Every child at Oakwood is unique, with individual needs, potential, limitations, circumstances, feelings, opportunities and expectations. We believe the quality of caring relationships between staff, pupils and parents is fundamental to helping us guide your child as they grow and learn who they are and what they can do.
Pastoral care at Oakwood is not something that happens when things go wrong; it happens every second of the day. Our form tutors, as the first point of contact, know every child in their class exceptionally well. They are able to work closely with parents to provide every child with the highest level of care and support. The Head of Pastoral Care is also available to discuss any further concerns in person or by email and to make sure all children and parents have the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns. Pupil Planners are the primary means of contact between tutors and parents in the Prep school and are used to communicate information regarding behaviour, reminders or support.
The foundation for these strong relationships is established through our House system where pupils earn house points for excellent work, courteous behaviour and following the ‘Oakwood Way’. These house points are totalled up at the end of each week and the winning house is announced each week in our Celebration Assembly. At the end of term the house with the most points wins a house tea. House matches in all sports and creative competitions such as poetry, music, photography and art amongst others, also add to the house point totals and create a family environment lead by the Heads of Houses.
‘Acorns to Oaks’
Alongside the house system, the ‘Acorns to Oaks’ leadership scheme encourages all pupils to learn how to deal with responsibility in all areas of school life. Year 5 and 6 pupils record their duties in leadership folders as well as self-assessing how they have performed in their leadership roles. In Years 5 and 6, pupils work towards the prestigious Gold merit award for the total number of house points earned. Thay also take part in the Year 6 Leadership award in which they complete the Junior Prince's Trust programme to learn about community, self-esteem, resilience and team work with SkillForce. Year 6 pupils are also trained to support the Year 3 pupils with the 'Big Me, Little Me' mentor project.
Year 5 and 6 Leadership Roles:
Oakwood believes that every child deserves to have their moment in the sunshine, and on Friday afternoons, during form time, we celebrate one individual in the class, for no other reason than for just being them! One Very Important Person from each class (Reception-Year 6) is selected at random at the start of the week and receives a red cardigan or jumper to wear for the week. All pupils in the class will have the opportunity to be the VIP over the course of the school year. The VIP is allowed to bring in a memento from home to talk about, or explain about a hobby they participate in outside of school. The other pupils then take turns to share memories and things they appreciate about the VIP during a circle time session. The form tutor presents a certificate of these peer initiated compliments and memories to the VIP to take home. A copy is also displayed on the PSHE board in the Harcombe block for everyone to see.
PSHE (Personal, social, health and economic) Education
The focus of PSHE education at Oakwood is to support self-regulation of emotion, build emotional resilience and enhance pupil focus and concentration, whilst building the capacity to learn. Our weekly PSHE lessons, based on the comprehensive Jigsaw scheme and the principle of mindfulness, create space for a reflective response to our busy school lives and give time to consider the themes of our weekly pastoral assemblies. Jigsaw is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme at the same time. This enables each topic to generate a whole school focus for adults and children alike.
You can read more about Jigsaw here.
Personal Development at Oakwood
The personal development of Oakwood pupils is at the heart of all we do. Above all we aim to develop happy and confident children in a safe and nurturing environment, whilst at the same time having an awareness of the world we live in, both close to home and further afield. The focus on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of education is prioritised to ensure the well being of our pupils and to achieve this aim.
We place considerable importance on community and the development of ‘soft skills’ such as empathy, compassion and the acceptance of everyone in our school, local community and in the wider world as a whole.
Our regular school assemblies provide excellent opportunities to come together to reflect, celebrate and broaden our pupils’ knowledge of the world. We celebrate many Christian festivals and national events through the school year:
- Harvest Festival
- Remembrance Service
- Advent Assembly
- Christmas Carol Service
- Lent Assembly
- Easter Assembly
We are fortunate to have Father Charles Howard, the vicar of our local parish, as a Governor of Oakwood. Father Charles is well known to Oakwood families and guides the spiritual development of our pupils, both in school and outside in our local community. Many Oakwood families regularly attend services in our local parish at St Mary’s Funtington, St Mary’s Sennicotts and St Andrews West Stoke. Father Charles also runs confirmation classes in school every academic year, with a confirmation service at Chichester Cathedral, as well as supporting school events in his ‘Adopt a Governor Role’ with Year 3.
Pupils are encouraged to support local, national and international charities; to this end fundraising events are well supported by pupils and parents, donating considerable sums of money each year to a range of charitable organisations.