Proactive Pastoral Care (PPC) is at the heart of our pastoral culture to nurture our School’s wellbeing culture. It is preventative in its nature and enables us to strengthen our community values, promote character education, and secure a successful pastoral curriculum. Our pastoral staff hold great status and we offer a range of pastoral training opportunities; these are important factors in ensuring a strong pastoral culture. Proactive Pastoral Care is a priority for us at Ballard as we focus on a holistic role in the development of our pupils. The value of such care cannot be underestimated. Our School’s academic programme won’t function effectively if our pupils are ill, tired or anxious or have found themselves in difficult situations at home or with friends.
As a School we have been recognised for our attention to the wellbeing of our pupils. At Ballard we believe PPC must consider the following:
Our ultimate aim is to develop and support each of these areas to nurture our pupils to be happy, healthy and successful learners. There are three core elements of proactive pastoral care that are very important to achieving this:
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic it has been so apparent our young people need resilience to deal with the uncertainties and challenges around them. Pupils need to have a well developed moral compass and personal skills. At Ballard we have a whole school approach to character building. Our extensive sports and performing arts provision, whole school debating through Votes4schools, School Council and House charity system are just a few examples of rounded learning experiences for our pupils. Our 7 key values help our whole community to navigate through challenging situations and show compassion and empathy to others. Our school culture is very important and incorporates may components such as beliefs, values, relationships, patterns of behaviour, written rules (please see our Charter) and most importantly, “how we do things- the Ballard Way”
PSHE plays a great role in Character Education but many of our subjects promote Character Education:
Indeed all our subjects will enable our pupils to think, to feel and to see differently. We want our pupils to have a greater understanding of who they are and how they fit into the world. This happens when our pupils are on or in front of a stage, in or in front of an orchestra or band, or in front of an easel or at a gallery. We know the power of participating in and appreciating drama, music (please see our DEAL programme) and art as they allow our pupils to express themselves.
We allow our pupils to support others in the School community through such things as Eco Ambassadors, School Council, Prefects and Mentors and we support the local, regional, national and global communities through a host of charity events and support of theme days/weeks; e.g, Holocaust Memorial Day, Black History Month, Red Nose Day etc.
We provide many different support mechanisms at School to assist pupils who might be having difficulties. Our newly furbished “wellbeing zone” is looked after by our pastoral Support Manager, Mrs Kingsley-Smith. We have two members of staff who offer emotional literacy support and we have a School counsellor service for 1 day a week.
We encourage proactive engagement from our parents as they are very much active participants in the safeguarding of their children’s wellbeing. We believe in working together with parents to support our children. It is great to have such positive relationships with our parents through events such as parent/grandparent breakfasts, meet the tutor evenings, parent evenings, a weekly bulletin, parent education workshops, and many social events such as summer fayres and fireworks nights.
At times our parents contribute to our PSHE programme and this contributes to our open culture, our ethos and wellbeing vision.
We want our children to develop their moral compass to empower them to make the right choices in their personal and academic lives. Our well-structured PSHE programme is essential to supporting this. At Ballard, Mrs McCleave, our Head of PSHE, has a well trained and experienced PSHE team of staff to deliver a “spiral learning model.” This means our pupils revisit topics several times throughout their schooling, with the complexity of the content increasing each time.
Our programme is proactive in nature and helps to pre-empt possible issues in the future.
Find out more about our PSHE page here.