Student Support and Wellbeing
We are a school that prides itself in the way we provide support and care to our students. A clear and thorough structure in providing student support as well as overseeing the wellbeing of our students is at the core of all that we do at Sidcot. We forge nurturing and trusting relationships with our students, and provide plenty of places around the school for students to go to when in need of a safe space. At Sidcot every member of staff is ready to listen, empathise, advise, advocate, coach and mentor our young people. Our hands-on approach to monitoring students’ emotional development and wellbeing, and because we get to know our students so well, means we are able to quickly put preventative interventions in place when needed.
Standards of behaviour and boundaries are made clear and reinforced daily, opting for cooperation with our students and appealing to students’ emotional intelligence as a first point of call. In line with our Quaker values, we emphasise the importance of community and the value of equal and honest friendships between students. When students need support and guidance around social dynamics and friendships, they are encouraged to communicate their concerns with the help of a mediator. Putting honest communication, empathy and restorative justice at the heart of how we support students. We are confident that this will equip our young people with vital skills they will need for their futures. We also educate our students in practices of positive self-care, such as mindfulness, as a way of helping them to deal with the inevitable stresses that come with growing and developing.
The Tutor System
On joining the school, every student is assigned to a small tutor group of around twelve other tutees. Our tutors meet with their tutor groups twice a day, and as such will develop a strong bond with their students. The Tutors’ role is a key part of the school's pastoral care structure and is overseen by the Heads of Year and Assistant Head (Pastoral). Tutors deliver thorough, up to date and applicable PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) sessions every week. On a regular basis we invite specialist speakers to the school to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in certain areas. Tutors are not only central to maintaining an overview of each student’s social and emotional development and their general sense of wellbeing, but they are also heavily involved in monitoring the academic progress made by students and provide parents with a first point of contact.
Specialist Student Support
In addition to the above, students can choose to access or be referred to the following;
- School counsellors (no extra fee)
- Take Ten Mentors (available every lunchtime)
- Youth Mental Health First Aiders
There is a two year programme, incorporating many aspects of Personal, Social and Health Education which is delivered during the weekly extended tutorial period. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, to work constructively with others and to develop their own skills and talents in a positive and fulfilling way. Topics which are covered include encouraging positive mental health, healthy eating, preparing for life after Sixth Form and building quality relationships. In addition, tutors support students with their academic studies and help them to develop good study skills in
• Note taking and note making
• Time management
• Listening and discussing
Once a week students have a flex period in their timetable. In Sixth Form this is used in a variety of different ways and often allows the students to choose what appeals to them. During this session there are a wide variety of options on offer; visiting the school councillor, attending Young Enterprise meetings, school council meetings, career related talks or sessions on study skills and independent study. This flexibility allows students to develop a sense of autonomy
Sidcot is a mainstream school. It offers a supportive environment that enables all students to achieve to the best of their abilities. This includes those who are ‘gifted and talented’ and those with mild learning support needs and disabilities. When considering new student applications the School takes great care to ensure that each student's learning needs are balanced with that of the class as a whole and ensure that all enrolled students will have the opportunity to benefit from the curriculum and extra-curricular activities available. All students who attend Sidcot must be capable of accessing the curriculum of the school.
We aim to inspire and challenge all our students and help them achieve the very best they can to become confident, successful learners and responsible citizens.
Find out more about Learning Support
The Health Centre
For medical matters, the school has its own Health Centre staffed by a team of highly experienced nurses. The local GPs (Doctors) hold surgeries at the school twice a week and students can choose to see a male or female doctor. In a recent boarding inspection our health centre was described as ‘outstanding’.
As well as caring for sick or injured students, the school nurses offer:
- Health screening
- Travel advice
- Immunisation / vaccination programmes
- Individual and group work with students covering a variety of health issues, including healthy eating, exercise, alcohol, drugs, smoking, puberty, sexual health and help with any concerns students might have
- Advice and support for parents and staff
- Student Counselling (fees apply)
- Private orthodontic treatment also available (fees apply)
The school nurses are well equipped to support most medical conditions.