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November 28, 2022

Well–being pedagogies: activities and practices to improve the student experience online

In this short THE Campus piece, Warwick’s own Elena Riva shares some helpful practices that can boost student well-being in the online teaching and learning environment:

September 24, 2021

Pedagogies for Social Justice

The University of Westminster has launched its Pedagogies for Social Justice website which you may find useful. The website link and a link to a podcast discussing educational justice, anti-racism and coloniality in higher education is shared below. The podcast is hosted by Kyra Araneta and Fatima Maatwk.

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:

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: [Accessed May 7, 2018].

June 11, 2018

How can assessment encourage & motivate learners to succeed academically & socially? – William

Assessment can motivate pupils to succeed academically by providing bespoke feedback that praises areas of strength and highlights methods and skill sets that pupils need to improve upon in subsequent tasks. Improvement of areas of weakness can be most efficiently achieved by informing a pupil of how to nurture areas of weakness, so that advancement in academic skill may be observed within the next assessment (Black and Wiliam, 1998).

Assessment in relation to social success is a less obvious connection. Advancement of the social agility of pupils could provide the highest chance of success in a pupil’s life as positive working relationships are key to any team-based professional team. Advancing social success may be best achieved by considering this important ‘soft’ skill development from the pupil’s point-of-view (Jarvinen and Nicholls, 1996).

Relationships which contain intimacy, nurturance, sincerity, responsibility, feigning concern and entertainment were observed by adolescent pupils to encompass social success (Jarvinen and Nicholls, 1996). Social success in secondary school is considered by adolescent pupils to culminate in obtaining satisfaction from relations with peers. What a pupil is required to receive in order to feel socially satisfied could vary considerably from individual to individual. Roles that pupils perceive as bringing about satisfaction within a social setting are leadership, popularity, dominance and even being considered to have a tough and almost unfriendly character (Jarvinen and Nicholls, 1996). Some of these perceived requirements for social success, such as the projection of a tough and unfriendly approach, run counter to aspects actively promoted in school policies which stipulate a foundation of basic respect for others. Social skills have been observed to influence academic outcomes of pupils to such a degree that assessment of social agility can be employed as a viable avenue through which to predict and possibly use to advance academic achievement for pupils (Agostin and Bain, 1997).

Assessment which focuses on providing commentary aimed at advancement of pupils’ academic skills is seen as a way to expedite pupil progress a lot more than just the competition which ensues between pupils in achieving the highest grades (Black and Wiliam, 1998). This approach is of mainstream focus now in schools for both formative and summative assessments led by teachers and on a whole-school level. Self-esteem and perceived levels of social support have all been observed to promote a more confident handling of academic work-loads and challenges (Friedlander et al., 2007). Assessment can influence both social and academic success by attending to the self-esteem of pupils and through accentuating the positive achievements of a pupil’s efforts, regardless of ability level. This positive feedback should be interwoven into any critical and constructive appraisal of pupil’s academic weaknesses. This then could promote a stable and positive working relationship between the pupil and the teacher, which assists a rapport that encourages the pupil to listen and engage with lesson activities and instruction provided by the teacher.


AGOSTIN, T. M. & BAIN, S. K. 1997. Predicting Early School Sucess with Developmental and Social Skills Screeners. Psychology in the Schools, 34, 219-228.

BLACK, P. & WILIAM, D. 1998. Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment, London, GL Assessment.

FRIEDLANDER, L. J., REID, G. J., SHUPAK, N. & CRIBBIE, R. 2007. Social Support, Self-Esteem, and Stress as Predictors of Adjustment to University Among First-Year Undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development, 48, 259-274.

JARVINEN, D. W. & NICHOLLS, J. G. 1996. Adolescents' Social Goals, Beliefs About the Causes of Social Success, and Satisfaction in Peer Relations. Developmental Psychology, 32, 435-441.

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  • Very interesting, thank you for sharing. Great CPD reflection. by Joel Milburn on this entry
  • Hi Lucy, Thank you for sharing the highs and lows of diverse assessments. I hope you have inspired o… by Anna Tranter on this entry
  • Hello Lucy, I totally agree with everything you have said here. And well done for having the energy … by Natalie Sharpling on this entry
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