We all know that usually, academic success does make children, their parents and their teachers very happy.
We all recognize that it gives children more opportunities, more choices and allows them to pursue the things they want to do. In a results driven society, academic success has to be a schools’ major goal and that is certainly the case here.
However, that major goal needs to be part of an integrated and individual care package that each pupil receives so that they are all empowered to face their own challenges, and work out how best to overcome them. However, some of the biggest challenges pupils are likely to face are not classroom based and therefore, the importance of expert pastoral care cannot be overemphasised in the pursuit of a successful and fulfilling school career.
When a pupil joins a new school, it can be a hugely daunting time for him/her.
Whilst the bulk of our new pupils join in Year 7, we do have a number of pupils who join in other Years, both at the start of the academic year and throughout it.
Here at Immanuel, we want every pupil to feel known and understood. We recognise that a pupil’s happiness is inextricably linked to their relationships with their peer group and we work hard to create a culture of acceptance, mutual tolerance and respect.
When pupils join at the beginning of Year 7, we invite them all to an Induction Day in June/July which is a lovely opportunity for them to form initial bonds with their future friends, to meet the teachers and to become more familiar with the environment that will become a second home to them in their formative years. We also invite all the parents in, to solidify that triangular relationship between parents, pupils and the School.
Pupils are then carefully monitored and tracked to ensure that they are settling in academically and socially; this includes during Form time, in lessons and at lunchtime. There is a specialist team of tutors and Heads of Year that are specifically trained in how to support new pupils; consequently, the pupils always feel very happy to share any concerns they have and which are then addressed at the earliest opportunity. We celebrate their achievements and promote team building at every opportunity, including the Year 7 Shabbaton, Amsterdam Trip, day trips, House competitions and Form time activities.
We believe that preparing pupils and parents for some of the things that might cause concern really helps the settling-in process.
Here are some examples of the kinds of thing which pupils can worry about:
- Having difficulty with one or more of their school subjects;
- Thinking they may be ill and are too afraid or embarrassed to tell anyone;
- Feeling depressed or anxious;
- Bullying, including cyber-bullying;
- Relationships at home;
- Being caught in a situation that they don’t know how to get out of;
- Being treated unfairly;
- Feeling that they are not given enough privacy or independence.
It is our job to make sure that they feel that they always have someone to talk to who will listen and help.
A similar age-appropriate programme is in place for all children joining in Years 8-13 and they are always given the opportunity to come in before they start to track a pupil, they are buddied-up and directed to key clubs and team-building events to make their transition into their new school a smooth and happy one.
The Personal Development (sometimes referred to as PSHEE) Department aims to enhance and embody the Jewish Life and ethos of the school. It aims to make cross-curricular links with the wider Jewish life in the school and work closely with the Social Action Programme, developing social action projects encouraging pupils who will learn to positively contribute as good citizens in the world.
The aim of Personal Development education is to help pupils understand and value themselves as individuals and as responsible and caring members of society. We want our pupils to like themselves and to feel confident.
To this end we will:
- Promote a healthy lifestyle
- Prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
- Offer our pupils the opportunities to achieve their physical, psychological and social potential
- Promote attitudes and behaviour which contribute to personal, family and community relationships
- Promote positive attitudes towards equal opportunities and life in a multi-cultural society by dealing sensitively with varying values, cultures and religious beliefs
- Encourage the development of personal skills that enable pupils and young people to function successfully as members of society.
- Ensure that pupils are able to understand and respond to risk, for example risks associated with extremism, new technology, substance misuse, knives and gangs, personal relationships and personal safety.
Social, moral, spiritual, cultural (SMSC) education is integral to our Personal Development programme. It pervades the whole of our teaching and learning; the ethos and life of our college, including the Preparatory School.
Within SMSC, our aims are to:
- To develop self-esteem and confidence in our pupils.
- Enable pupils to understand what is right and wrong in their school life and life outside school.
- Ensure pupils can accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and contribute to the school, local and wider communities.
- Allow pupils to take part in a range of activities requiring social skills, develop leadership skills, take on and discharge efficiently roles and responsibilities, offer help and learn to be reliable.
- Provide pupils with knowledge and understanding to support their ability to reflect on beliefs, values and more profound aspects of human experience, use their imagination and creativity, and develop curiosity in their learning
- Help pupils understand and appreciate the range of different cultures in British society and develop the skills and attitudes to enable them to take a full and active part in it
- To develop respect towards diversity in relation to, for example, gender, race, religion and belief, culture, sexual orientation, and disability
- Support pupils in acquiring a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England and Israel
- Respond positively to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities, provided by the school, including, for example an appreciation of theatre, music and literature
- Overcome barriers to their learning.
There is a no tolerance policy to bullying at Immanuel College.
“Bullying is conduct intended to cause hurt either physically or psychologically, which is unprovoked and which continues over a long period.”
It may be further defined as the deliberate and repeated attempt to humiliate, threaten, frighten or hurt someone.
Persistent bullying can severely inhibit a child’s ability to learn effectively and can have a lasting impact on a person forever. Immanuel College always prioritises providing a secure and happy environment free from any type of bullying behaviour. Our policy outlines our expectations of all members of the Immanuel community to ensure that pupils feel secure, valued and happy, both in and outside of school. Our NICE mentality is publicised from the moment our pupils join the school and pupils are regularly reminded of our commitment to it.
We recognise that the Internet, whilst in so many ways a wonderful tool, can facilitate cyber-bullying and nefarious grooming. It is therefore essential that they learn to discern what is safe and what is not, what is genuine and what is fraudulent, what to ignore and what to take note of, what to delete and what to save. Most importantly, they need to feel they can always come to their teachers and know that they will help them.
‘YoungMinds’ define mental health as having
‘the strength and capacity of our minds to grow and develop and to be able to overcome difficulties and challenges and to make the most of our abilities and opportunities’ (YoungMinds2010).
It reports that 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 - 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder - that is around three children in every class. There are many misconceptions about mental health and we are working with the pupils to challenge those misconceptions and make sure that they know that there is always someone to talk to and to help them. We think of the pupils who are suffering as young people living with a certain condition, rather than ‘being the condition’. For example, a child is not depressed; they are living with depression and can therefore hopefully manage that relationship instead of it being allowed to consume them.
At Immanuel, we recognise that children who suffer from these conditions can feel confused and isolated, which in turn can lead to profound feelings of despair. One of the biggest causes of this despair and reported reasons given for self-harm by adolescents is schoolwork. This is something that every pupil, in every school has to cope with and it is essential that schools recognise its potential for anxiety and works hard to make their pupils feel resilient, self-confident and supported to enable them to navigate successfully their journey through adolescence. We ensure that all our pupils are fully familiar with the ActionforHappiness GREAT DREAM acronym and these 10 keys for happier living permeate our whole ethos.
We have policies to deal with a range of mental health conditions, which are accessible to parents on the parental intranet. We discuss these with pupils in PSHEE lessons and pastoral time.
New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society, both within schools and in their lives outside school.
The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and pupils learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people should have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times.
It is a world that parents and teachers alike need continuously to keep learning about and the website below is an excellent tool to help with this endeavour:
Mobile Phone Policy
Whilst Immanuel College celebrates technology and works with its pupils to make them educated and digital citizens, we believe that mobile phones have a detrimental impact on learning, concentration and social and emotional wellbeing and therefore operate a no-mobile phone policy in Years 7-11.