Wellbeing & Pastoral Care in the Junior School
The happiness and welfare of the students are of prime importance to us in the Junior School and all members of staff are involved in pastoral care. We aim to encourage a safe and supportive learning environment in which everyone can feel comfortable.
We have three pastoral deputies, who have specific pastoral responsibilities to make sure that every pupil flourishes socially and academically. The Junior School staff are supported by the School Nurse, Doctor and School Counsellors.
There are a variety of schemes in place to support well-being in the Junior School. Read about them below:
All Junior School classes are led by a form teacher and have the support of a teaching assistant. Subject specialist staff without forms, act as form buddies for a specific class. Our form teachers and teaching assistants play an integral role in the students’ pastoral welfare and they are the first point of contact for parents. Valuable messages are shared and discussed during form times and the pupils are encouraged to express their feelings and opinions. Parents are welcome to pop in at the beginning or the end of the school day or by appointment. The students all have a message book/homework diary where teachers and parents can communicate about changes to daily routine etc.
All Lower School students have PAT (personal appointment time) with their teachers where they are encouraged to reflect on their strengths and challenges. The pupils write reflectively before or after their PAT. The sessions provide them with an opportunity to speak with their form teacher on a one to one basis. The students are encouraged to continue their self-evaluation from these sessions in their profile books. They also use the book to record notable achievements and memorable events and occasions at school for example outings or a school play.
All classes benefit from the support of Senior School students who develop ‘big sister’ relationships with their class. Year 10 and Year 12 students support the First School and Year 10 students work with the Lower School pupils as form assistants. The Senior School students come twice each week before school to help with early morning routines and offer a ‘listening ear’ when needed. As part of the Year 6 responsibility roles on offer, students have the opportunity to become First School Playground Leader for a term. This involves playing games and joining the First School for playtimes and is a role that is always very popular. Year 2 students act as ‘buddies’ for the new Reception pupils when they begin their NLCS journey. Those from Year 5 upward act as ‘coach pals’ to First School students traveling to school on the coaches and new Year 3 students taking the coach home are paired with Year 5 or 6 pupils travelling on the same route.
There are a variety of schemes in place to support wellbeing in the Junior School. Throughout the school there is a holistic curriculum for Personal, Social and Health Education which aims to build self-esteem, develop personal skills and inter-personal relationships, and raise awareness about important health related issues, including sex education, drugs and alcohol at an age appropriate level for each age group.
Pupils have regular sessions of Circle Time both in classes and in mixed age groups helping them to express themselves and resolve problems. These sessions establish a forum in which students can discuss issues of common interest and help one another.
The programme helps the students learn to look after themselves and recognises the importance of healthy eating, living and interactions. They are encouraged to follow five steps to contribute to maintaining a healthy mind and body: Healthy Practice, Activity, Positive Thinking, Positive Emotions and Your Interactions. The morning daily exercise undertaken by the Lower School is an opportunity for social exercise and a chance for the girls to recognise the importance of healthy living and interactions.
The Learning Habits, intellectual character traits, underpin academic and pastoral work in the Junior School by encouraging pupils to be curious and resilient as well as using good judgement and empathy. These learning habits help the students develop these attributes to support them when faced with challenges giving them the confidence to try again.
Making sure our students are well fuelled for a busy day at school is key and food is very important at North London.
Chartwells Independent, our contracted caterer, ensures that students enjoy good quality, healthy and balanced meals every day. They also cater for all types of diets and allergens.
Menus are based on a three-week rotational plan, changing each term to reflect seasonal variations in produce. Click here for sample menus.
The majority of the dishes served are home-made by our Head Chef and his team and most are made from fresh ingredients. The children are encouraged to choose a balanced meal from the dishes on offer and are welcome to sample any of the dish before choosing it as a way of expanding young palates.
Our Catering Manager ensures that all the food available is of a high standard and its nutritional content is carefully monitored. Special meals, using specific ingredients, are prepared for those children who have medically prescribed dietary requirements and one member of staff in our dining room is dedicated solely to managing dietary needs such as intolerances and allergies.
Breakfast is available to purchase from 07:30 – 08:30 each morning and is a popular start to the day. Many parents enjoy a relaxed breakfast with their children and our dining room is a buzz as parents often use the time to catch up or to get to know other parents as well.
Food education is another key priority and Chartwells Independent are continuously looking to introduce new flavours, textures and ingredients into the school menus through their Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen programme of events – regularly hosting tasting sessions to encourage the pupils to try something new.
At NLCS safeguarding is central to all we do, with every member of staff having a role to play in the safeguarding of the students in our care. All staff, whether teachers or support staff, undertake regular safeguarding training and are confident to act on and report any concerns.