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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:30 am
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Wonder if anyone can help. What does pastoral care actually mean? Have a son at a grammar school, struggling at times to cope with pressure and stress of homework.

Spoken to the school previously:
- School recommended the lunchtime "clinics" to help with homework.
- Appointed a sixth former to mentor.

So, I have a few questions:
- Has anyone else experienced anything similar, and if so, how was it handled (at any grammar school)?
- What legal obligation has the school in terms of pastoral care?
- How do other schools handle such things?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Sorry to hear that. Is he a new year seven?
Our point of contact has always been head of year with form tutors very much in the background.
If I need to speak to them I drop an email and always get a call back the same day.
Our experience has been 100% positive. When help has been needed it's always been appropriate and available.
Have no clue about the legal obligations in this respect. I'm always amazed by how much they do to help such as mentoring, changing seating plans etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:05 pm 
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YR9. Response has been, as I said, clinics, sixth form mentor, and "homework could be lessened for a short time". And that's it.
Thing is, I'm struggling to see what else they *could* do. It's v much either you fit in and do it, or you don't as far as I can see.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Location: Essex
I'm not sure what else you think they could or should be doing? Has he always coped with work so far and this is something new with the gearing up of work this year, or has it always been a bit of a struggle and something has just tipped him over the edge into 'acopia' ? We are only in the second full week of term, but presumably this is something more than being a bit slow to move from holiday mode to school mode again.

As for 'fitting in and doing it', etc, I suppose the answer is 'yes', really. There will be parts of the homework which are essential for the work as whole, although no doubt other bits which are really just 'for interest'. Presumably it's the latter which the school is suggesting could be cut out; cutting out the former would be a bit self-defeating.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:35 pm 
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Not always coped no - hence periodic.
Help identify why such episodes occur, and help make suggestions to him as to how to deal with it? Reassure perfection isn't always necessary? Just show some empathy perhaps?
Particularly as he can hardly be the sole child/student this happens to.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:00 pm 
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If it is a problem with him being stressed I would ask to speak to the safeguarding lead. This is a legal requirement for all schools to have and they should take your concerns seriously. The one at my DDs school was very helpful when she went through a bad patch last year in year 8 and we had regular phone contact.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:41 pm 
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Awesome. "safeguarding" lead. Thank you. Knew nothing about that. That's helpful, thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:15 pm 
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You could try speaking to the school SENCO. They may be able to help or advise.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:05 pm 
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Also, you have probably already seen it, but just in case you haven't, there is a 'pastoral care section' on this forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:24 pm 
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Does he do a lot of extra curricular activities? What is taking up his time when he would otherwise be doing homework? Was he a "natural" grammar school applicant or was he tutored a lot/worked hard to achieve entry? I'm not being rude but possibly the school do not actually have that many that struggle with homework. If it is a periodic struggle it may be that actually he needs help more with his time management than the actual content. Is there anything else going on at school that means he is unable to focus in lessons and this is then impacting on his ability with the homework? Is this the right environment for him?


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