‘The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent throughout the school. Their moral development is outstanding. They are polite and courteous, showing respect for their peers and teachers. The quality of pastoral care is excellent throughout the school. Personal relationships between pupils and between staff and pupils are excellent. The school has an exceptionally friendly atmosphere; pupils describe it as a happy family.’ ISI inspection report, 2015
The mission of the College is help pupils develop and use their individual gifts in loving and responsible service of God and neighbour.
At Blanchelande pastoral care is focused on formation of the whole pupil – academic, personal and social through the curriculum and the relationships that make up the school community. Policies and procedures are reviewed regularly to ensure the all-round flourishing of each individual pupil is at the heart of a Blanchelande education.
Each pupil belongs to a form and the Form Tutor is the first point of contact for pupil and parents with any queries of concerns. Pupils spend time with their Form Tutor several times a week in form time, with the opportunity to discuss academic and non-academic issues. Where needed, Form Tutors and parents work with the Head of Pastoral Care and the Head of Learning Support.
Pupils also belong to one of the three Houses: St Bernadette, St Theresa and St Agnes. These houses give pupils from the very beginning of their time at Blanchelande a sense of belonging and fosters a connection between pupils of the same house across all year groups. House points are awarded for excellent academic work or effort, or praiseworthy contributions to school life.
On joining the College, each Year 7 pupil is allocated a Peer Mentor from the top year of the school, Year 11. As well as meeting them on their Transition Days, their mentor touches base with them regularly in their first year to ensure they are settling in. Mentors, who are important pastoral leaders in the school, receive training in how to support their charges and when to hand over issues to a member of staff.
Pupils are far likelier to enjoy school if they participate in a good range of activities. These activities foster self-confidence, motivation, responsibility and resilience, as well as adding to personal accomplishment.
All our pupils are also encouraged to become leaders, whether through personal initiatives – such as organising a reading group or organising a charity fundraiser – or through a formal leadership post, such as Head Boy, Head Girl, Prefect, Librarian or House Captain. Each of these roles carries with it certain practical responsibilities, such as speaking at school events or organising inter-house competitions in sport, music, dance and drama. Pupils of all ages can be elected by their peers to the School Council, which works through the Head of School (Head Girl or Head Boy) to improve the school in collaboration with the Principal and the College staff. Many school initiatives are outward facing, such as supporting a wide range of local and overseas charities.