The pastoral care provided in OLA’s Junior School reflects the school’s nurturing ethos. It involves all members of the school community, each of whom contributes something important to the well-being of our pupils. Our care for our children permeates all aspects of school life, so that all feel valued. We provide pupils with a secure and stimulating learning environment, each child being encouraged to reach their full potential in a happy and secure setting. The atmosphere of care and support that permeates the school ensures the social, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of our pupils and enables them to flourish.
Children are made aware that they can approach any of the adults in the school if they need help or guidance. We see pastoral care as a whole school responsibility, involving teaching and non-teaching staff alike. Each class also has a form teacher, who takes responsibility for the pupils and liaises directly with other members of staff and parents.
In addition to this, children are placed in one of a number of small groups made up of pupils of different ages called ‘Buddy Families’. We encourage regular interaction among the children in these Families at playtimes, as well as during activities such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt or at school Masses. This unique system ensures that children get to know pupils in other year groups and really feel a part of the school as a whole.
We were delighted with our recent ISI Inspection report which identified OLA’s system of pastoral care as ‘excellent’ throughout the school. The Independent Schools Inspectorate comment that ‘the School is successful in providing a happy and purposeful environment in line with its aims, firmly rooted in Catholic principles and with the aspiration to be a loving, caring and welcoming community’ (ISI 2016).