At the heart of everything we do at Dame Allan's Junior School is a concern for the welfare of each of our pupils. We are incredibly proud of the pastoral support that we offer our children.
One of the benefits of our diamond structure is that each school has its own well-established pastoral system designed to create a caring and supportive framework for each pupil. Our pupils are part of smaller groups who are looked after and guided by staff who are experienced and trained in dealing with issues which affect specific age ranges and genders.
Pastoral care at Dame Allan’s Junior School and Nursery is overseen by the Deputy Head and prioritises the well-being of each and every child in our care; we strongly believe that a happy child learns best.
‘The excellent level of pastoral care ensures that pupils grow in both self-confidence and self-esteem and so develop into resilient young adults, ready for the next stage in their lives.’
In the Junior School and Nursery, we work to ensure there is an environment in which each child feels cared for and important, enabling them to grow into happy, confident and resilient individuals. This is achieved, not only through our formal pastoral system, but through the excellent relationships developed between the children and all adults in the school.
Day to day pastoral issues are met by class teachers who know the children very well and are fully aware of their individual circumstances and needs; where necessary this is further supported by the phase leaders. As part of our dedicated pastoral team, we also benefit from the services of a school nurse and a dedicated counsellor, who provide tailored support including play, art and talking therapies to those who need it. One-on-one sessions are delivered in the privacy and comfort of the yurt. Alongside this, Border Terrier, Poppy, joined the pastoral care team in 2022 and now attends Dame Allan’s Junior School each Wednesday to support pupils and enrich their emotional wellbeing.
Weekly “Wellbeing Wednesday” sessions also take place at the Junior School. Teachers use dedicated class time each week to focus on mental health and happiness, and to give pupils a chance to discuss their feelings, thoughts and emotions in a supportive environment through skills such as breathing techniques, mindfulness and meditation and the use of Zumos resources. Beyond Wellbeing Wednesday, all pupils from Years 1 to 6 benefit from Zumos on a daily basis. Each morning they take part in a short ‘How to be Happy’ programme, focusing on self-confidence and wellbeing, and they rate their emotions using emojis, which gradually builds a picture of each pupil’s weekly moods, and indicates to teachers any unusual emotional patterns.
At Dame Allan’s there are stringent safeguarding procedures in place to ensure every child who is a registered pupil at Dame Allan’s is safe and protected from harm.
In the Junior School and Nursery, all safeguarding matters are lead by:
Mrs D M Farren, Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs P Ferguson, Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead
However, everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. We recognise that our staff play a particularly important role as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating.