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Downside is proud of the outstanding level of pastoral care it provides for student health and well-being. The School is well-known for its strong sense of community and for the supportive relationships between the age groups and with staff. The Houses sit at the heart of this and provide the best possible support for both boarding and day pupils to allow them to develop true Christian values. We also offer 24/7 healthcare provision and our catering is supplied by a professional team serving around the clock.

By definition, pastoral care is ‘support for and commitment to enhancing the social, emotional, physical and moral well-being of all members of the School community.’

SENSE OF Community 

Historically, pastoral care is a Christian model of emotional and spiritual support that paid particular attention to the care for the soul. However, since its ancient origins, pastoral care can be found to span pretty much every culture and tradition. Pastoral care involves supporting and encouraging our pupils, physically, emotionally and spiritually, whilst at the same time striving to create and maintain a community where all involved feel happy, secure, confident and, above all, valued, for who they are.

Whole School Approach 

At Downside we operate a whole-school approach to our pastoral care resulting in an atmosphere that is conducive for learning and promotes tolerance, resilience, inclusivity, fairness and equal opportunities for all. Our staff are experienced in welcoming pupils from all over the world, with 27 nationalities represented.

In addition to the pastoral teams and health and wellbeing centre, the pupils learn how to look after themselves physically and mentally through tutoring and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) lessons which are taught by their tutors. The emphasis is on healthy living, building positive relationships, looking after yourself and how to get the right support. PSHEE is actively promoted through a whole school approach both in and out of the classroom.

Food and Nutrition 

Our caterers, Holroyd Howe, provide outstanding meals three times a day. They have a huge range of choice at meals and listen to pupil voice and ideas in developing menus. Theme days are particularly popular, as are school barbeques and celebratory dinners. Pupils with special dietary requirements are catered for and the Head of Catering works with parents to ensure pupil needs are met. Holroyd Howe go far beyond providing meals, arranging year group or house talks by nutritionists so that pupils can make good choices for themselves.

All members of staff working and living in the Downside community have a specific role to play in guiding, nurturing and supporting our pupils. Whether this is in the form of listening and comforting, spiritually guiding or simply by providing the nutritious, and delicious school meals that we are famous for!

The quality of the school’s arrangements for pastoral care is excellent. The attention placed on providing excellent support and guidance for all pupils is outstanding.
ISI Report
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