Pastoral care is an absolute priority and we deliver it by building a strong foundation in Year 7 based on mentoring, positive role modelling and the excellent relationships between tutors and tutees.
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions…
Before she arrives in September, each girl is invited to Taster Days and the Induction day. They will know many faces before day one, therefore. Girls will have met their “Big Sister” in Year 10 who they will continue to touch base with on a regular basis throughout the year to compete in fun challenges, or discuss timely topics, ask questions, or just chat to in the corridor. And of course, there is SKERN! Within a week the year group are carried off for a week long residential course where mixing and ice breaking is the order of day. Generations of girls and alumnae recall SKERN fondly and it begins their journey of forming strong bonds, not just with each other, but with those in the older years too.
The Form Tutor sees pupils twice a day. They are best placed to answer questions on logistics, small concerns or direct your query to the right colleague.
In short, whoever she feels most comfortable with. We know our girls well, and staff appreciate that for every girl there will be the best option. Subject teacher, Form Tutor, Head of Year, School nurse, School counsellor, Prefect, Peer listener, The Headmistress – all are happy and willing to listen. Form Tutor and Head of Year would normally co-ordinate any longer term assistance required and contact home to liaise.
Navigating on and offline friendships defines teenage life. Celebrating diversity and fostering an active altruism outside the bubble of school, encourages girls to have perspective and find common ground. PSHEE lessons and tutor time sessions address such issues, as do fundraising/awareness raising initiatives throughout the school.
On the occasions when common sense has not prevailed, caring and supportive staff lead girls through practical steps they can take to repair relationships. This may involve mediation, or enlisting the help of older girls to empathise and act as role models, delivering key messages. Parents are involved too, with Tutor or Head of Year making contact home to keep parents in the loop.
We ask every girl, every day to challenge herself. This may be as simple as offering an answer in class, through to leading a house assembly, pitching an idea to staff or performing on her chosen stage. A school needs to be a place where girls can try something out, and not know exactly how it will turn out. Engendering a philosophy of having a go, and providing opportunities to do so, means that while adolescence develops, girls get feedback on what they enjoy and what works for them.
Very quickly, Croydon High School girls develop an understanding that they are not competing with each other, but they are competing with the world. The support they are then able to offer each other is immensely powerful – encouragement, understanding, advice, motivation. It is a powerful combination.
We take the mental wellbeing of our girls very seriously and aim to buck the national trend of a rise in mental health issues in girls. From September 2018 every girl in our Senior School will be given tools to keep track of her mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and body-confidence have long been a feature at Croydon High and this new initiative aims to bring a shared language, knowledge and set of tools among girls and staff when discussing mental wellbeing. Age appropriate techniques are to be deployed to help girls to recognise their mood, keep expectations appropriate and take positive steps to improve their mental health.
The School Counsellor (a member of the local CAMHS team) is available and works in consultation with parents and girls where necessary.