The School is a caring community and is proud of the strength and success of its system of pastoral care. Although the school is quite large, our pastoral structure and organisation means that all students are known as individuals with their own personalities, interests, strengths and problems and no child should become lost in the crowd.
Larkmead is a friendly school that aims to develop close links and understanding between students, their parents and the teachers. Each student is a member of a Tutor Group (normally around 25 students), and remains in that Tutor Group throughout Years 7 to 11. Each group is in the charge of a Tutor who is the person the students would call on first if they have a problem or need help or advice. In turn the Tutors are kept informed, by other staff, of the progress of the students in their care. In most cases the Tutors move up the school with the students so that there is continuity of care and accumulated knowledge of each individual over a period of five years.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 covers Years 7, 8 & 9 and aims to lead students through their first experiences of secondary education.
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 covers Years 10 & 11, the last two years of compulsory education for all students, before they embark on sixth form college or work placements.
The Pastoral Support Department or ‘Stepping-Stones’ aims to support young people in all aspects of pastoral care: supporting students who have vulnerabilities; working closely with Directors of Learning and external agencies; and providing a link between ‘school’ and parents in a friendly environment.
Some students will attend for 1:1 mentoring sessions to help with specific difficulties such as managing their emotions. Others may need support to attend school more regularly, support in working through emotional or social difficulties, or sometimes a young person may be experiencing difficulty managing their behaviour in class.
While in ‘Stepping-Stones’, students will have time to explore their emotions and develop coping strategies in a caring and nurturing environment, supported by a high staff to student ratio. They will also continue with their lessons to ensure that they are up to date when they are ready to return to their class.
Additionally, the Pastoral Support Department leads ‘Engagement Programmes’ for selected KS3 & 4 students to ensure they continue to be motivated and enjoy learning.