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January 14, 2019
The pastoral role & its impact on pupils’ social & academic progress & achievements
Show your awareness of the pastoral role and how this impacts on pupils’ social and academic progress and achievements - Danielle
Pastoral care is an integral part of teaching and is centred around three main aspects: offering emotional support to pupils; monitoring or supporting academic progress; and facilitating the development of social skills (Brooks et al. 2012). Ultimately, the pastoral role acts as a means of helping every pupil to succeed; regardless of their background or ability (ibid.).
To be successful within the pastoral role a teacher must, within appropriate professional boundaries, get to know the pupils under their care (TS Part Two); this enables teachers to notice when pupils are struggling, are exhibiting atypical behaviours, or are in need of advice. Identifying these changes in behaviour can result in safeguarding measures being put into place to support a student both academically and socially (TS Part Two). For example, in one of my classes there are a number of students who are suffering with anxiety. With the help of the DSL and the school’s Mental Health Nurse, I was able to support the pupils under my care and work towards safeguarding their mental health (TS Part Two).
Over the course of one of my placements, I have been participating in and shadowing a tutor group. As part of this role, I have learned a lot about pastoral care and the responsibilities that come with having a form group. For example, on a Monday, each tutor is required to conduct literacy activities with their tutees, in an aim to promote the correct use of standard English (TS3). To achieve this goal I introduced Monday Bingo, whereby students would cross words off a grid depending on the description that was given. By promoting literacy skills, the academic progress of students across all subjects is facilitated.
In addition to the above, form tutors are regularly required to raise awareness about a chosen personal, social, health or economic (PSHE) aspect of society. Recently, I delivered a lesson to my tutor group on ‘internet and phone safety’. The aim of this lesson was to teach students about how they can protect themselves against being groomed, bullied, or abused on the internet. As Edwards and co-workers highlight, discussing internet safety is becoming increasingly important to ensure that children are safeguarded from the threat of talking to strangers (Edwards et al. 2018). By providing pupils with knowledge about the capabilities of the internet, they are more equipped to keep themselves healthy and safe, and therefore are progressing socially.
Tutor times are also used as a hub for students to talk about any merits or awards that they have received. Any achievements that are discussed are then celebrated and are highlighted further at Parents’ Evenings (TS8). Parents’ Evenings are an important part of the pastoral role as they allow for teachers to actively involve parents in their child’s education and accomplishments. Alongside praising the positive, teachers can identify and highlight any issues with a student’s learning and thus work towards promoting further progress and well-being.
Brooks, V., Abbott, I. & Huddleston, P., 2012. Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools: A Student Teacher’s Guide to Professional Issues in Secondary Education, McGraw-Hill Education. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WGxFBgAAQBAJ.
Edwards, S. , Nolan, A. , Henderson, M. , Mantilla, A. , Plowman, L. and Skouteris, H., 2018, Young children's everyday concepts of the internet: A platform for cyber‐safety education in the early years. Br. J. Educ. Technol., 49: 45-55.
Mind, 2018. Apps For Wellbeing and Mental Health. Available at: https://www.mindcharity.co.uk/advice-information/how-to-look-after-your-mental-health/apps-for-wellbeing-and-mental-health/ [Accessed May 7, 2018].