Senior School

Pastoral Care in the Senior School

At Exeter School, we understand that every pupil is unique and deserves a nurturing and supportive environment to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.  What sets our pastoral care apart is our commitment to creating a warm and inclusive community where pupils feel safe, valued, and empowered to be their best selves. We believe that a strong foundation in pastoral support is essential for fostering personal growth and building resilience. We cultivate strong character virtues to lay the foundation for personal and social development.

Our heads of lower school, middle school, and sixth form are responsible for the academic and pastoral monitoring of pupils in their care, and they work closely with the house teams. Joining a new school at any age can be daunting, so we begin the transitional phase in the summer term, holding ‘new’ parents’ events and visiting many of our pupils in their current school and talking to their teacher, so that we have a good understanding of how we can best support the children as they join Exeter School. Induction activities, as well as residential trips in the first half of the autumn term for Year 7 and Year 9 pupils help to solidify new friendships, build confidence and foster a sense of Exonian identity.

Meet the Pastoral and Safeguarding Team

Pastoral Programme

Through our comprehensive pastoral care programme, we ensure that our pupils receive the guidance and support they need to navigate the complexities of adolescence and emerge as confident, compassionate, and responsible individuals. Our pastoral programme is flexible so that we can meet the diverse needs of our pupils in many ways, including:

  • A spiralling PSHE programme that focuses on building self-esteem, emotional intelligence, self-efficacy, and positive relationships. Our pupils learn essential life skills and strategies to navigate challenges effectively.
  • A focus on wellbeing, be that through the Mindfulness in Schools .b mindfulness course, or talks and pupil workshops led by experts in mental health, nutrition, stress-management, or body image.
  • A morning assembly and form time programme that facilitates and encourages exploration of relevant topics such as sleep hygiene, online habits, or managing conflict.

Supporting Parents

At Exeter School, we strive to work closely with parents. We understand that parenting can be very challenging, and that the school-home partnership is key in ensuring positive outcomes for our pupils. To support parents, we run a programme of parent talks covering a range of topics, for example, supporting neurodiverse children, social media and the use of tech and adolescent mental health. Through our weekly newsletters, we recommend resources that can support discussion at home, for example around sibling rivalry, teenage parties, alcohol and drugs, or gambling.

Pupil Voice

Pupil voice is very important, and the school council meets each half term as the formal forum and opportunity for pupils to shape school life for themselves and others. Representing the views of pupils in all years, school council members have been involved in decision-making relating to important topics including school uniform, the school lunch menu, pupil wellbeing, and rewards and sanctions, to name but a few.