Pastoral Care & the welfare of pupils
The level of self-confidence, the sense of well-being among pupils of all ages and the caring atmosphere that is prevalent satisfy the aim of the school to enable each child to foster positive attitudes to learning and life and to enable pupils to develop self-discipline which will allow them to move with confidence and be sensitive to others. Independent Schools Inspectorate
At Witham the happiness and welfare of our pupils are paramount. We are proud of being recognised as a happy, caring family-orientated school. The strength of the pastoral care system, by which every child is nurtured and cared for, underpins this reputation. In addition to the day to day care of the teaching and support staff, the children benefit from the weekly presence of Reverend Canon Andrew Hawes, vicar to the parish of Witham on- the- Hill.
Starting school, or moving to a new school is often a challenging experience, and every effort is made to make this as easy as possible. Senior pupils are on hand to assist new arrivals throughout their early days, whilst pupils quickly feel supported by their class teachers (Pre-Prep) and form tutors (Prep). In addition, boarding pupils develop strong links with both their Housemaster and Mistress, together with the teaching house staff that include the Headmaster and his wife. The matrons are also central to the school community. In addition to supporting the boarders on a daily basis, they also look after the health and welfare of the day pupils.
The relationship between staff and pupils and between pupils themselves is central to life at Witham, and it is a relationship built around a simple framework of mutual respect. All staff encourage pupils to develop the self-discipline and consideration for others that is a strong characteristic of the school. Our House system encourages interaction between children of all age groups, promotes positive role modelling, and allows children to develop leadership and mentoring skills. Through house initiatives children also have opportunities to support, and make a difference to, those less fortunate than themselves through their charity work.
Food and nutrition have a high priority. All food is prepared within the school kitchen from fresh ingredients, and children and staff eat at tables together. Outside of the main meals there is a fruit break in the morning and snack break in the afternoon. Milk and water are readily available throughout the day. A pupil committee meets weekly with the Head of Catering to discuss the food provision.
Pupil feedback is encouraged in other areas also. This may come through the weekly meetings of boarders with house staff, or through the School Council, which meets twice a term under the leadership of Mr Whittock. The Council offers an opportunity for pupil elected representatives of each form to raise and discuss any matter that concerns them, with a view to enhancing the running of the school.