Bede Academy places a strong emphasis on the importance of each and every student striving to achieve their ‘Personal Best’. This not only relates to academic achievement but also to achieving the highest standards of behaviour and endeavour. The Academy’s aim is to mould and shape each student’s character according to the Christian ethos and, through this, also to recognise the importance of the stated Core Values, namely: Humility, Compassion, Honourable Purpose, Courage, Determination, Integrity and Accountability.
The primary means of achieving character development is through the relationship that exists between an individual member of staff and each individual student. This relationship needs to be built on respect and the understanding that the teacher (in loco parentis) has the responsibility, authority and mandate to pass on those values, customs, traditions and manners which represent the best of Bede Academy’s culture. The relationship needs to be both compassionate and demanding of the fulfilment by each student of their great potential. Each student needs the security of knowing they are valued, accepted and cared for, and to experience praise and encouragement. Yet, at the same time, they need to know that the Academy has the highest expectations of them. It is essential that staff show integrity by demonstrating the core values as effective role models.
It is vital that there is clarity regarding expectations of the students. Students are given clear guidelines and boundaries, and these become the basis of routines, procedures and traditions. Students should be helped to understand the rationale for guidelines and boundaries, and learn that discipline is an aspect of a parent’s (or loco-parentis) love. Rather than restricting the student these boundaries give each student both a sense of security and the freedom to act in the right way and to develop self-discipline.
The foundation for Pastoral work
At Bede Academy we believe that students have the ability to go positively far beyond what we can imagine with support and careful guidance. The role of the Pastoral team is to ensure that any possible barriers to learning are removed to ensure that all students of any ability are given every opportunity to thrive within the Academy. It is important to invest time in partnerships with parents so that they are well informed about the academic, pastoral and personal progress of their children. As such, any concerns are followed up immediately.
We expect students to give their personal best at every opportunity. We believe that they have the capacity to grow in terms of their character, to develop a strong work ethic and to improve the relationships they have with all around them. As part of this process, we guide students carefully through each transition and as they begin to consider their future careers.
The Pastoral Office
The Pastoral Office has been established in order to meet the needs of all students, removing any barrier to learning which may inhibit the progress which they could make. It is founded upon the belief that no student is limited in the progress which they can attain. As such, the vision of the Pastoral team is to ensure that students:
- Regularly attend Bede Academy
- Feel settled and supported
- Know who they can speak to if there is a problem
At Bede Academy we insist that each student pushes themselves to reach their personal best. This concerns all areas of Academy life, including standards of behaviour and presentation regarding uniform. The aim of the Pastoral team is to nurture and develop each student’s character according to the Christian ethos of the Academy. We recognise that students are in a constant state of change and as such require boundaries in their lives. For some students, it is very likely that the only kind of stability which they receive will come from the individual care and attention that a member of the Pastoral Office can provide.
So that we can create positive changes in a student’s character, there needs to be a relationship between members of staff and each individual student. The foundation for this relationship must be built upon respect and the understanding that the teacher has the responsibility and authority to pass on those values, customs, traditions and manners which represent the best of our culture.
The relationship needs to be both compassionate yet demanding of the fulfilment by each student of their huge potential. Each student needs the security of knowing they are valued, accepted and cared for, and to experience praise and encouragement. Simultaneously, they need to know that Bede Academy holds the highest expectations of the kind of people they are expected to become and that anything less than their best is unsatisfactory.
It is vital that we are clear and explicit regarding our expectations of students. They need to be given guidelines and boundaries which become the basis of our routines, procedures and traditions. Students should be helped to understand the rationale for guidelines and boundaries, and learn that discipline is an aspect of a caring adult’s love. These boundaries should not restrict students but rather give each student both a sense of security and the freedom to act in the right way and to develop self-discipline.
It is important that when we deal with more serious cases of ill-discipline, we do not simply respond mechanistically by imposing a sanction. Rather, we need to look for the reasons which lie behind the misbehaviour as well as at the incident itself and then lead the student through a process of restoration. This will include bringing them to a point where they can admit that their action was wrong, they feel a sense of regret and have a desire to make amends. If this can be achieved then their ‘punishment’ brings the matter to a conclusion, restoring their relationship with those in authority and anyone else involved, and allows them to move forward with a ‘fresh start’. This does not mean that there are neither rewards nor punishments, but rewards and punishments are accompanied with instructions and placed within the context of a caring relationship.
At all times we seek to involve parents to ensure that they support us as the Academy supports their children. In addition, whenever appropriate, we involve the appropriate outside agencies in order to ensure that any student having a specific need, has appropriate professional support.
Provision of Pastoral support at Bede Academy
We begin by insisting upon achieving the highest attendance possible and as such seek to do all that we can to support parents in ensuring that their children are attending as much as possible. By insisting upon such high standards, we have been able to see progress with students who were poor attenders in the past.
We see Tutors as a “first point of call” for students and believe that this one-to-one relationship is crucial. We recognise that for some students they will either come directly to the Pastoral Office or seek out other members of staff, depending on the issue they bring with them.
As such Bede Academy supports students on the basis of their individual needs, whether they are on a Support card, upset during the day or simply require some time in the Learning Centre before attending their timetabled lesson. For some individuals (especially if on a Support card) particular members of staff are allocated to support them, based on past experience of the teacher and student.
Contact with home is fundamental to the success of our relational approach and, as a result, there is as much contact with parents on the telephone as is required. In addition, there are many meetings with parents where this work is added to and built upon, for example, those students who are on a Support card.
Finally, we are aware that we are unable to provide all of the support that some students require within the Academy and, as such, we make referrals as required to outside agencies to ensure specialist support is provided.
Of utmost importance in pastoral work are the relationships which we have with students and their families. As all three parties work together in a positive partnership, much progress can be made with each individual student.