Central to our pastoral system at d’Overbroeck’s is the belief that students need to feel well supported, known and happy in order to learn and grow. We have a firm pastoral structure, outlined below, and students know who they can turn to in different situations. They are encouraged to approach any member of staff with whom they feel comfortable should they encounter a problem, and all members of staff consider student wellbeing to be their number one priority.
Staff members responsible for Pastoral Care
The Form Tutor
Each student is assigned a form tutor who is the primary port of call for any concerns the student, staff or parents may be having; the form tutor will have the best overview of the student’s academic and social development and will take an active role in ensuring the student is meeting his or her potential.
Head of Pastoral Care and School Counsellor
We also have a Head of Pastoral Care, who students can approach directly and who can be called upon by staff for assistance. Any pastoral issues will be made known in confidence to this staff member in order that information regarding students’ wellbeing is responsibly shared where appropriate. Our School Counsellor might also be recommended to students or sought out by them or their parents directly; appointments can be arranged sensitively, although our students are characterised by tolerance and open-mindedness and students find there is no stigma attached to seeking help.
d’Overbroeck’s students are frequently complimented by visitors to the school for being emotionally mature, supportive of one another, and for having strong friendships. This is something staff value highly and try to cultivate in lessons and encourage within form groups and at break times. Students will regularly seek support from one another, and it is important that they know how best to help one another effectively; students will often approach a staff member on behalf of a friend and this is actively encouraged.
The House System
We also have more formal peer support structures. Each student is assigned to one of four houses on arrival at d’Overbroeck’s; houses are made up of students from all years of the lower school and are led by a student Head and Deputy Head of House, overseen by a lead staff member. This allows students to work and play with students in other years and provides a valuable network of friends in all years for new students and role models for younger students.
For Year 7s, form time is led once a week by Year 11 mentors called Pastoral Guides. These students are chosen by staff as positive role models to assist new students settling into school, and provide a further form of pastoral support for our younger students. For questions students may prefer not to approach staff with, perhaps about getting lost or managing homework, these Pastoral Guides are excellent middlemen!