"Nice to see they are still children at 13 and not (yet) hormonally charged and monosyllabic. Not a scrap of make up or hair gel in sight."

Good Schools Guide

Highfield provides an excellent caring ethos which results in pupils that are valued, safe, happy and confident enabling them to achieve their potential and have fun! All the staff know the pupils well and promote self-confidence and self-esteem in a wide range of activities. Christian ethos underpins life at Highfield with Sunday chapel services attended by a large number of parents as well as pupils.

If pupils have any concerns or problems, there is comprehensive team of people they can talk to, even the Headmaster, who parents say "knows their children inside out"!

All members of staff at Highfield have pastoral responsibilities as well as being teachers. Most of the staff have a defined pastoral role but everyone is available to listen, to advise, to help or just be there for your child.  The framework of the community is based on the following system:

Care in the Main School

Downstairs’ Mr Searson, the Deputy Head, is in charge of the day-to-day management of the school.  Pastorally, Mr Searson, Mrs Melling, Miss Liddell, Mrs Hamilton, Mrs Longshaw and Mr Mason have particular responsibility for all the children during the day. ‘Upstairs’ the Head of Boarding, Mrs Cryer is in charge of the boarding community, assisted by Mr and Mrs Wilkes (Junior Boarding Houseparents), Mr Figgis (Senior Boys’ Houseparent), Miss Little (Boys’ Assistant Houseparent), Miss Watts (Girls’ Assistant Houseparent), Mrs Dove or Mrs Udall (the School Nurses), the Assistant Teachers, Mr Evitt and Mrs Davies-Evitt, and other non-resident Boarding House Tutors.

Mr and Mrs Cryer, Mr Figgis, Miss Little, Miss Watts, and the Assistant Teachers are permanently resident in the main school building.  Mr and Mrs Wilkes live on the ground floor of the Junior Boarding House.  Very strong links between ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ are at the core of pastoral provision, with clear communication of all pastoral issues

Children do not always choose to go through the above ‘channels’. Some may feel that they want to talk to an Assistant Teacher at bedtime or a music teacher after a lesson, for example. Most children find it easier to talk whilst undertaking a shared activity rather than in the formality of an ‘interview’, although ‘Form Period’ is a rich time for exchanges with the Form Tutor before lessons begin each day. However, any adult consulted by a child in this way will make sure that the request or ‘problem’ is dealt with by the most appropriate person.

To aid the transfer of information between staff the School operates a ‘Day Book’, kept in the Staff Room, Here, staff enter anything concerning a pupil of which they feel other colleagues need to be aware.  This builds into an ever-growing record of pastoral matters, helping us to all be aware of the pastoral and social needs of children at the school.  Such information is passed to new Form Tutors and discussed at the beginning of each academic year to help them understand their new tutees.  There is also a Daily Staff Briefing in the Staff Room at 8.10am to keep staff informed of any children requiring particular care that day.

Discipline

Good discipline is the result of good relationships, not only between children of different ages but also between adults and children. Praise and encouragement makes a child feel valued and secure. This feeling of being accepted by others prepares the way for natural good behaviour.  Nevertheless, clear limits are needed and these are, inevitably, tested periodically by children who are growing up, so sanctions are needed too. Most of our sanctions are based on the idea that children’s actions have consequences. If a child misbehaves then the natural consequence of the misbehaviour will follow. The School does not use Corporal Punishment.

Children earn Good Marks for their helpfulness, kindness to others, organisation and thoughtful behaviour. Rudeness, repeated disobedience, selfish behaviour and unkindness attract appropriate sanctions from staff, which can include the loss of a child’s free time.

School Monitors

The School Monitors are an integral part of the school and assist in the pastoral well-being of all the children through support, guidance, comfort and advice. These chosen members of Year Eight help both teachers and other children in a rich variety of ways, helping the school to run in a smooth and happy manner.

Other responsibilities of the Monitors include: seeing the school into chapels, assemblies and meals; saying the Grace before lunch; monitoring the general tidiness of the school and assisting staff on morning and lunchtime break duties. Monitors also award Monitor Marks to fellow pupils in recognition of positive behaviour that they observe.

In addition to the core group of Monitors, the Senior Monitors take additional responsibilities such as greeting parents at public events, counting Monitor Marks and monitoring Prep sessions.

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