All staff at King James Academy Royston regard the development of the whole child as critical. We have high expectations of academic success, but this does not detract from the fact that it is also the character values that we embed in each of our students that will ultimately see them through to realise their ambitions and dreams.
We are very keen to ensure the safety and well-being of each pupil in the school and so all children have either a form teacher or form tutor who has primary responsibility for all day-to-day issues involving care and well-being. Tutors are the key to our pastoral system, there to listen, advise and help students make and understand their own choices, and to act as the primary contact with parents.
Junior School Pastoral Care
In the Junior School, it is the form teachers who are ultimately responsible for the pastoral care of the students in their class, helping each of them to achieve and enjoy what they do. Students are expected to be good mannered, courteous and respectful of the feelings of others and that high standards of behaviour and values are maintained.
It is also important that the children get pleasure from both their own and others’ achievements. With this in mind, we have several pastoral support mechanisms in place to ensure that we quickly identify the needs of children and their families, addressing any learning or social issues effectively. This may be in the form of whole class activities, a small group intervention, or through 1:1 support delivered by outside agencies that we partner with.
Arriving at any new school can seem daunting so, from the time students are allocated a place, we try to make them feel part of King James Academy by inviting them and their parents in to the school on various occasions before the start of their first term. These are opportunities to get to know their new tutor and classmates, and to find their way around the school, so that they arrive for their first day in September confident that they belong here.
Our pupils’ pastoral needs are incredibly important to us and so we make sure we do everything possible to ensure their well-being. This includes having a school drama therapist and counsellor accredited by the HPCP and BACP, who meet pupils and support them with emotional difficulties. We are a Hub school for NESSie who supports parents, staff and students across Hertfordshire with positive mental health.
Senior School Pastoral Care
Central to our pastoral care is the notion that young people are most likely to succeed if they feel secure in their school environment. We therefore place huge emphasis on making every pupil feel valued and safe, backed up by a raft of additional support mechanisms, including transition days between year groups; the pastoral responsibilities undertaken by Form Tutors, and the helping and mentoring of younger pupils by the Seniors in our vertical House tutor groups.
In the Senior School, pastoral, welfare and disciplinary concerns are directed initially through tutors as a first point of contact, passing on to the Head of House for information or further action. A friendly and supportive relationship is fostered between students and their Form Tutors and Head of Year with staff being particularly mindful of the stresses and strains experienced by students in their GCSE years.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to develop close links with Form Tutors and should feel free to inform them of any home factors that may influence a student’s behaviour or progress in School. Communication between Form Tutors and home can be by phone, email or letter. Parents are contacted by either Form Tutors or Head of House at least once a term, and more so if there are any real concerns. Parents Evenings are another opportunity to reinforce these links.
Guidance and Support
At King James Academy Royston we are committed to ensuring that all our students have high quality impartial advice on career opportunities, and that they progress onto appropriate courses on leaving the school. It is very important to us to know that all leavers have a plan for their next step.
We support our students in making well-informed decisions by providing access to differentiated, impartial and independent information and guidance about the range of options (including academic, vocational, apprenticeships) that are most likely to help them to achieve their ambitions. We believe that giving students the best careers education and guidance is vital to improving their motivation to learn and help them to achieve.
When delivering careers education we aim to ensure that the information about learning options and careers is presented impartially and that advice promotes the best interests of students. Our aims may be summarised as follows:
- Developing resilience to help young people to plan and manage their own futures
- Responds to the needs of each learner
- Provides comprehensive information and advice
- Raises aspirations
- Actively promotes respect and equality of opportunity
- Challenges stereotypes
- Helps young people to progress
- Give a wider and relevant context for learning
We are very proud of our Inclusion Centre, which is a dedicated student and study support service allowing students with specific needs to receive the dedicated and bespoke support they need. This includes first class support for students with special educational needs or disabilities. Our experienced team works tirelessly to remove barriers to learning that some students may have. Such barriers may be medical, emotional, social or linked to language skills. Individual learning plans and support programmes are used to help students reach their potential.