Pastoral Care at Oakwood
"The quality of pupils' personal development is excellent. Pupils of all ages enjoy being at school and are confident and settled." ISI 2017
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 form both the basis of individual weekly targets for each child as well as contributing to the overall weekly house total. The winning house is announced each week in our Celebration Assembly giving the opportunity for all children to enjoy and focus on their shared achievements. At the end of term the house with the most points wins a house tea. House events are integral to the school calendar with opportunities to come together in sport, performing and creative arts and community events. House events and competitions unite the school community with children of all ages working together, being led by our senior House and Sport Captains.
‘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 3 and 4 pupils continue to work towards achieving their 'Passports to Prep' whereby giving them the opportunity to gain their Silver and Gold Star Badges, recognising significant steps in their personal development. In Year 5 and 6 pupils can take on positions of responsibility and work towards the prestigious Gold Merit Award. All Year 6 pupils are also trained to support the Year 3 pupils with the 'Big Me, Little Me' mentor project. In their final term at Oakwood the Year 6 pupils follow an Academic and Personal Enrichment Programme designed to develop skills of resilience, team work, independence, leadership by fostering strong links with their school and wider community.
Year 5 and 6 Leadership Roles
‘Oakwood VIP’ and School Council
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.
Across all the year groups at Oakwood pupils have the opportunity to become a school councillor; the school council is a key forum for 'pupil voice' and community decision making. Every year the school council lead the charity nominations and voting for the next academic year. The School Council is a democratic group, voted for by all pupils in their classes, and allows these elected children the opportunity to contribute to the wider school community and feedback pupil voice to the leaders and governors of the school.
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. 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. As a school we focus on British Values and follow a Christian ethos while learning about our multi-cultural society and other world faiths. Pupils have the opportunity in Year 6 to attend confirmation classes in school, run by the parish vicar who closely involved in school life and known to the children. 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
Charity and Community
Links with our local community and schools is important to us and through many partnership events in the school year our children have the opportunity to participate in these events. Pupils are also encouraged to support local, national and international charities with the school voting for two chosen charities each academic year; to this end fundraising events are well supported by pupils and parents, donating considerable sums of money to a range of charitable organisations.