Safeguarding Team
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) at Warwick School is Mr R Thomson, Deputy Headmaster - Pastoral. There is a pastoral team, all whom are specially trained.
|Designated Safeguarding Lead||Mr Richard Thomson – Deputy Head (Pastoral)|
|Designated Safeguarding Deputy||Mrs Heather Mellor – Deputy Head, Warwick Junior School|
|Mr James Barker||Headmaster|
|Mr Andrew Hymer||Headmaster, Warwick Junior School|
|Dr Simon Chapman||Senior Deputy Head|
|Mrs Kimberley Wyatt||Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning)|
|Mr Keith Davenport||Head of Middle School|
|Mr Peter Walker||Head of Year 7|
|Mr Brian Davies||Head of Upper School|
|Mrs Vicky Bell||Head of Sixth Form|
|Mr David Bull||Head of Boarding|
|Mrs Helen Leaf||SEN Specialist (Social, Emotional & Mental Health)|
|Mrs Claire Martindale||School Nurse|
|Mr James Soper||Foundation Chaplain|
|Mrs Kate Poole||Assistant Head of Sixth Form|
|Mrs Alex Wilson||Pastoral Support Manager|
Grass roots pastoral care happens effectively at form tutor level and time for tutors to spend with their group has been extended in the senior school to allow for relationships to be strengthened and for form tutors to pick up the small changes that can be significant. PSHE supports pastoral development with sessions on mindfulness and self worth. Teachers have received useful pastoral training particularly round autism.
Good Schools Guide 2020