The well-being of our pupils is of the utmost importance to us. We know that only happy pupils reach their full potential and perform well academically, so great care and support are given to ensure that all pupils have a positive experience and look forward to each day at Plymouth College. With high levels of academic and pastoral monitoring, alongside small class sizes, every child’s journey through the school is closely observed and, should any concerns arise, they are dealt with promptly and effectively.
There is a strong pastoral focus, I feel my child is valued as an individual and his wellbeing and progress are addressed by all staff.
Pastoral care is overseen by the Deputy Head Pastoral, Mr Charlie Irish and the various Heads of Year, but the structure at Plymouth College offers a multi-layered approach to ensure that all pupils have a strong support network of qualified staff and well-trained pupils available to them. Typically, this will include the Tutor, Tutor Prefect, Deputy Head of Year, Head of Year, Head of House, School Nurse, School Counsellor and Head of Learning Support.
The House system is also at the heart of Plymouth College life and offers another sense of belonging to each pupil as well as an opportunity to showcase talents against other houses in the many House competitions. This vertical system, with pupils represented from each year group, really helps to promote leaders and as pupils progress through the school, they are encouraged to become positive role models and leaders for the younger years.
PSHEE sessions are central to pupil personal development and enable highly qualified staff and outside speakers to offer advice and teach life skills. Topics such as Mental Health awareness, sex education, drug & alcohol awareness and first aid are delivered through dedicated PSHEE lessons, tutorials and assemblies.
The Plymouth College Principles are a set of guiding values upon which the holistic education at Plymouth College is based. They help to build character and leaders. These Principles are integral to our daily life, providing an approach to studying, interaction with others and life beyond Plymouth College.
The Study Centre also supports the Pastoral Team, by meeting with individuals who require social and emotional support. At Plymouth College, The Study Centre provides all support for learning and assessment needs.
At Plymouth College, we recognise that academic and pastoral needs are inseparable. We place a lot of attention to the need for positive mental health and in order to support this further, we look forward to the development of our wellbeing centre and wellbeing garden in 2020.
Plymouth College offers excellent healthcare facilities and our health centre is open daily, from 0815-1715 and staffed with a qualified, registered nurse. The nurse works closely with a local GP Surgery who provides our boarding students with Doctors visits here twice a week. The Health Centre also hosts an appointed physiotherapist three mornings a week.
The school employs its own independent counsellor, so that pupils may access support onsite during the school day. Pupils are educated to self-refer via a confidential email service.
Every member of the teaching and support staff at both the Senior School and Prep school undergoes annual Safeguarding and Child protection training. The Deputy Head (pastoral) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and is supported by two deputy DSL’s at the Senior School and two further deputies at the Prep School. A member of the safeguarding team is always on hand to support any concern raised buy pupils, staff or parents, no matter how small or large they might seem.
We understand the pressures of excessive phone use, screen time and social media use on our pupils and are proud to enforce a midweek digital detox which sees pupils banned from using their phones on Wednesdays.
We recognise that playing sport and taking part in physical activities are an amazing way to help improve your personal wellbeing and so we structure our day to allow all pupils to be active every single day, whether it be a games lesson, P.E. lesson, team practice, fun swim or a strength & conditioning session.
Healthy eating is also promoted as part of our holistic approach to wellbeing and we are proud to be in partnerships with Chartwell catering who provide an excellent service. They cater for elite athletes, those with allergies and intolerances, cultural diets and hold regular food forums with the pupils to gain valuable feedback to ascertain what they could be doing better.