Rydal Penrhos – The Promise in Action: Outstanding Pastoral Support From a Dedicated Team of Specialists
April 3, 2024

Rydal Penrhos has set out its Promise; six core tenets that define the minimum standards that children, parents, carers, and families can rely on us to deliver, year-after-year. In this series of articles, we unpack each part of The Rydal Penrhos Promise, and explain what it means for the young people in our care.

4. Outstanding Pastoral Support From a Dedicated Team of Specialists.

In today’s dynamic world, the role of pastoral support in schools has never been more vital, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. At Rydal Penrhos School, we are deeply committed to providing outstanding pastoral care through a team of dedicated specialists who prioritise the overall well-being and personal development of our pupils.

Given the diverse and vibrant nature of life at Rydal Penrhos, we recognise the necessity for a comprehensive, holistic approach to pastoral care. This is precisely what we offer, with every member of our school community, from teachers to catering staff, actively involved in identifying and supporting the needs of our pupils. For example, if a pupil were to consistently eat very little during lunch, this information would be promptly shared with key staff members for discussion and action. These observations are all tied together through a robust system of monitoring and tracking, ensuring that every piece of information contributes to a comprehensive understanding of each pupil as an individual.

Our emphasis on communication fosters a collaborative environment where the well-being of our pupils becomes a shared responsibility. Establishing open lines of dialogue with parents and carers is crucial, providing them with a complete understanding of their child’s progress during their time at school. Hence, in addition to regular written reports and parents’ evenings, our teachers are ready to pick up the phone and engage in one-to-one conversations when needed.

Teachers are indeed at the heart of Rydal Penrhos’ pastoral support system. Each teacher is dedicated to nurturing the inherent potential and happiness of our pupils, participating in extensive training and professional development to remain at the forefront of best practices. This includes staying updated on the key well-being challenges affecting today’s young people, be that radical ideologies, climate anxiety, or an all-consuming digital life. By equipping teachers with the necessary tools and knowledge, Rydal Penrhos ensures that every interaction our pupils have with a figure of authority leaves them feeling heard, understood, and engaged.

Many teachers at Rydal Penrhos also serve as form tutors, providing pupils with dedicated time each morning during registration and form time to interact. This regular interaction allows pupils to build a strong relationship with their tutor, where they feel free to discuss their aspirations and concerns. Importantly, the regular contact between teachers and pupils through the form system allows for close monitoring of changes in pupil well-being over time, providing crucial information to shape the school’s response effectively.

Form tutors collaborate closely with our Middle Leaders and Pastoral Leads, who are responsible for the long-term collective development of specific pupil cohorts in the school. They play a crucial role in tailoring the structures of daily school life to best serve the unique interests of each age group. From leading morning assemblies to organising team-building activities and away-days, these leaders foster a positive culture and environment for our pupils to thrive.

Our teachers recognise that pupils are often uniquely positioned to shape a safe and happy environment at school, which is why many of the pupil welfare initiatives implemented by our pastoral team empower pupils with responsibility and ownership. In the Senior School, for instance, the Peer Mentorship scheme sees Sixth Form pupils undergo specialised training to provide guidance and friendship to younger pupils. This training, facilitated by PSHE Lead Mrs Richardson, helps mentors develop the skills and techniques necessary to forge strong bonds with their mentees and respond effectively to any concerns that may arise.

Similarly, in the Prep School, pupil Anti-Bullying Ambassadors play a leading role in fostering a sense of belonging among pupils, whether in the classroom, on the playground, or at the dining table. With teachers providing guidance and support where necessary, this scheme has proven immensely successful, to the extent that Rydal Penrhos was selected as a case study example in anti-bullying practice by The Diana Award, a leading UK charity.

Ultimately, the success of Rydal Penrhos School’s pastoral approach is its ability to engage every member of the school community in the mission of ‘doing all the good we can’ by our pupils. By prioritising communication and collaboration, Rydal Penrhos ensures that every pupil receives the care and guidance they need to maximise the opportunities available to them, both in the classroom and beyond.

The Rydal Penrhos Promise

Our Commitment to Your Child; Our Pupil

1. Small class sizes, experienced teachers, exceptional academic results.
2. Significant and ongoing investment in school buildings and equipment.
3. A broad and diverse curriculum for pupils aged two to eighteen.
4. Outstanding pastoral support from a dedicated team of specialists.
5. An extensive programme of school trips and extra-curricular clubs and activities.
6. A bespoke learning experience for every child.