At South Lee, the pastoral care of our pupils is of huge importance. We are of the firm belief that happy children make happy learners. Childhood is short and should be filled with memories of excitement, joyfulness and fun. We recognise that the majority of that childhood is lived through school, so we strive to ensure that we pay a significant amount of attention to the social and emotional aspects of learning. In these formative years, it is essential that we educate children not just in the sense of academia, sports and the arts, but also in terms of their mental health and wellbeing. All too often we concentrate on the exam results and attainment of young people, but miss out on those things that will help our children to grow into resilient young adults, capable of dealing with stress and difficult situations. We work hard at giving our pupils opportunities which will help them to deal not only with success, but also with failures. This is so important in helping them to cope with moving on to bigger schools where they will be less known. We equip them with the tools they need to face any challenge with confidence and self assurance.
Our staff spend a great deal of time getting to know the children as individuals. We are not only interested in them as learners, but also as unique human beings with multi-faceted views on the world around them. Each child has a tutor and we put time aside for the children to have regular tutor sessions to discuss all aspects of their lives at school and beyond. Crucially, we take time to listen to our pupils and we work hard to help them to deal with any worries they may have. Each child has a safety circle, a group of adults to whom they will go if they have a worry. We revisit these regularly so the children know that we will pay heed to their worries. Of course, a big part of the tutor system is advocating on behalf of the tutees and celebrating individual, as well as group joys and successes.
We view the children’s time at South Lee as a journey and it is what happens throughout the journey, rather than at the endpoint, that is most important. Capturing curiosity, championing individuality, expecting great things from each and every child, delivered in an environment where the staff care deeply, is what South Lee is all about. We travel this journey in partnership with our parents, so the communication between home and school is intrinsic to everything we do. Parents are welcomed into school both formally and informally to talk about their child. We encourage parents to share as much as they can about home life, so we get an excellent understanding of the wider community in which our children spend time when not at school.