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How do we cater for pastoral needs in KS3?


Tutor Time

Tutors are a crucial person in the lives of students in Key Stage 3 as they are a daily point of contact. As well as getting to know their students well, tutors deliver instructions and give clear guidelines in tutor time on how to prepare for the school day, how to do homework to the set time, and they answer the questions that tutees have for them on a daily basis. Prefects are invited into tutor time to deliver helpful information and often do surveys with students as a way of involving them in the school community.
Tutor time is also seen as a time to mix with other year groups to discuss forthcoming events in our students’ lives. These sessions are called Vertical Tutor Groups. We use these sessions when we feel they are appropriate and students benefit from them greatly. For instance, we combine Year 8 and 9 groups to talk about the changes to their form groups, and another time Year 9 students will learn from Year 10s what it was like to choose certain options for GCSE, to find out about coursework and the differences at KS4.
Many tutors, at all Key Stages, meet with students in smaller groups. We encourage a tutor 1:8 scheme in Key Stage 3 in which the tutor meets with eight or so students whilst their tutor group do other activities with older prefects. Teachers spend time developing a picture of our students’ social skills within a small group, enabling students to share information about life outside of school, and it gives the tutor a chance to discuss work/life balance more informally. Students in each form work towards a lower school assembly once a year which is to a decided theme for that particular year group.
We now enjoy an extended tutor time once a term which enables a lot of mental health issues and bonding between tutees to happen throughout the year.
Charity Fairs are organised in tutor times as well as the famous banner for Sports Day.

PSD lessons

PSHE lessons tackle certain issues appropriate to each age group. Further information can be found about this on the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum part of the website menu. Click here to view the PSHE and Citizenship page. 

Charity Events

All students through their tutor groups are encouraged to partake in at least one charity event a year. The school chooses a number of charities every year and in the summer term, representatives from the charities receive a cheque for the amount raised by the school. Students are immensely keen and proud to be involved in these events and staff are often involved as they draw in the crowds!

These charity events encourage students to be more empathetic and outward looking as they develop into global citizens. 

Peer Listeners/Young Listeners

‘Young Listeners’ was launched last year by a Year Nine student and aimed to tackle small anxieties and concerns which may be bothering the younger students. It has succeeded in helping students write about niggles or small worries which may have otherwise magnified into larger issues. The Young Listeners meet in a dedicated classroom to help students at lunchtime who are at a loose end or would like to discuss things that are bothering them with students who are slightly older than them rather than an adult. 

Pastoral Area Prefects

These prefects meet in the Pastoral Area every lunchtime to talk to the students who may come to discuss something which is making them very upset. The prefects meet and greet these students and look after them until they see either Mrs Timperley, Miss Abrahamson, Mrs King or Miss Flint. Sometimes, they are happy just to sit and draw, make pompoms or crafts with the prefects and feel better for just being distracted for a few moments. 


We recognise the value of helping our students to take a positive and proactive approach to their mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness sessions have been introduced for Year 7 students on a rolling programme throughout the year so that students have the skills to be able to apply mindfulness strategies as they progress through the school.


Many of the older students in Year 11 want to help others who are concerned about school life or friendships – these are the peer support prefects. They have volunteered to drop into tutor groups to discuss anything which may be awkward with their peers or tutors. They frequently discuss how to approach students with Mrs Timperley and Miss Abrahamson.

We have senior link prefects in the 6th form who are keen to support students with any issues including bullying.

We also have academic mentors who have volunteered to help students in each subject offered at South Wilts or with general organisation. They have referral forms in the LRC which can be filled in by students and posted in a box in the LRC.

Each Year 7 class has four Year 7 6th form prefects who organise tutor activities, help with events such as the year 7/8 disco and generally look out for their tutor group.