In any community, the shared values of respect, tolerance, friendship and openness are vital to its success and that of its members. When girls join The Abbey Senior School they are entering a community that abides by these values and has a core focus on supporting them through the challenges of growing up in the 21st century. There will be challenges to overcome and times when support from our experienced pastoral team is needed. Our pastoral care system is proactive and compassionate, designed to help girls achieve their personal potential and have a happy time at school.

Pastoral care is led by the Head of the Senior School supported by the Heads of Section for Lower and Upper School, who are specialists in issues relating to girls' development. A team of Heads of Year, form tutors and pastoral prefects ensures that girls are known as individuals and receive personal support in a timely manner and in a way that is appropriate to their needs.

In Upper III and Lower IV (years 7 and 8) girls are mainly taught in their form groups, with a whole year residential trip each year that gives them the opportunity to make new friends and take on outdoor physical challenges together. In Upper IV (Year 9) girls move into five smaller form groups as they prepare for their GCSE examinations.

Appropriate policies, including Safeguarding, anti-bullying, positive behaviour and discipline are in place and the school operates an ‘open door’ policy of access for parents to discuss any concerns. All staff are contactable by email and our extensive pastoral team means that there is always someone to talk to for girls and parents.

The culture we promote throughout our school is one of tolerance, openness, responsibility and respect. These values are presented in assemblies usually led by our Chaplain, the senior staff and also, by the girls themselves.

The Nurse

The Medical room is well equipped and is open throughout the school day. Our two nurses provide First Aid care for any sick or injured girl, they take responsibility for any prescribed medicines brought into school by pupils and keep appropriate records. They also deliver Skills for Life lessons on health issues to girls throughout the school and offer an important ‘listening ear’.

Raising self-esteem

There are many opportunities for social integration, raising self-esteem and self-awareness, all important aspects of girls’ development. Hard work and special achievements (academic and extra-curricular) receive recognition and we have an Academic Mentoring scheme in place to offer support for girls who may need a little extra help.

Skills for Life Programme

The weekly programme of 'Skills For Life' is designed by the Heads of Year to encourage self-esteem and to help our girls develop informed opinions on many social and moral issues. Our key concepts are personal identity, healthy lifestyle, risk and consequence, relationships, diversity, careers, capability, financial risk and economic understanding. Each year group has a varied and dynamic programme of lessons delivered by the form tutor or a visiting speaker and the curriculum is constantly reviewed and updated to maintain its relevance.

Pastoral Prefects

Peer group education is also important and we have Sixth Form Pastoral Prefects who offer a friendly ear to younger girls who want to talk to someone closer to their own age about anything that is worrying them.

"The school places the education and welfare of the whole person at the heart of its provision for each pupil, and the aim of ensuring that each girl is known as an individual is very well met. Pastoral care is exceptionally well managed throughout the school." ISI report