A fresh approach to pastoral care for Christ’s Hospital

The conference.  Picture by Toby Phillips
The conference. Picture by Toby Phillips

Christ’s Hospital hosted a conference themed around a fresh approach to pastoral care.

This was in response to numerous requests from schools who have expressed an interest in how one of the largest and most diverse 11-18 independent boarding schools in the UK manages their ‘team around the child’.

Over 100 delegates from schools across the country attended the conference at Christ’s Hospital, near Horsham, West Sussex on Thursday, 17th October. This was the first conference of its kind held at CH, designed for the whole pastoral team in schools - counsellors, child protection officers, chaplains - organised by Deputy Head, Jo Thomson.

Jo said: “In a world that is rapidly changing, we know all too well that today’s teenagers are under increasing pressure, from home and school, to achieve their utmost and we need to ask ourselves whether our pastoral systems are really still fit for purpose. I was delighted when three professionals, chosen for their experience in the field of pastoral care, accepted our invitation to speak.”

Revd Dr Jonathan Long Principal of Woodstock School in India, who has written about pastoral care, spoke about the importance of pastoral care and the role of the ‘team’. Dr Tina Rae of the School of Psychology in the University of East London, spoke about social and emotional issues faced by teenagers and Giles Barrow who writes on ‘Transactional Analysis’ talked about ways in which the team around the child can work together to support and manage difficult behaviour and building relationships with key pastoral people and young people.

Jo went on to say: “Feedback has been extremely positive from the delegates and our own team who also attended the event. As the conference was over-subscribed, we are considering hosting another in the future.”

One of the delegates said: “I just wanted to thank you and the staff at CH on behalf of the delegates from our school for a fantastic day. I found it truly inspiring. The speakers were very well chosen, creative, thoughtful and intelligent. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to visit your amazing school.”

An article written by Jo Thomson which describes Christ’s Hospital’s robust model of pastoral care can be downloaded http://www.christs-hospital.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/The-Team-Around-the-Child.pdf

Report submitted by Christ’s Hospital. Pictures by Toby Phillips.