PASTORAL CARE AT DEAN CLOSE IS SECOND TO NONE.
The School sees itself in a partnership with parents in guiding pupils through their all-important teenage years. There are huge academic hurdles during these five years and pupils also face a number of social and relationship changes. Teenagers live in an increasingly challenging world in terms of jobs and decisions on how to use their time. Dean Close puts huge emphasis on developing the whole person and the pastoral systems are geared to achieve that end.
The primary unit of pastoral care is the House. All pupils are members of a House, headed up by a Housemaster or Housemistress and supported by Assistant House staff and tutors, one of whom will be their academic mentor whom they meet weekly for a discussion about their progress. In the Sixth Form, pupils are able to choose their own tutor, often picking someone who teaches a relevant A level subject or somebody with whom they have forged a very positive relationship with in their earlier years at School. New pupils are helped with the process of choosing by their Housemaster or Housemistress.
Pastoral care is not confined to the House or Tutor system as all members of the teaching community take a pastoral interest in those with whom they have contact. For example, musicians may well find they have particularly close working relationships with the Director of Music or a keen rugby player may bond well with the Master in charge of Rugby. Within the extended community there is the Chaplain and his team of lay assistants, the House Matrons, the Health Centre with three qualified nurses and two matrons, a team of School and House Prefects, a School Counsellor and many more.
Each year a team of School Prefects is selected following a thorough process of nominations by their peers and staff, and a challenging interview. The role of the prefect is taken extremely seriously and they are often seen as a bridge between the teaching staff and the pupil body. Prefects have a role in keeping order and discipline in the School but are also extremely conscious of their ability to support and encourage younger pupils and to keep an eye-out for the welfare of all.