Pastoral care at d’Overbroeck’s is based on personal relationships and an overall ethos of mutual respect, openness and care, supported by strong structures. Amid the pressures of A levels, it is imperative to us that we provide a tolerant and happy atmosphere in which students can be happy, confident and have the freedom to grow into themselves.
The informality of our ethos and the strong relationships students form with their teachers and other staff in the Sixth Form means that there are always a number of doors on which students can knock for help, advice or a chat. However, a key person in the terms of pastoral care is a student’s Director of Studies.
Director of Studies
On entry into Sixth Form, each student is assigned a Director of Studies (DoS). Unlike the more common tutor group arrangement, this is a highly individual relationship forged through frequent one-on-one meetings and discussions. Each Director of Studies takes care of, on average, 10 – 15 students for the duration of their time in the Sixth Form. Directors of Studies play a pivotal role in students’ lives: they are the communication hub between a student, his / her parents and teachers; they act as mentor, counsellor and academic advisor; they ensure that students are progressing well academically and are happy socially, from their first day in Sixth Form to their last, and often beyond.
Directors of Studies oversee every aspect of their students’ academic progress. They will help students to develop effective study skills, organisation and revision techniques. They will keep a close eye on their students’ commitment and progress, and receive regular input from subject teachers. This includes going through reports with students and working with them to develop targets to ensure that they are achieving to the very best of their potential. In every case, our goal is to guide students towards independence so that they have the tools to flourish when they strike out on their own.
Directors of Studies are also there to ensure that students are happy socially, and to care for their welfare and wellbeing. Students know that they can turn to their Director of Studies any time they need help, whether they seek active advice or simply someone to act as a sounding board.
Communication with Parents
Reports are sent to parents four times a year. These are fairly frank in style clearly setting out areas of strengths and areas for development. Good open discussion of how your child is doing in his or her studies ensures they are clear about what to focus on at any moment.
There are also a number of parents’ evenings each year (two in the first year and one in the second) but these should only be adding to the ongoing dialogue between parents and a student’s Director of Studies. Directors of Studies are typically in regular telephone or email contact with parents throughout the Sixth Form.
We have two counsellors at the school, Charlie Morse-Brown and Kiki Glen.