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How do we cater for pastoral needs in KS3?


Tutor Time

Tutors in the Lower School [Key Stage 3] 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 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. In Year 7, students have an option to get involved in mindfulness sessions.

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, last year we combined year 7 and 8 groups to inform the younger students about the changes to their form groups, and one for year 9 girls to learn from year 10s what it was like to choose certain options for GCSE, and to find out about coursework and the changes at KS4. 

Many tutors, at all Key Stages, meet with students in smaller groups. We encourage a tutor 1:8 scheme at the moment in Key Stage 3 in which the tutor meets with eight or so students whilst their tutor group do other activities with older students. This will help develop a picture of our students’ social skills within a small group, enable students to share information about life outside of school, and give 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

PSD 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. 

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 D9 which is a classroom set aside 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, Mrs King or Miss Flint. Sometimes, they are happy just to sit and draw, make pompoms or seasonal crafts with the prefects and feel better for just being distracted for a few moments.


Many of the older girls 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 Carolyn Stammers, our Pastoral Deputy Head, or Head of Lower School – Helen Timperley. 

We have four senior link prefects in 6th form who are keen to support students with any issues including bullying and are involved in the delivery of the ZT campaign with its zero tolerance of homophobic 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. 

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