Meeting the pastoral needs of our pupils is crucial if they are going to access education. At point of entry all pupils are assigned both an Academic Link (teacher) who oversees the academic aspects of school life, and a Pastoral Support & Welfare Specialist (PSWS), formerly known as Reintegration and Support Officer (RSO), who supports the pupils’ pastoral needs. The PSWS will normally be the point of contact for families and will liaise closely with health and other professionals where necessary. There is a strong team approach with the Academic Link and PSWS working collectively to balance holistic needs.
PSWSs at Pilgrim
PSWSs generally visit pupils at home once a referral has been accepted with the aim of gathering more detailed information about the pupil, finding out what has prompted a referral to The Pilgrim School, providing information about The Pilgrim School and to answer any questions. They will then arrange a visit to base (if appropriate) and support pupils to make a transition into the school. If a pupil is to be taught in the home, or not “education ready”, a PSWS will provide pastoral support that will vary depending on the level of need.
Pastoral support at Pilgrim has many guises. Pupils may be offered ‘time to talk’ (a responsive or scheduled chance to share and offload - not counselling – to help strengthen relationships and help pupils better prepare for the day ahead), WOW (a bespoke intervention focusing on hope and personal development), individual support plans, transition support, advocacy and always a listening ear. There are currently eight PSWSs working across the three bases and a team of Home Support PSWSs who work exclusively with pupils taught at home.
In addition, PSWSs attend regular multi-agency review meetings (including TAC/CIN/CP meetings if applicable), make referrals for targeted support, liaise with health professionals and support with reintegration back into mainstream school, alternative provision or post-16 settings (for more information on post-16 destinations please click here) when appropriate.
Our team of dedicated and experienced professionals are committed to ensuring pupils reach their full potential and overcome their individual barriers to success. They are equally motivated to continue their own professional development and attend regular training sessions and courses to enable them to support pupils to their best ability.
As a school we place great value on the work and values of the PSWS team and appreciate the work they do in building relationships with pupils and families in order to ensure their safety and wellbeing. The school is proud of our joint focus on academic and pastoral growth and continually strives to identify and meet need across both areas. Pupil voice plays a large part in our development; we believe that if a pupil is listened to and valued, they will achieve.