Pastoral Care & Catholic Ethos

The education which we offer at St John Fisher Catholic High School is person-centred. It promotes the dignity, self-esteem and full development of each person who is made in God’s image and uniquely loved by God. We support our students in leading fulfilling and purposeful lives where they can contribute the common good. The ethos of the school promotes the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and personal development of all students and is rooted in the Gospel values of respect for life, love, forgiveness, truth and justice. It takes account of the uniqueness of students and of their need for individual support and guidance. The pastoral care dimension is the ethos of the school in tangible form. What determines the effectiveness of pastoral care in St John Fisher is the quality of relationships at all levels in the school.

The school has a long-standing tradition of excellent behaviour and outstanding pastoral care. We firmly believe that high standards of behaviour lead to increased levels of achievement, enjoyment and participation, from which we all benefit. We look to cultivate a community which promotes tolerance, respect and sensitivity to the needs of others so that students realise their duties and responsibilities to their neighbour as well as their personal rights and freedoms.

In St John Fisher, every child matters to us. We adopt a multi-agency approach in supporting all of our students to enable them to achieve and be a success.

The school sets very high standards for all students. We expect them to respect the needs of others, to anticipate consequences and to justify their actions. We encourage students to develop self-discipline with regard both to learning and behaviour, within and outside the school community.

At St John Fisher Catholic High School we see pastoral care as being central to the success of all students in the school. The pastoral care policy of the school aims to:
• Create and nurture a positive learning environment, where all students feel safe, respected and are happy.

• Create a caring environment where all students are valued for who they are, not just for what they can do.

• Implement the code of discipline in an atmosphere of trust and care.

• Develop relationships between students and staff based on fairness, honesty and consistency.

• Promote a sense of achievement and self-worth within the academic and non-academic experience of each student.

• Support high standards of teaching and learning so that all students may achieve their full potential.

• Respond in an effective way to students’ concerns, fears and anxieties.

• Strengthen the partnership between school, home and parish and to foster a sense of shared responsibility.

• Enable and encourage all students to take full advantage of the educational opportunities on offer at St John Fisher.

Responsibility For Pastoral Care

It cannot be over-stressed that the pastoral care of our students is the responsibility of the whole community. The way we treat, talk to, interact with and indeed teach students will all contribute to the quality of our pastoral care. The school is firmly committed to developing and maintaining strong home-school partnerships and we welcome and encourage parents to be closely involved in all aspects of their child’s life at school. We also recognize parents as the primary educators of their children and, with their support, we endeavour to educate the ‘whole person’ and in so doing, help that person realize her/his innate potential and grow to become a caring and good citizen who will play a worthwhile and rewarding role in society.

Pastoral Structure

• Each student belongs to a form class and has an appointed form tutor whose responsibility is the pastoral care of each student.

• The Head of Year leads a team of form tutors and is responsible for the pastoral care and discipline of students in their Year group. The Head of Year has a shared responsibility for the academic progress of students.

• The five Heads of Year, Pastoral Hub staff, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Lay Chaplain, two Deputy Head teachers and two Assistant Head teachers make up the Senior Pastoral Group.

• The Senior Pastoral Group liaise with external agencies such as Educational Psychology Service, Wigan Start Well Service, Targeted Education Support Service (TESS), CAMHS, Wigan Inclusion Team and school nurses about pastoral issues relating to the students.

• All non-teaching staff – technicians, administrative staff, lunchtime supervisors, teaching assistants, librarian, canteen staff, etc – have a role to play in the pastoral care of students in our school.

The form tutor has a responsibility for the welfare of individual students, who will deal with matters such as attendance, punctuality, appearance, attitude to learning, behaviour and general academic progress. For the majority of general enquiries and concerns, the form tutor should be the first point of contact for parents. Alternatively, parents may contact staff in the Pastoral Hub. For more serious concerns regarding their child, parents should contact the Head of Year or a member of SLT.

Under normal circumstances, the form tutor remains with their form class from Year 7 to 11 and so knows the students intimately, their background, needs, aspirations, interests and academic ability. In addition, the five Heads of Year have a day to day responsibility for administering general discipline and overseeing the welfare of the students in their year.

Subject teachers are aware that pastoral issues arise occasionally and are sensitive to the needs of the students in their class. The subject teacher will make their Head of Department and the form tutor aware of any problems, real or perceived, which they encounter with their teaching groups and will co-operate in making use of the pastoral structures in place in the school for dealing with problems which arise.

The five Heads of Year are:
Head of Year 7 – Mrs. J. Stanton
Head of Year 8 – Mrs. P. Connelly
Head of Year 9 – Mrs. C. Hanley
Head of Year 10 – Mr. A. Goodland
Head of Year 11 – Mr. P Stuchberry