The Tutor System
The wellbeing of each and every pupil is at the heart of everything we do in school; a happy child is also a child who will learn effectively and make the most of the many opportunities Rydal Penrhos offers. At the heart of our pastoral care is the Tutor System. Every pupil in the school belongs to one of four competitive School Houses (Morgan, Osborn, Payne and Wesley), and each pupil is also a member of a tutor group. A tutor group is made up of around 12 pupils and the form tutor meets the group formally in a timetabled period once a week, as well as registering them twice each day. Each tutor in Years 7 and 8 is part of the Lower School team, tutors in Year 9, 10 and 11 are part of the Middle School, and Years 12 and 13 tutors are part of the Sixth form team.
A system of tutor cards (interim reports by teachers) enables regular monitoring of academic progress, so that good work can be commended, and any problems can be identified and addressed. Tutor cards, often with a self-assessment, are also seen by the Headmaster and the Deputy Head. A tutor will get to know tutees well and will encourage their wider interests and participation in extra-curricular activities, and the cultural and sporting life of the school.
For parents, the tutor is an important first point of contact, and parents are always welcome to email tutors with any queries or concerns they may have.
The Peer Mentoring Programme at Rydal Penrhos helps pupils to learn how to support each other by offering a listening ear. Volunteers from Year 11 and above attend an eight-week training course in which they learn basic counselling and mentoring skills, giving them the ability to:
- act as a support to younger pupils
- provide support and encouragement for these pupils
- help their mentee to explore ways to move forward for themselves
Mentors also benefit from training by:
- Improving communication and personal skills
- increasing confidence and motivation
- understanding how to offer empathy without taking sides
- benefiting from a sense of fulfilment and personal growth
- developing leadership skills
All Year 7 & 8 pupils are assigned a peer mentor who will help them to settle in, make progress and to achieve their full potential within school life. Mentors are supported by two trained mentoring teachers, Mrs Richardson and Mrs Cashell, and there are regular meetings throughout the year.
Our counselling service is available to any pupil and is very much part of the strong tradition of pastoral support within the school. The School Counsellor, Tracey Boothby, holds appointments in the Health Centre every Thursday. She also has a ‘drop-in’ session throughout lunch times. Pupils can book appointments via the Health Centre or by phone on 07824544424.
‘Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, on purpose, without judgement as if your life depended on it.’ Jon Kabat Zinn
Mindfulness is offered as an option for pupils of all ages during the enrichment sessions throughout the week, led by a trained member of staff.
The Mindfulness in Schools Project comments: ‘... for schools to engage in mindfulness is likely to have beneficial results on the emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and even the physical health of their students.’