As a boarding school, we see the pastoral care and needs of our children as central to their success and personal development. Although we are a large school, we preserve the caring atmosphere of a small one.
Our group tutors and heads of year ensure pupil wellbeing is at the centre of their regular meetings, so that the circumstances of each child are known and acted on if necessary. In addition to this, the Deputy Head (Pastoral), Director of Boarding and Head are fully involved with all aspects of the children's daily lives. Our boarding pupils enjoy extremely high standards of pastoral care, with all boarding staff working together to ensure that children's individual needs are met.
There are four main areas of pastoral care that are provided to every pupil:
Emotional wellbeing is crucial for our children to feel settled and happy. Group tutors and Heads of Year are the first point of contact at all times, although our school counsellor is available for children and parents at times of particular need. Our Medical Centre can also be a safe haven, if time out is required. The Chaplain plays a pivotal role in our pastoral team. She sits on the Pastoral Committee each week, so has an excellent knowledge of the children and any adversity or difficulties which they may be going through. As a regular visitor to the boarding houses, she has a good relationship with boarders of all faiths and is always ready to listen, support and advise. PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education) classes complement our philosophy of teaching the whole child.
There is an inclusive atmosphere and a strong community spirit at Millfield Prep. For boarders, houseparents are vital to the happy and secure environment within the houses. Sporting houses play a role in including every child and promoting a team spirit, whatever their age or ability. In lessons children work towards HMCs (Head's Commendations) and a house point system for good work or behaviour in and around the school, which also gets fed into the house shield competition. Our Year 8 Pastoral Monitors are trained in skills of listening, advising and supporting their peers and younger children, and act as positive role models. This fosters a sense of community across the ages, helps the children to appreciate looking after each other and gives a sense of family to those living away from home.
The academic welfare and rigour of the children is of paramount importance to our school. We try to stretch and motivate the children in all areas by a broad whole school approach, such as hosting extension and enrichment evenings which are open to all pupils. The care of the boarding community is vital for sustaining academic standards and motivation away from home. Group tutors are the first point of contact for academic support and they help set up timetables, additional activities, monitor prep, track grades and achievements and are parents' first line of contact for queries or problems with regards to their child’s progress.
The Director of Sport and Head of Games have a good overview of all our pupils' sporting commitments, and support and advise them to help pupils get the best from each activity. Those children who have particularly heavy sporting demands can be overseen with an individual programme. The school helps to maintain a balance and takes the health and welfare of every child very seriously, whilst still nurturing their talents.