Houses and Pastoral Curriculum

We believe that relationships are key. It is important that we know every pupil as an individual.

The house system provides a sense of family and belonging within the school environment. Each pupil is assigned to one of our ten houses on entry. Each house contains pupils across the year groups, from the Third Form (Year 7) right through to the Upper Sixth (Year 13). House staff, therefore, really get to know the pupils in their care, and can offer the most appropriate support and guidance for each individual. Rubbing shoulders with older and younger pupils in the same house allows new pupils to settle in early, whilst offering the opportunity for friendship and mentoring along the way.


There are ten houses: Acland, Buller, Collins, Crossing, Daw, Dowrich, Drake, Goff, Raleigh, and Townsend.

Every house is led by an experienced head of house and a team of house staff – the deputy head of house and two house tutors.

House staff provide academic, social and emotional support and guidance. Pupils from the Fourth Form (Year 8) to the Upper Sixth (Year 13) have daily contact with a member of their house staff, which allows individualised support to be provided and tailored to each pupil’s needs as and when they arise. House staff are the first point of contact for parents and support each pupil through their whole school journey. At sixth form level they provide expert individual support through the UCAS process.

Pupils meet up once a week with all their house members. The chance to congregate and get to know pupils across the year groups means that pupils get to know each other really well and this structure instils a strong sense of community within the wider school context.

In addition, a packed calendar of house activities, from charity events to house dance and music and sporting competitions, act as a catalyst for those all-important support networks and long-lasting friendships.

Third Form (Year 7) Form Tutors

Pupils in the Third Form (Year 7) benefit from a team of specialist tutors. Forms are carefully mixed to encourage the forming of new friendships; each contains a range of pupils from different schools and houses.

The form tutor leads the Third Form residential staying overnight, one of many trips on offer throughout the year.

Each form receives a period a week of form time with their tutor to help establish routines and help pupils settle into the school.

Pastoral Curriculum

The pastoral curriculum is an essential part of our school experience. For pupils to grow and progress holistically, it is important that they have opportunities to develop their personal skills beyond the academic curriculum. This element of our educational provision is flexible and responsive to the needs of young people today as part of a global community.

Personal development, wellbeing, mindfulness, experiencing and living with technology, and community-mindedness are all important facets of our pastoral curriculum. Pupils are exposed to a range of experiences which reflect the issues and values we feel are important, through assemblies, PSHE lessons, visiting speakers and workshops, tutor-led resources, house meetings, and chapel service.

It is vital that pupils are supported so that they make informed and thoughtful choices throughout their lives.


Pupils in the junior and senior schools attend chapel services on a weekly basis. A sense of community is consolidated through the singing of hymns, pupils reading from the Bible, and quiet contemplation.

The Chapel of St John the Baptist provides the perfect sanctuary for prayer and reflection during the school day. At a time of sadness or need pupils may light a candle in the chapel.

Room 3

All pupils in the senior school have access to a designated pastoral space where they can go at morning break or lunchtime to relax, enjoy time with friends or just sit quietly and read, draw or play a game. Mrs Glanville our pastoral assistant is always on hand to chat and offer support. She liaises closely with our pastoral team to foster pupils’ wellbeing and, when needed, works on a one-to-one basis with pupils to provide more specialised support. Pupils are drawn to the friendly, welcoming ambience and have certainly been known to enjoy the occasional mug of hot chocolate and biscuit on the famously comfy sofas!

Summer Open Evening - 9 May

Click here to register for our summer open evening on Thursday 9 May 5.30-8pm.

Our school experts, the pupils themselves, will be on hand to guide you through what daily life is like. For more information on school places, please email