Our pastoral system underpins every aspect of life. It focuses on knowing the needs of the individual. By supporting every girl, promoting self confidence in a happy and warm environment, we strive to ensure each pupil will flourish. The wellbeing of our community and the pursuit of academic excellence go hand in hand.
As leaders in character education, we use our expertise to ensure pupils not only receive the best possible care, but learn to open their minds to the world around them and develop an independence of mind. It is this which allows them to thrive academically.
The relationship between school and home is of paramount importance, with everyone working together to help the girls develop learning habits, values and interests.
In the Junior school, we also offer wrap around care, for both before and after school.
The quality of our pastoral care was praised in our ISI report in autumn 2015. The report stated: “Pupils of all ages exhibit excellent behaviour and a strong moral code and are kind and courteous to each other. Pupils grow in self esteem due to encouragement by the school to value and express their own opinions, become leaders and take responsibility for their actions."
Junior School Assemblies
The Junior School starts most mornings with a whole-school assembly. Girls and staff are entertained by a Junior School musician as they enter the hall. Putney High School is non-denominational and assembly themes are based on moral values or topical news. Our weekly Celebration Assembly is an opportunity to praise girls for individual or group efforts and achievements. Each class invites their parents to share an assembly based on work covered in class.
Through our House System, we create a vertical pastoral system that encourages teamwork, healthy competition and an awareness of others. There are many opportunities for leadership, lots of fun and positive engagement with our community.
Junior School girls belong to one of four Houses: Margot Fonteyn (Green), Florence Nightingale (Red), Amy Johnson (Blue) and Mary Kingsley (Yellow). They work together to raise money for charities chosen by themselves and to compete in sporting tournaments. A thriving, democratically-elected School Council represents the views of all the girls. Year 6 girls are given roles of responsibility from House Captains to the school's Press Pack of roving reporters who create weekly news items for the school website. School assemblies are based around pastoral themes as well as celebrating girls' efforts, achievements and birthdays.
In the Senior School Each girl belongs to one of our very active four Houses, where they work together to raise money for their chosen charity or endorse the local community to help transform the lives of others.
By supporting every girl, challenging them and promoting self-confidence in a happy and warm environment, we strive to ensure each girl at Putney High School will thrive.
Our well established House system encourages girls of all ages to mix together while taking part in activities and competitions such as Inter-House Netball, the Music Festival, Science Week and Sports Day. It also offers opportunities for taking on responsibility and team work. Our four houses are Beryl Burton; Kathleen Ferrier; Audrey Hepburn and Freya Stark.
The House Charities for 2017-2018 are:
Junior School girls are encouraged to take responsibility at the earliest opportunity. Younger girls share leadership roles within their classroom and as they get older there are more opportunities on offer. This may include volunteering to be a Library Monitor or representing their class on the thriving, democratically-elected Junior School Council. All girls in Year 6 are encouraged to take on a leadership role, from House Captains to the school’s Press Pack of roving reporters who create weekly news items for the school website.
Other positions of Leadership include: Sports Leaders, House and Vice House Captains, Play Leaders, Lunch Monitors.
Senior School opportunities for girls to develop leadership skills abound at Putney. Within Form Groups, there are several posts of responsibility, which prepare girls for taking on larger roles in the school community as they become older. The Peer Mediation programme enables students to strengthen their empathetic communication skills and learn how to support their peers through focused listening. They have the opportunity to take on leadership roles, train younger students, and present about peer mediation to a wider audience.
Our Head Girl team of a Head Girl and three Deputies is very active in the day-to-day running of the school, assisted by a team of over 30 prefects. Prefect roles range from directing Drama productions and conducting House Choirs to assisting in welcoming parents at our Progress Review Evenings. Many girls also take leading roles in our Co-Curricular Activities. Our girls leave Putney as reliable, ‘can-do’ young women.
The Positive Schools programme
Our rich and varied Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education programme anticipates some of the challenges pertinent to each age group and helps develop girls’ emotional literacy.
We are pioneering the 'Positive Schools Programme' in classrooms to promote positive well-being, emotional literacy and resilience. The 'Positive' curriculum is delivered to all year groups in PSHE lessons. It works hand in hand with mindfulness, coaching and peer mediation to help pupils focus on finding positive solutions.
We also offer a series of talks, with topics often chosen by the pupils, by lead professionals in their fields, which support both girls and their parents through the teenage years. In addition, we provide a host of clubs and societies where girls can experience new and exciting subjects and make friends with peers from different forms and year groups.
The pastoral system ensures every girl feels valued and listened to, and girls have daily support from teachers, tutors and mentors, as well as specifically appointed experts, such as a counsellor and school nurse. Everyone knows whom to approach should they need a listening ear or additional support.
Independent Thinking, PPE and Curriculum Plus
Our curriculum enables pupils to grapple with big concepts and debate big ideas. In Year 7, an Independent Thinking course challenges pupils to reflect on the nature of knowledge and to understand how we know what we claim to know. In Year 10 pupils take an innovative PPE course which introduces subjects not covered in the core curriculum, and also provides training in the skills of debate. Our Sixth Form students take part in Curriculum Plus; a programme of critical thinking lessons designed to encourage an increasingly analytical and evaluative approach to learning, and to support preparation for university admission tests.